Sunday January 19, 2020
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Digging Indian colonial roots: British newspaper to call Mumbai as Bombay

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New Delhi: In the latest move, The renowned British newspaper and online publication, The Independent, has decided to call India’s largest city, Mumbai with its previous colonial-era name of Bombay.

We give you heads up on what the issue is all about:

  • The newspaper’s India-born editor, Amol Rajan, stated the decision to be in direct response to what he argued were the Hindu nationalist connotations of the name Mumbai. “If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them,” Rajan told BBC radio.
  • The decision has led to a debate both inside and outside India, sprouting many supporters as well as challengers of the new policy.
  • The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the right wing regional party Shiv Sena who advocates the use of the Marathi language, dominant in the state of Maharashtra. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city’s patron deity.
  • It was argued by Shiv Sena that the previous name Bombay is an Anglicized version of the city’s name and was an unwanted relic, reminding of the British colonial rule in India. The interchangeable use of both names among locals can be witnessed during their casual conversation now.
  • After consulting with senior staff members, Rajan attributes his decision to the general feeling of growing intolerance in India. “I do believe that a spirit of intolerance is spreading through India, with very alarming news about censorship every day,” Rajan added. “That strengthens the case for making this move, in my view, to defend the tradition of a country whose commitment to openness, tolerance and pluralism is both ancient and endangered.”
  • Hoping to not have instigated a fierce backlash back home, Rajan believes that the publication’s standing would not be affected in India. However, no immediate comment could be acquired from the Mumbai city officials.
  • “I don’t know what the reaction will be in India, and wouldn’t want to guess,” he said. “I hope India’s grand tradition of free expression is strong enough for it not to impede our reporting – and believe it will be.”
  • While the involvement of Shiv Sena in renaming Bombay makes it a unique case, there are several other cities apart from Mumbai, which have been renamed in a bid to shake off their colonial links.
  • The city previously known as Madras was renamed to Chennai in 1996. Rajan’s own birthplace of Calcutta is now officially called Kolkata.
  • Rajan hinted towards the newspaper examining other such cases inside or outside India, in the near future. “I am not committing to it yet, but there may well be a case for dropping Myanmar for Burma – the former being the junta’s favored option,” he said. “I wouldn’t call Sri Lanka ‘Ceylon,’ and other cases such as Beijing/Peking don’t warrant a change for now.” (Inputs from Agencies)

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Actress Pooja Bhatt Urges Bollywood on Twitter To Clean Film City

While several Bollywood stars take part in beach clean up drives every now and then in Mumbai, it is now to be seen whether they will take up an initiative to clean up Film City or not

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Pooja
Reacting to tweet by actress Pooja Bhatt, a user urged superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn to do something to clean up film city which takes an even worse shape in the prolonged monsoon of Mumbai. Wikimedia Commons

The glitz and glamour of Bollywood creates a dream world in front of our eyes, but what is the reality? Long after a film has been released, long after the sets have been de-constructed, broken pieces of the set remain scattered here and there turning the place into a mess. This is exactly what actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt has pointed a finger at.

Pooja took to Twitter on Saturday to express how the Film City in Mumbai’s Goregaon is turning into a mess. She suggested that instead of waiting for the authorities to intervene, people from the film industry should take an initiative to clean it.

She tweeted: “Film City is bustling with activity. Shame that it is in such a mess. Debris from sets long de-constructed lie everywhere. The access roads are non-existent. Why can’t we film folk clean up after we create these imaginary worlds on camera? Authorities don’t seem to care. But we must.”

Reacting to Pooja’s tweet, a user urged superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn to do something to clean up film city which takes an even worse shape in the prolonged monsoon of Mumbai.

The tweet read: “Why authorities to blame, take it on your own. From these sets you earn millions of rupees and thrown debris everywhere. This stretch becomes worst in monsoon. Sir @SrBachchan @akshaykumar @ajaydevgn plz look into and start swachchta Abhiyan in FC Goregaon everyone will support u.”

Pooja
Pooja took to Twitter on Saturday to express how the Film City in Mumbai’s Goregaon is turning into a mess. She suggested that instead of waiting for the authorities to intervene, people from the film industry should take an initiative to clean it. Wikimedia Commons

Another user suggested: “Bollywood must act as an organization. Should have a monitoring body which ensure such things to be done by without fail by the concerned film crew.”

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While several Bollywood stars take part in beach clean up drives every now and then in Mumbai, it is now to be seen whether they will take up an initiative to clean up Film City or not. (Bollywood Country)