March 20, 2010

life in general: bombay! what's in a name? money extortion!

A news snippet in today's newspaper, here in Bombay, says that Shiv Sena wants the Bombay High Court to change its name to Mumbai High Court. The politics of name continues. I, for one, prefer to use Bombay because it adjectively describes the physical nature of the city.
'Bombay' name originated from Portuguese 'Bom Bahia' that, in English, translates to 'Fine Bay'."Mumbai' the legal name of the city since 1998 originates from Mumbadevi (a local goddess) and 'ai' is the Marathi word for 'mother'.
Extortion of money is the main reason behind name politics. No money can be extorted from the Bombay High Court judges hence the grumbling by Shiv Sena about the name.
But it is left to the imagination as to what it (and MNS as well) would have extorted from two well-known entities -- the oldest stock exchange in the country is legally called 'Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd.' (BSE) and one of the largest and oldest listed companies in the country uses the name 'Bombay Dyeing' in its factory showroom in Elphinstone Road in Bombay. I suspect the BSE would have got away by paying very little since its governing board is filled with Hindutva cronies and SS is a Hindutva outfit itself. But Bombay Dyeing would have paid a hefty amount.
Shiv Sena (SS), and its twin, MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) are largely extornists like most other political parties such as Congress and NCP. The difference is in the level of sophistication. Congress and NCP do it slyly and sophisticatedly while SS and MNS do it openly and crudely.

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