On 29 August the West Bengal assembly passed the resolution to change name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bengal’ in English and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi. The West Bengal Assembly led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a special session, and a decision was made to change the name of the state.
The resolution was moved by state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee under rule 169. The state of West Bengal is not new to changes of name. Bengal’s capital, Calcutta became Kolkata as it was a remnant from the times of British Rule in India. And the name West Bengal is a constant reminder of the pre-Independence era and the hardships of the time.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “The name Bangla has a historical and cultural background. I don’t have any problem with the name of ‘Bango’ either. But most of the people want the name ‘Bangla’. In English, it will be ‘Bengal’ so that there will be no confusion with the name of neighbouring Bangladesh. Whenever we go out of India or to some other state, we are known as people from Bengal. In 2011 we had once proposed to change the name of the state, but it was held back by the Centre. There was no decision regarding it. So we decided to bring it once again to change the name of the state to ‘Bangla’.”
The opposition Congress, BJP and Left Front opposed the move. To this Banerjee said “Those who are opposing the name change just for the sake of politics should be ashamed. It is a historic blunder and the history will not forgive them.”