Mamata Banerjee , Chief Minister of West Bengal, has put forward a proposal to rename the state from “West Bengal” to “Bengal”. Her cabinet, Trinamool Congress(TMC), supported the claim of renaming “Bengal” in English and “Banga or Bangla” in Bengali.
In our country, it was always “Bangla” and with the partition in 1947, it became East and West Bengal based on the religion and its affiliation to either India or Pakistan. While East Bengal was given to Pakistan, West Bengal remained with India and so did its name. East Bengal, later, reformed into East Pakistan and furthermore, sought to become an independent country. Thus, Bangladesh was created in 1971. Since then, the Indian counterpart of Bengal became West Bengal. The state capital city also underwent a name change process from Calcutta to Kolkata in January 2001.
The main reason for the initiation of this proposal is that CM Mamata Banerjee was always the one to speak last during the assembly meetings or any important gathering. Since the name of the state started with the letter “W”, she would wait for hours to get a chance to speak. Once the chance arrived, people at the meeting would be so tired that they hardly paid attention to her speech. This situation provoked her to opt for a name change.
However, innumerous discussions have stirred up about giving a new name to the state. Bengali writer, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, says “There are high chances of people confusing the name Bangla with Bangladesh”. Likewise, people do not want to eradicate the afflicting history of partition which is attached to the name West Bengal. On the contrary, Sugata Bose, Harvard Historian and Trinamool Congress MP, describes the proposal as “a good move, historically and also for the future.”
A special meeting of the assembly will take place to discuss the proposal and once a decision is taken, the proposal will be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament. The name change could infer a fresh start for the Mamata Banerjee led government.