West Bengal will now very likely be called just ‘Bengal’ when it’s being referred to in English, and ‘Bangla’ or ‘Banga’ when it’s referred in Bengali.
In the Bengali language, the state is currently referred to as ‘Pashchim Bengal’, which translates to ‘West Bengal.’
On Tuesday Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government passed a proposal to change the name of West Bengal to Bengal. The proposal was approved at a Cabinet meeting held at the State Secretariat.
The decision was taken to protect the “interest and tradition of the State”.
After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had toyed with the idea of name change but the issue could be taken up then. After the name change proposal is passed by the Assembly, it has to be approved by Parliament.
The renaming proposal is already drawing comments on social media.
“Pertinent to note that in colonial times, Lord Curzon divided Bengal into East Bengal and West Bengal, in 1905, and this met with such resistance, including a Tagore poem “Amar Shonar Bangla” ( My Golden Bengal ) which later on went on to become the national anthem of Bangladesh, that the British government had to rescind the division and make it one Bengal. Then of course 1947 happened and politically East Pakistan came into being, later turning into Bangladesh in 1971, while West Bengal continued as such.
Rabindranath Tagore is probably the only personage who can be credited with having penned the national anthems of two countries on this planet.” [Soumesh]
“Renaming institutions, places and states etc. has become a disease of our political class. But nothing is done to improve the infrastructure and economic indicators of places and states. There is this mistaken notion that the person mooting the change in name is somehow leaving his or her stamp on the history of this country. Warped priorities without any consideration for the considerable expense that this will entail with no tangible benefit to the people”. [Charulata]
[with inputs from Seema Kumari]