The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Debarghya Poddar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur.
With the origin of Gurgaon’s name tracing back to ancient Hindu scriptures, the land is believed to have been owned by the legendary rulers Pandavas and Kauravas, who presented it to Guru Dronacharaya, their royal guru for warfare, as an appreciation of his training.
Gurgaon, the largest city in Haryana now has a new name. Haryana government, on April 12, decided to the change the name of Gurgaon to ‘Gurugram’ and the neighbouring Mewat district to ‘Nuh’.
According to online media reports, Manohar Lal Khattar’s government said that it was the people’s demand that the city, which has historically been a center of education for princes, be renamed as ‘Gurugram’. Gurugram is said to be its historical name.
“Haryana is a historic land of the Bhagwat Gita and Gurgaon had been a centre of learning. It had been known as Gurugram since the times of Guru Dronacharya. Gurgaon was a great center of education,” a government official said in a statement.
A brief history of the city:
- The area became part of an extensive kingdom ruled over by Rajputs of Yaduvansi or the Jadaun tribe in ancient times. It was annexed by Babur when the Mughals conquered India
- By 1803, most of it came under the British rule with the fall of the Mughal Empire
- After India attained independence, Gurgaon fell under the Indian state of Punjab. In 1966, the city came under the administration of Haryana with the creation of the new state
- The city’s economic growth story started when the leading Indian automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India Limited established a manufacturing plant in Gurgaon in the 1970s
- Spread over an area of 732 kilometre squares, Gurgaon currently has a population of 1.7 million people. It is also a part of the National Capital Region (NCR) of India.
Is this name change a need of the hour?
I don’t think so, the Haryana government’s decision to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram is unwarranted and will cause needless confusion and expenditure (“Gurgaon will now be called Gurugram”, April 13). To say that the name change stems from the people’s long-standing demand is a diversionary tactic. The political class resorts to such gimmicks only to deflect people’s attention from more pressing day-to-day problems. Whether the name change will bring about an improvement in the living conditions of the marginalised sections is anybody’s guess.