Recently, a playground was renamed. The same name is used for other places in the same city, like the airport, central railway station and god knows how many roads and public properties. Ten years back a foreign tourist took a cab and wanted to go to the airport, but the driver misunderstood and took him to the central railway station, he filed a case and he won, the govt. had to pay him on the court’s order.
Some state and national leaders simply want to rename big places to their father’s or mother’s name. Some want to rename everything to their family name, I mean their surname.
If the leader has a religious background, he will start changing the names of places to saints and gods. If the leader is a nationalist, he will change the names of places to freedom fighters or those who sacrificed their lives, got killed or were jailed for a long time. Those with the opposite mindset will use names of people from all over the world.
So should we simply stop renaming places, and keep them as they are? No, this is not the solution to stop the renaming contest. The issue will remain. For example, if there is a road in the name of a historic leader or a religious name, not everybody is going to like it. There will always be some opposition. So the solution is to come up with names which are neutral to everybody, regardless of what religion or community that person belongs to, and regardless of what ideology he or she has. I mean rightist, leftist or centrist or whatever.
In my opinion, we should rename places with alphabets and numbers and spend money just one last time, and make a law, put it into the constitution which disallows anything to be renamed. Doing so, no government in future will be able to rollback it.
The idea here is to just assign an alternate name initially for reference, let’s say for 2 years. These names are to be used verbally, but not in writing or printing form. The 2 years is more than enough to adjust or correct the alphabets and letters on anything, just in case if there was an error or anything that sort of. Two years is also enough for familiarisation. After 2 years the government should start changing the names everywhere like records, prints, signboards on the roads and all.
Let me give you an example.
All the nagars or areas in a city should be renamed as Area/Sector 1,2,3,4,5 and so on. The roads in Area 1 should be renamed as Road A, B, C, D and so on. The buildings and chawls should be renamed as Housing 1,2,3,4,5 and so on. There can be more bifurcations for schools and colleges which can be again called School 1, School 2 and so on. But the schools should be allowed to keep their name. All the gardens should be renamed to Park 1,2 and 3 and so on. Rename the airport as (city name) airport, and if a new airport comes to the outskirts or the suburbs in future, just rename it with as ‘(nearest railway station name) airport’.
Similarly, rename the Central train stations to Central Train Terminus 1 (CTT-1), CTT-2 and so on.
Here is how the address of a person would be.
Mr Jivag Vandal
Flat 32, Housing 8,
Opp School 15, Near Police station 3,
Near flyover 3, Road 21, Area 6,
Xyz taluka (west/east), Xyz City/District,
Pin, State, Country.
Many readers won’t like this concept which will wipe out the names of historic leaders, and religions names from public properties.
I am not against any religion, or leaders and kings from any religion or a geographic region. The sole purpose here is just to save money and time involved in the renaming process which is done everywhere, some do it for good, some do it for rivalry against the opposition and revenge. As soon as the new govt. comes to power, which is either democratic, republic, socialist, or communist would have an agenda of either renaming a place or reverting the renaming done by the previous government.
Instead of fighting for the names on places, let’s just remove the renaming power from the lawmakers. Make them free from this unnecessary work, and let them focus on something better.
If the government wants to generate some revenue for its treasury, then simply auction the names and lease it to the Indian business brands and companies for 100 years. Also giving some exceptions to international brands for short period (10 years), depending on the history we had with that nation and the current relations.