Mumbai: Claiming the name of the city was changed from 'Mumbai' to 'Bombay' by the British for ease of pronunciation, a Shiv Sena leader today said all institutions still bearing the colonial-era name must undergo change in their nomenclature.
The name 'Bombay' was changed to 'Mumbai' 20 years ago and several institutions also rechristened themselves like 1887-built Victoria Terminus, a World Heritage Site, was changed to 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus'.
Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in London currently as part of a three-day visit, where he also spoke about connected histories of India and the UK.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant claimed Mumbai was changed into Bombay by British rulers for pronunciation purpose.
"We have already raised this issue in Parliament and the state government has even officially conveyed that the names of all institutions should bear the name Mumbai. It is high time now this happened," Sawant said.
"Why did Mumbai become Bombay? There is a history behind it. The group of islands were always called Mumbai but only because the British rulers could not pronounce it properly that they changed the name to Mumbai," he claimed.
Sawant further claimed the name Mumbai has been mentioned in ancient literature. "Also, Mumbai has derived its name from Goddess Mumbadevi. The city's name reflects the name of the Goddess. Our ancient texts and literatures have never used the name Bombay."
The Sena had effected 'Bombay' to 'Mumbai' change in 1995, when it came to power in Maharashtra in alliance with BJP, but several well-known institutions like the High Court and Indian Institute of Technology still use Bombay in their nomenclature.
After the Centre officially approved Mumbai's renaming, the civic body, the Bombay Municipal Corporation, became the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in early 1996.
Addressing British Parliament MPs yesterday, Modi cited his predecessors Jawaharlal Nehru and Manmohan Singh to highlight the connected histories of India and Britain.
"So much of the modern history of India is linked to this building. So much history looms across our relationship," Modi said.
"I will only say that many freedom fighters of India found their calling in the institutions of Britain," the Prime Minister said.