Changing Elphinstone St to Prabhadevi: Shiv Sena's demand for renaming places in Mumbai is never ending

Mumbai is no stranger to having landmarks renamed by the Shiv Sena. The name of the city itself was changed from Bombay to Mumbai by the party in 1995. In the two decades since, Shiv Sena has renamed several places in Maharasthra's capital city and have demanded renaming of even more, to moderate success.

In a recent development, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale has asked for the name of Western Railway station Elphinstone Road to be changed to Prabhadevi after the local deity, reports the Hindustan Times.

The Prabhadevi temple was built 300 years ago and is significant to the city’s history, the report quoted Shewal as saying. The station is currently named after Lord John Elphinstone who was the governor of the Bombay Presidency from 1853 to 1860.

This demand is the latest in Shiv Sena’s strategy of 'out with the British, in with Marathi'. Here's a list of the various places that have been renamed by the party.

1. Bombay to Mumbai

 Changing Elphinstone St to Prabhadevi: Shiv Senas demand for renaming places in Mumbai is never ending

In 1995, the Shiv Sena won elections in the state of Maharashtra and presided over a coalition with BJP that took control of the state assembly. Its first move was to rename Bombay to Mumbai after the Hindu goddess Mumba Devi.

2. Sahar International Airport to Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport 

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During the same political tenure of BJP-Shiv Sena in 1999, apart from railway stations, the international airport located in Andheri East was also renamed after the Maratha warrior king.

“Our history must be acknowledged. People must know the work done by icons like Shivaji Maharaj and Sambhaji Maharaj,” said Sena leader and Aurangabad MP, Chandrakant Khaire had said in this DNA report.

3. Prince of Wales Museum to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum

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The Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate the visit of King George V between 1911 and 1924, was renamed to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghrahalya in 2000.

According to this report by the Hindu, the museum was used as a hospital during World War 1. The museum had been known by its original name for decades until it was renamed by the Shiv Sena.

4. Victoria Terminus to Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus

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Elphinstone Road isn't the first railway station the Shiv Sena has asked to be renamed. In 1996, Shiv Sena made several demands to rename the iconic south Mumbai Victoria Terminus to Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, under the Vajpayee-led BJP government. It was later made a world heritage site of UNESCO in 2004.

 

There are several other places within the city that the Sena wanted renamed, but decisions regarding those have either been kept on hold or have been dismissed.

1. Shivaji Park to Shiv Tirth

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In 2012, Shiv Sena wanted to rename the iconic Shivaji park, where Bal Thackeray was cremated to Shiv Tirth, as this was the name that he used to refer to Shivaji park in his rallies. This decision was strongly opposed by the Congress government.

3. Girgaum Chowpatty to Swaraj Bhoomi

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A proposal was passed in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation to rename the Girgaum Chowpatty to Swaraj Bhoomi, to commemorate the area where veteran freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was cremated. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that it would require environmental clearance, reports DNA.

4. Churchgate to a name that is a tribute to Bal Thackeray

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Firstpost had earlier reported that within days of Bal Thackeray's death, Sena bhakts had proposed that several places around the city should be renamed after him. From the Mumbai-Goa coastal highway, the work-in-progress Navi Mumbai airport to the Churchgate railway station, they wanted all the areas to be a tribute to the late Sena patriarch.

5. Bombay High Court to Mumbai High Court

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After changing the name of the city to Mumbai, Shiv Sena is aiming to change the name of every institution that carries the name of Bombay. They have demanded the renaming of Bombay High Court and IIT-Bombay, saying that 'we cannot continue to relate the government institutions with the old name'.

6. Elphinstone Road to Prabhadevi

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A Shiv Sena MP has said that local residents have been demanding the renaming of Elphinstone Road after the goddess Prabhadevi from a long time and their sentiments should be considered.

 

Updated Date: May 18, 2015 16:12:09 IST