The row over Aurangabad’s rebirth as Sambhajinagar has turned the spotlight back on Mumbai’s tryst with renaming its roads and institutions. A look at city landmarks that escaped nominal reinvention.
Bombay high court
In 1961, a move to rename Bombay High Court as Maharashtra High Court was struck down by BP Sinha, then chief justice of India, saying the Bombay High Court had set “high standards and traditions” and that all that would be lost if it were renamed.
In the 1990s, if a Shiv Sena corporator had had his way, Mumbai’s swishest area would have been called Ram Nagari after Lord Ram who, according to legend, had stopped here on the way to Lanka.
Residents of this heritage East Indian Christian enclave of quasi-rural houses in Girgaum protested when they came to know that it was to be renamed Patrakar Appaji Pendse Marg in 1982. BMC still went ahead with the renaming but residents removed the new name boards when the cop guarding them went off for a cup of tea.
In 1963, the Swami Vivekananda Birth Centenary Celebrations Committee, had requested the BMC to change the name of Khar to Viveknagar.
Politician Murli Deora had once urged that Chembur be renamed after Raj Kapoor, who used to reside in the suburb for many years.
Nagar Chowk, CST
A proposal to rename CST’s Nagar Chowk as Lata Mangeshkar Chowk was rejected by the BMC in 2000. The administration reasoned that roads cannot be named after living personalities.
Carter Road, Bandra
A move to rename Carter Road after Smita Patil was opposed by some residents who felt it would inconvenience them
The state had considered renaming Marine Lines as Sonapur, Charni Road as Girgaon and Grant Road as Gavdevi. In 1997, a proposal had sought to rename Churchgate station as Deshmukh station after the economist and first RBI Governor of India, CD Deshmukh.
Mahatma Gandhi Road, Borivli
To protest the increasing number of beer bars in Borivli in 1997, citizens asked the municipal commissioner to rename the Mahatma Gandhi road ‘Beer Bar road’.