Norwegians refer to their country as Norge, not Norway. The Portuguese call their capital city Lisboa, not Lisbon and over in Italy, the city that English speakers call Rome is known as Roma. Germans call their country Deutschland but we call it Germany and the country we call Japan is known as Nippon to the Japanese.
I have no problem with the differences cited above and I am sure we could all come up with dozens of similar examples. Naming protocol within any particular country will often be at odds with the names applied by foreigners.
And so to India. In the sixteenth century, Portuguese trading vessels happened upon a lovely coastal inlet that they christened Bom Bahia or "good bay". There was no significant settlement there at the time but it later became a thriving trading city that was known for two hundred and fifty years as Bombay - until in 1995, the Indian government renamed it Mumbai. The reason for this name change was never made entirely clear but there were vague noises about ridding the country of the last vestiges of colonialism.
|The Gate of India in Bombay|
The Indian government are more than welcome to call their cities whatever they want. They could rename Delhi Boaty McBoatville for all I care but why should the rest of us fall into line with their dubious name changes? As I say, we call Norge Norway. And I for one will continue to ignore name changes dreamt up by the Indian government.
For me, Mumbai will always be Bombay. Chennai will always be Madras. Kolkata will always be Calcutta. Kopchi will always be Cochin, Puducherry will always be Pondicherry. Mysuru will always be Mysore. Varanassi will always be Benares.
I wish that the politically correct white flag wavers could see sense and stick to the historical, familiar names of these places instead of going along with ill-considered name changes proposed by meddling politicians. Should the name Bollywood now be changed to Mullywood? Should "Bombay Sapphire" gin now be called "Mumbai Sapphire"? It's all a load of cobblers.