Naming of Things

Some years ago I came across a single-panel cartoon which showed a statue of a figure on horseback. It was clearly the statue of Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha hero. Standing in front was a little kid with an adult. The kid was asking, “But what was the statue called before it was renamed Shivaji Maharaj?”

In Mumbai, the trend is that everything gets renamed after Shivaji. And in the broader context of India, everything gets named after Nehru and his clan. Naming things is easy in India. “Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal, Indira, Rajiv, and Sanjay” are the choices for the first bit, as in “Jawaharlal Nehru University,” or “Indira Gandhi International.” It won’t be too long before we have “Sonia, Priyanka, Rahul, Spotty” added to the list. (Spotty is just a place holder as I am not sure what the name of the Gandhi family dog actually is.)
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