Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Mumbai Sapphire

In all the coverage of the sixtieth anniversary of Indian and Pakistani independence, is there anyone in the British media not talking about "Mumbai"? This word is not recognised either by Bombay's Stock Exchange or by the High Court there, and its use leads one to wonder whether the British media have been taken over by the BJP and the RSS.


  1. Just one of these things. Indian nationalists changed the name of quite a few cities to the local pronounciation - Mumbai is Marathai for Bombay and Kolkatta is Bengali for Calcutta.

    Bombay itself is thought to be Portugese in origin. An Indian aquaintance of the older generation prefers to call it Bombay as it is a Bay.

    Nearer to home Queenstown became Cobh, Kingstown became Dun Laorighe and Maryborough became Portlaoise.

    It took long enough for people to stop calling Beijing Peking.

    India being a commonwealth country, the media tend to give the name of a city the same as the locals call it.

    Nobody in the media is calling Lisbon Liboa for example.

  2. These are not what the locals call them. They are just what the BJP and the RSS think that the locals ought to call them. In which case, the Irish comparison is very apt, at least historically speaking.