> > Please tell me what other motive could there be to go through all this
> > trouble and expense in renaming several large cities?
> Let me put this question the other way. Why did the British change the
> original names of these cities if not for their superiority complex???
Misinterpretetion is likely the real reason; however, I ain't got a clue as
to Madras/Chennai. Madras is not an English word, and neither is Calcutta
nor is Bombay for that matter.
This is besides the point though ~ why di the names revert back to Chennai
etc. if nothing more than nationalistic pride?
> > New Delhi should be added to you list of examples, except it wasn't
> > rulers that built this particular city....
> That shows your lack of knowledge of Indian history. Delhi(pronounced
> Dilli in Hindi or Hindustani language) came into prominence as a city
> only during the Mughal rule. It was their headquarters when they united
> most of India under the name Hindustan. Originally, Delhi was a small
> dwelling place by the Hindu name of Indraprastha. New Delhi is an
> extension of Delhi that came into being after India got independence
> and built the national capital in that area.Nobody complained when
> Indraprtashtha became Delhi because it was majorly built by the Mughal
> ruler(i think Mohd-bin-Tughlaq).
I thought that Sir Edward Luytens designed New Delhi?
Calcutta was the historic centre of the British presence in India, and
effectively the capital of the British East India Company. However, Delhi
had been the historic capital of much of the subcontinent for long historic
periods. In particular, it had been the most recent capital of the Mughals.
There remained an association with Imperial grandeur that the British Raj
tried to use by holding several durbars for the Viceroy and visiting
Royalty. In 1911, at the King-Emperor George V's Coronation Durbar, the
announcement was made that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from
Calcutta to Delhi.
New Delhi was laid out to the south of the older city constructed by Shah
Jahan, which is now often referred to as Old Delhi. However, New Delhi
overlays many of the previous cities constructed there; hence it includes
many monuments of previous cities, and constructions.
Much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose
central administrative area as a testament to British imperial pretensions.
Rajpath - then Kingsway - stretched from the War Memorial - now India Gate
to the Viceroy's House - Rashtrapati Bhavan atop Raisina Hill. The scale,
extravagance and magnificence of New Delhi was not unlike Washington, or
Haussmann and his patron Napoleon III's Paris, both cities designed to awe
the newcomer with the power of the central State. The Mughal garden of
Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed with more regard to India's climate and
design tradition, following a conversation with Constance Villiers-Stuart.
Tucked away are other clues to the worldview of the designers; Herbert
Baker's Parliament House is barely visible from Rajpath, as deliberative
democracy was not a central part of Britain's plans for India; in fact, the
main entrance to the Central Secretariat North Block declares "Liberty will
not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty. It is a
blessing which must be earned before it can be enjoyed"