Paschimbanga gets mixed responses

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, Aug 20: As usual, not everyone is happy with the rechristening of West Bengal as Paschimbanga. The decision has evoked a mixed response among the city intellectuals with most of them questioning the use of 'Paschim' (or West) in the name.

Paschimbang, is the way some people in West Bengal and neighbouring Orissa refer to the state.

Sahitya Akademi Award winning author Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, was quoted as saying, "Where's the change? It has been merely translated to Bengali. I have strong reservation against the use of Paschim (west) in the name. The change is for the sake of change, there is no essence behind the change. I thought they would use Banga, or Bangabhoomi, but they didn't."

Eminent theatre personality Bhibhas Chakraborty was more scathing in his criticism as he said, "It's no change at all. Why the word Paschim is there? Where's the place for a Paschim or a West? Ideally it should have been Bangla or Bangabhoomi."

But there was not criticism alone that came on the new name, as legendary magician PC Sircar Jr expressed happiness over the decision. He said, "I am very happy and excited. Finally Bengali sentiments have been honoured. No other state in the country has an English name except ours. The new name will remind the coming generation about the painful history of division of Bengal. It will help them grow strong."

Sunil Gangopadhyay, a noted poet and literary personality had his own reservations over the use of Paschim in the name, but nevertheless was happy with the usage of a Bengali name. He was quoted as saying, "Paschim is redundant, wonder why it is still there. Wherever you go, people refer to the state as Bengal. You will hardly find anyone saying Paschim or West Bengal. Though I am glad a Bengali name has been given."

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