Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What is there in naming a road?

All have a name, the countries, the towns, the planets, the men, the women, the gods, and so are the roads and streets every where. The peculiar phenomenon is that every name has a background. In Kanpur (India), there is a mohalla named as Chataayee mohal for the reason that chataayees (mattresses with fabricated textile material) were and are still produced there. There is a Ghumni mohal (a place to walk and stroll) because in olden days there was nothing like any populace there and people used to utilise the open place for walking purposes. Every name carries some story or the other behind it. The memorable days like New Years Day, Republic Day or Independence Day, all carry with them a great historical background. Names are given in a negative order too like Dhikkar Diwas (a day observed as the day of hatred). There are also the name(s) which may not look apparently on their surface as negative, but background wise, they are as such only. I saw a  small road named as Kanpur Street in London. I had the anxiety to know the very background of it. I was told that the Britishers got terribly annoyed after the ghadar (mutiny) of 1857 which had its starting point in Kanpur (besides of course Meerut) and, out of frustration and disgust, the London administration thought of giving some trivial most name to Kanpur to ridicule Indians, hence Kanpur Street (with a point to highlight that Kanpur must not have been suffixed with the ‘Road’). Obviously they couldn’t go beyond that on the face of a great upsurge and revolt against them in India.
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