For those unhappy with the Haryana government’s decision to change Gurgaon’s name to Gurugram, not all is lost. They can take hope from the fact that there are instances in the past when state governments have announced similar name changes, but are still awaiting the final nod from the Centre.
Mhow, a town in Madhya Pradesh where Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally on Thursday, is one such example.
In 2003, the Madhya Pradesh government changed the name of the city, 23 km from Indore, to Dr Ambedkar Nagar in honour of BR Ambedkar who was born there in 1891. However, the Centre is yet to approve the new name.
Assam and West Bengal are also facing the same situation.
In 2006, the Assam government decided to change the state’s name to Asom. The decision was taken following a request by noted writer Chandra Prasad Saikia. Saikia claimed that the state’s name was changed by the Britishers because they could not pronounce it properly. He also claimed that the state’s indigenous name (Asom) is inspired from the Ahom dynasty that ruled the state for six centuries.
But the Centre is yet to approve the change and Assam is still the official name of the state.
Similarly, in 2011, Mamata Banerjee’s government and the opposition together decided to change West Bengal’s name to Paschim Banga. The reason given by them was that ‘West Bengal’ led to administrative difficulties as it came last in the alphabetical order. This name change too is in limbo.
Though the Haryana government has approved the long-pending demand of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon for the name change, a lot of steps need to be taken before the final approval.
The ruling coalition will table a non-official resolution in the Assembly for the name change. Once adopted, the resolution will be sent to the Centre. The Union home ministry will then forward it to the President for his assent since its needs an amendment of the First Schedule of the Constitution. Once it gets the President’s nod, the Centre will table a Bill in Parliament that has to be passed by two-thirds majority on both Houses.
Until then, Gurgaon will keep its name.