The recent changes in the names of two Mumbai railway stations has created a quite an uproar. First the name of Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was changed to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Elphinstone Road railway station’s name was changed to Prabhadevi railway station. The decisions to rename stations has been taken by the Maharashtra state government, which has Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena in alliance.
The decision to rename stations has not gone down well with many Mumbaikars, who are of the opinion that, it will create unnecessary trouble and the changes are only cosmetic. Why do we still have the colonial names of railway stations, when British ruled us for over 200 years? Mumbai has changed over the years and it is the financial capital of India, then it makes total sense to rename stations, which Indian people can relate to and to do away with the names, which were imposed on us by British.
The name Bombay was changed to Mumbai by the Shiv Sena government in 1995 and since then it hasn’t created any trouble. The railway station names should be based on the area and locality it represents and not the names of British governors or rulers.
The state government has already sent a proposal to the central government and have asked for Mumbai Central to be renamed after noted philanthropist and scholar Jagannath Sunkersett, Grant Road to be called Gamdevi and Charni Road Girgaum. On the harbour line, the Sena wants Sandhurst Road to be Dongri, Cotton Green to Kalachowki and Reay Road to Ghodapdeo. They also want Currey Road to be renamed Lalbaug.
India, even after being independent for 70 years, has some kind of fixation with the names of railway stations from the colonial era that didn’t make any sense and by rectifying it government is doing the right thing. The changes should have happened long time back and now that government has acted on it and more changes are required to erase the dark chapter of British invasion of India and monopoly on everything. The changing of the name of railway stations will help commuters and people to relate to the area and will give a sense of pride.