Oshiwara to Ram Mandir; Grant Rd to August Kranti: Politicians’ local touch to Mumbai landmarks
After the Maharashtra government’s proposal to rename Elphinstone Road as Prabhadevi and naming of Oshiwara as Ram Mandir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants Marine Lines railway station to be renamed Mumbadevi.
We list the number of times when politicians managed to rename Mumbai’s landmarks or at least tried to get their way around :
1. Elphinstone Road to Prabhadevi: The state legislature, in its winter session in December last year, passed a resolution to change the name of Elphinstone Road railway station to Prabhadevi. The proposal has been sent to the railway ministry and the change will come into effect after its nod.
2. Oshiwara becomes Ram Mandir: In November last year, the BJP-led state government named the new railway station between Jogeshwari and Goregaon Ram Mandir. The demand was put forth by local BJP legislator and minister of state Vidya Thakur. The railways wanted the station to be named Oshiwara.
3. Maharaj at the airport: The Maharashtra cabinet decided to add the word ‘Maharaj’ to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Maharaj’ means king in Marathi. The government while moving the proposal had said it was a way to pay respect to the Maratha worrior. The proposal has been sent to the Centre.
4. Dadar as Chaityabhoomi, August Kranti for Grant Road: Political parties, including the Shiv Sena, want Dadar railway station to be renamed Chaityabhoomi, Grant Road railway station as August Kranti and Charni Road station as Gamdevi.
5. Sahar becomes Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport: The Mumbai international airport, which was earlier known as Sahar international airport, was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in 1999. The Victoria Terminus, which was then popularly known as VT, was named as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996. The Sena wanted CST to be named Nana Shankarseth Terminus.
6. Making a way into Mumbai-Pune expressway: When the expressway connecting Mumbai and Pune was built, there were demands to name it after Maratha littérateur PL Deshpande. However, the Congress-NCP government named it after the late YB Chavan, the first chief minister of Maharashtra.
7. No place for Prince of Wales: The Shiv Sena-ruled BMC renamed the Prince of Wales museum after Chhatrapati Shivaji. The move attracted criticism from some quarters.
8. Bandra-Worli sea link: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s demand to name the sea link after former prime minister the late Rajiv Gandhi was criticised by opposition parties. The demand was made in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and was readily accepted by chief minister Ashok Chavan.