Grant Road to Gamdevi: Sena wants Marathi names for Mumbai train stations
If the Shiv Sena has its way, south Mumbai’s Grant Road station could well be renamed Gamdevi; Prabhadevi may take the nameplate at Elphinstone Road, and Charni Road could be called Girgaum.
The Sena wants British names of Mumbai’s suburban railway stations replaced with Marathi descriptors for the areas where they are located.
State transport minister Diwakar Raote, a senior Sena leader, led a delegation of party leaders to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh to voice this demand as renaming stations comes under his ministry.
Besides Raote, the delegation comprised Sena members of Parliament (MP) Arvind Sawant, Anandrao Adsul and Shrirang Barne.
The party reiterated its demand to rename Mumbai Central station after noted philanthropist and scholar Jagannath Sunkersett. Besides, on the western line, the party wants Grant Road station to be called Gamdevi, Charni Road to be called Girgaum and change Elphinstone Road to Prabhadevi. On the harbour line, the Sena wants Sandhurst Road to be rechristened to Dongri, Cotton Green to Kalachowki, and Reay Road to Ghodapdeo.
Similarly, on the central line of the suburban railway, the party wants Currey Road station to be renamed Lalbaug.
Sawant, a Shiv Sena MP from south Mumbai, said, “This should not in any way be seen as our demand for any Marathi-isation of the city. The simple logic is, all railway stations are by and large named after the areas they are located in. For example, Bandra, Sion, Chembur, Santacruz and so on. However, there are a few stations where the commonly known name of the area is something else, and the name of the station is as per what the British would call the area.”
Sawant said, “If the city has a Gamdevi police station and a Gamdevi post office, why is the railway station alone called Grant Road? Similarly, around Currey Road, the entire area is called Lalbaug. The ‘Lalbaug cha raja’ during the Ganpati festival has national fame. The why should the station be called Currey Road?”
Similarly, the party maintains that Sunkersett had immense contribution to the making of modern Mumbai, even to its railways and it needs to be recognised. A party leader said the Sena was earlier insisting on south Mumbai’s Victoria Terminus to be named after Sunkersett when the then state government decided to name it after Chhatrapati Shivaji, leaving little scope for the Sena to continue to press with its demand or protest.
The Sena had earlier taken up the issue with Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, but they apparently did not get the desired response.
The Sena has always been an advocate of calling places by their original names, and not by the names that were left as a legacy by the British. The party was also instrumental in getting the city’s name changed to Mumbai from the erstwhile Bombay.