The Independent is going to start calling Mumbai Bombay again


A leading British daily will revert back to using Bombay instead of Mumbai when referring to the financial hub of India, to take stand against a “nastier strain of Hindu nationalism,” its Indian-origin editor said today.

“The whole point of Bombay is of an open, cosmopolitan port city, the gateway of India that’s open to the world. If you call it what Hindu nationalists want you to call it, you essentially do their work for them,” Amol Rajan, the editor of ‘The Independent’, told BBC today.

So if I understand these contortions of politically-correct nomenclature correctly, “Bombay” was bad because it was imperialist, but now “Mumbai” is bad because it’s “Hindu nationalist”, which may or may not translate to “anti-Muslim”.

  • BillyHW

    The PC Nazis that used to insist you call it Mumbai and Beijing would never call Germany Deutschland or pronounce the eternal city Roma.

    • Burma or Myanmar: which is politically correct just now? And no consulting the textbook.

      • Beats me!

        • BillyHW

          Hands off my Peking duck!

      • Martin B

        Historically the country was always known as Burma to the outside world. But the trouble is that the British colonialists also called it Burma. So one day the military junta that took over after independence decided that “Burma” was sullied by association with colonialism, so they gave it a new, pure name – Myanmar. But the ruling generals were widely despised, so calling the country Burma was a way of protesting the legitimacy of their rule. Now that the generals are no longer officially in charge (though still very powerful behind the scenes), I guess which name is PC on any given day depends on whether you hate colonialism more than you hate military dictators.

      • BillyHW

        Don’t ask me.

      • Burma is the name freedom-loving Burmese prefer. It’s what I call it also. “Myanmar” was instated by the military junta after they took over the country.

  • Maggat

    I spent a fair bit of time in Bombay, lovely city and area. I’ve have always refused to call it Mumbai.

  • Jay Currie

    I have always called it Bombay largely from laziness. In my culture that is what that location on the planet has been called for a very long time. Why should I change?

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The movie industry there is called Bollywood, not Mullywood.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    We’re it not for the terrorist attacks, I wouldn’t have known they were not different places.
    I know advertising my ignorance doesn’t make me sexy, but the subject simply received no thought from me.
    While we are at it, can we bring back Rhodesia, Peking, Burma… and erase all this other BS renaming dreamed up by monsters.

    Also, why do we have to follow the communist party Hanyu Pinyin method of spelling Chinese words when it relies on sounds and pronunciation that are not even related to the letters shown in English?
    Bring back Wade-Giles!–Giles

  • All Too Much

    “The whole point of Bombay…”
    Sounds like the British colonial DNA is alive and well.
    Who the F does that write think he is? The whole point.

  • Tom Forsythe

    What does this mean for Bytown?

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      It’ll have to be called some incomprehensible, polysyllabic, vowel-free Indian name cause, well, you know, missing women.

  • Can I stop saying “Mollywood”?

  • Hindu nationalists hate Christianity as well, and are clear and open that they do not want Christianity in India. Which really takes some arrogance to say since Christianity has been in India for almost 2,000 years. India was evangelized shortly after the events of the Resurrection. Christianity has a far longer and richer history in India than Islam, and Christians never fought wars on Indian land as the Muslims have repeatedly.

    • simus1

      The Hindu beef with Christianity is quite complex.

      • DavidinNorthBurnaby

        Hindu *beef* Har Har. .. sorry, it was just there.

      • That’s easy to type and then walk away.