Residents and corporate employees in Gurgaon have given a mixed response to the Union ministry of home affairs’ nod to formally changing the city’s name to Gurugram.
While some were indifferent, others dismissed the name change as a waste of money that would not bring any change on ground. Some did, however, support the move.
“A city’s name reflects its ethos. The names of places like Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were changed as the respective governments decided to respect local sentiments. However, in Gurgaon’s case, the name was already local. The government is planning to change it due to mythological reasons, which is not realistic,” said Punit Mohan of Vatika City on Sohna Road.
The name ‘Gurugram’ has its basis in Hindu mythology. According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas gifted a village (gram in Sanskrit) to Guru Dronacharya as ‘gurudakshina’. That village is believed to be present-day Gurgaon.
The mythological roots, however, did not impress all residents.
Pravat Mishra of DLF Phase 5, said, “Changing the name to Gurugram is a waste of money. The government should think about changing the city’s ground realities. We are changing the name, but it will only give more opportunities for paperwork.”
Similarly, Dhruv Bansal of DLF Phase 1, said, “Taxpayers will be further burdened by the entire process of changing the city’s name. The government will have to carry out a long process of re-branding that will require time and money. As a resident of the city, I do not understand the need for such an exercise now.”
Another resident, Suresh Kumar of DLF Phase 3, too said that the point of name change is not clear. “There is no clarity at all how this is going to help bring in investment and develop the city,” he added.
However, some residents welcomed the move saying the name Gurugram would draw residents closer to the area’s heritage. “The name change will not affect anybody much, but the government’s approach is encouraging as we are trying to reach out to our roots,” said Sangeeta Khosla of Sector 31.
Some corporate employees also welcomed the new name, but for a different reason. In their opinion, the word ‘gaon’ (village in Hindi) did not go well with a city that is also a corporate hub.
“I definitely welcome the name Gurugram. A city with so many international firms and MNCs should not have ‘gaon’ in its name. Gurugram will help build a better identity for the city,” said an employee of the American Express Bank.
Deepak Ohlyan, executive director, Dell, and a member of National association of software and services companies (Nasscom), northern regional council, said, “The new name should bring a positive change in the city as well. The infrastructure and traffic situation should be changed.”