West Bengal takes a step ahead for becoming “Bangla”, with all political parties in the state approving the name to be changed in the assembly today. The new name needs the central clearance. It will be “Bangla” in all languages, according to state’s ruling council Trinamool Congress. The ruling party conquers its rival Left, which had suggested this name in 1999.
Two years ago, the Mamata Banerjee government cleared a new name with three different versions, Bangla in Bengali, Bangaal in Hindi and Bengal in English. The center suggested one uniform name for all languages. Mamata Banerjee has been searching for a new name for her state for some time now because West Bengal comes last in state lists, which means the Chief Minister gets a chance to speak last in meetings, or often not at all.
Speaking in the state assembly today, Mamata Banerjee said that the name ‘Bangla’ was chosen as “it is the identity of Bengal” and Bengal will be a problem for non-Hindi speaking people, so keeping in mind the majority of the state the name has been chosen. Most of the states have changed their names. There was talk about renaming the state during the Left Front rule. Trinamool too had taken a decision earlier. Now she does not want to go into any controversy. Rather, she said that to pass the resolution unanimously and send it to the Centre for its approval.
But the name “Bangla” also has a downside. Many Bengalis find it difficult to overlook the other meaning of the word; Bangla is a term usually used for local unbranded liquor. The state is called “Paschim Banga” or “Paschim Bangla” in Bengali till the approval arrives.
In 2011, the Left government which was led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had cleared the renaming of the state to “Paschimbanga” but it was never cleared.