Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ya Miss Bombay, Blame Thackeray (Yo)

When did Bombay become Mumbai?

Officially, in 1995. That year, the right-wing Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena won elections in the state of Maharashtra and presided over a coalition that took control of the state assembly. After the election, the party announced that the port city had been renamed after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity. Federal agencies, local businesses, and newspapers were ordered to adopt the change.

Christopher Beam, on Slate
The name of the Shiv Sena leader at the time? Bal Thackeray.

ADD (December 4): The argument continues on The Daily Dish. Andrew Sullivan obviously trusted the wrong Christopher. By the way, Sullivan has this annoying habit of labeling them all "dissent". Some of them reflect mere differences in opinion, but others are corrections. I think you should acknowledge your mistake, particularly when you've gone ahead and said "the Dish will refer to Mumbai by its previous name.

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