High-tech hub Bangalore to be renamed 'town of boiled beans'

High-tech hub Bangalore to be renamed 'town of boiled beans'
December 12th, 2005  

Topic: High-tech hub Bangalore to be renamed 'town of boiled beans'

High-tech hub Bangalore to be renamed 'town of boiled beans'


BANGALORE, India (AFP) - India's high-tech capital Bangalore, known worldwide as an outsourcing hub, will change name to reflect the local language and become "the town of boiled beans", the state chief minister said.

The city in southwest India, capital of Karnataka, will officially use the local Kanada language name Bengaluru next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the state, N. Dharam Singh told AFP on Monday.

"It will give the feel of Kanada language," Singh said. "Bombay has been changed to Mumbai, Calcutta to Kolkata. We are doing the same."

"The name change will happen on November 1, 2006, coinciding with the launch of the state's Golden Jubilee year. I have issued a directive."

Bangalore, according to state historians, got its name from Bendakalooru (the town of boiled beans) after a king strayed into the area during a hunting trip in the late 14th century.

A woman offered him a meal of boiled beans which the king enjoyed so much that he named the town after the dish.

Bengaluru is a transliteration of the original spelling, according to state historians.

Several cities in India have been renamed since independence from British colonial rule in 1947 to reflect local languages and nationalist sentiments.
The southern Indian state of Kerala rechristened its capital Trivandrum in 1991 to Thiruvananthapuram and Maharashtra state's Bombay became Mumbai to reflect the Maratha language in 1995.

The Tamil Nadu state capital of Madras was renamed as Chennai in 1996 and West Bengal's Calcutta became Kolkata in 2001.

The move comes as Singh faces pressure from a partner in his coalition state government to focus on farmers and the poor instead of complaints by leading tech companies about poor infrastructure in Bangalore.

Kiran Karnik, president of the Indian software and outsourcing services lobby group NASSCOM, however said a new name for Bangalore was not a cause of concern for companies looking to set up shop there.

"I do not think it is going to have a big impact because Bangalore has already made a big name for itself. Madras to Chennai for instance sounded completely different. That is not the case here. Bengaluru is only phonetically different," Karnik said.

"Since it is being done keeping in mind the sentiments of the people one has to respect it. Initially there may be some hitches for companies in their branding activities."

Bangalore is home to more than 1,500 foreign and domestic technology companies and accounts for a major portion of outsourcing and software development work in India.