Whose government will come in Maharashtra

India: Bombay or Mumbai - what is correct now?

The resourceful traveler to India has of course leafed through his travel guide long ago and knows what's going on: a few years ago the Indian map was considerably rewritten. Calcutta, once the capital of British India, was from then on as "Kolkata" in the Atlas. Madras became “Chennai”, Bangalore became “Bangaluru”.

Bombay, the largest and busiest city in India, now bore the similar but three-letter name "Mumbai". Even after a few hours in the megalopolis, however, it should be clear to every half-awake tourist that something is wrong.

The majority of the locals still speak of Bombay today, Mumbai is much less common. How should one behave as a politically correct vacationer?

How Bombay became Mumbai

I recommend: healthy pragmatism and a look at the history book. The name of the city, once founded on seven islands, goes back to the Portuguese who, after opening up the sea route to India, established a branch here and called it “Bon Bahia” - one of many historical spellings for “beautiful bay”. What the linguistically painless English, who took over the then insignificant trading post in the middle of the 17th century, made "Bombay".

Over the centuries, the port branch grew into a cosmopolitan city under this name, until five decades after India's independence Shiv Sena came on the scene, a nationalist party that formed the government in the state of Maharashtra in the 1990s and is still actively involved today.

The name “Bombay” is colonial stench, a new one is needed, the party said indignantly, which sees itself as a collecting basin for the people of the Marathas, who have historical roots in this region and who made life difficult for the Mughals. Shiv Sena reached into the bag of tricks for the renaming - and suggested a combination of the goddess Mumbadevi, "Mumba" for short, and "Aai", Marathi for "mother". "Mumbai" was born.

In Mumbai one can manage, in Bombay one lives

How do you deal with the double name in practice? First: Whoever writes uses the term “Mumbai”, whoever speaks says “Bombay”. Rule number two is so lovely that it has to be translated into the English words of Fiona Caulfield, who wrote the charming travel guide “Love Mumbai” on paper last October: “A business executive might convene a meeting in Mumbai, but she will summon a lover only to Bombay. "

In Mumbai you can do it, in Bombay you live, play and love. This is reflected to this day in the "Times of India", the largest English-language daily newspaper in the country. It appears in “Mumbai”, but its popular gossip about Bollywood stars and asterisks is still called “Bombay Times” to this day.

Anyone who deals with authorities and government representatives should always say "Mumbai" and use the official name on letters, courier deliveries and business cards - regardless of the fact that the city's international airport, named after the Marathon King Chhatrapati Shivaji, continues to use the abbreviation "BOM" carries.

As an aside, it should be mentioned that the 20 million inhabitants of the city call themselves “Mumbaikar”. Or also "Bombayite". Or "Mumbaiwalla". To ask?