Resolution to be made by MCC Renaming Lady Hill Circle on M G Road after Philosopher and Social Reformer Sri Narayana Guru Opposed by a Local Group, has sent letters to MCC Mayor and MCC Commissioner stating, “Change of existing status quo will wound feelings of lakhs of students who have crossed the portals of their beloved Alma Mater ( St. Ann’s Lady Hill Victoria Girls High School ), hence it is just and necessary to retain the name Lady Hill Circle”.
Mangaluru : A resolution to rename Lady Hill Circle on MG Road in Mangalore after philosopher and social reformer Sri Narayana Guru who envisaged the idea of ‘One Caste, One Religion, One God for Humanity’ is expected to be part of the agenda during the second council meeting of the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) which will be chaired by Mayor Diwakar Pandeshwar o0n Tuesday, 22 September 2020. Temple authorities along with Several organizations have been demanding the circle be named after Sri Narayana Guru. Recently, a memorandum was submitted to MCC Mayor Diwakar by Friends Ballalbagh – Biruver Kudla requesting the same. The organization also had submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Mayor and Mangaluru City South MLA D Vedavyas Kamath in 2018.
If everything goes as per plan, the circle will be officially renamed during Mangaluru Dasara festival at Kudroli Sri Gokarnanatha Temple which is scheduled to be held from 17 October 2020. The Mangaluru Dasara festival at the Temple this year will be held without much pomp in the wake of the pandemic. The temple was consecrated by Sri Narayana Guru in 1912, and the Lady Hill Circle is an entry point to the Kudroli temple from the Northern side of the city. Senior BJP corporator Premanand Shetty, who is also the chief whip in the MCC council, has said that the Mayor has responded positively to the demand. “We have received requests from various organisations to rename Lady Hill Circle after the philosopher. The mayor has responded positively to the proposal. It is expected to be part of the agenda of the next council meeting. Once it is passed, the circle will be renamed after Sri Narayana Guru,” added Shetty.
Lady Hill Circle Few Years Ago!
In response to the above resolution to be made by Mangaluru City Corporation, along with Mayor Diwakar and MLA Vedavyas Kamath, a local group opposing the move had written letters to MCC Mayor and MCC Commissioner, which states the following –
Sub:- Objection regarding change of name of Lady Hill Junction (Lady Hill Circle)
With reference to the above, we bring to your notice following aspects regarding Ladyhill Circle, Mangaluru.
1. Lady Hill has its own historical significance. The Apostolic Carmel Sisters landed in Mangaluru from Beyonne, France and started its Mission of Education. In 1885, when Mother Marie Des Anges, the First Superior General came down to Mangaluru, local people requested her to open a school for girls, in this place which was a hilly area. In the said area St. Ann’s Lady Hill Victoria Girls High School was started. A large number of girls were being educated in the said school. The term Lady Hill assumes its importance mainly for the reasons that girl children were provided education. As a mark of respect for the women empowerment everybody called the area as a “Lady Hill”. Thousands of women have been benefited through education here. Hence historical significance of this area cannot be allowed to be changed, since more than 100 years of the said place is called ‘Lady Hill Junction/Lady Hill Circle’.
2. Change of existing status quo will wound feelings of lakhs of students who have crossed the portals of their beloved Alma Mater. Hence it is just and necessary to retain the name Lady Hill.
3. Apart from the above, Nationalized banks like Canara Bank, South Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda etc. and there are educational institutions too which are run under the name and style Lady Hill Pre Primary School, Lady Hill English Primary School, Lady Hill Kannada Higher Primary School, Lady Hill High School, Lady Hill P.U College, for more than 100 years.
4. Even for Bus permits it is mentioned as Lady Hill Junction and there are a number of buses that ply through the said junction. So also, Karnataka Bank has been permitted to design, construct and maintain Lady Hill Circle at Ladyhill Junction for a period of three years as per its resolution of Mangaluru City Corporation dated 30.01.2020 in its proceedings No. ಮನಪಾ/ಎಂ.ವಿ1/ಸಿಆರ್-ಅ.ಕೊ 89-2019-20/ಎಫ್6. So also, as per Mangaluru City Corporation resolution No. 98/2018-19, dated 28.02.2019 passed a resolution to name the road between “Lady Hill Junction to New Chitra Junction” as “Sri Gokarnanatha Kshetra Rasthe”. (Ref: Not Smart! Traffic Movement Upgradation at Lady Hill Junction is like a Obstacle Course for Pedestrians?
Therefore, we request your good selves not to permit any changes and continue the status quo as it is.
In my perspective, I want to ask, “Is it really necessary to change a street name or a Circle name which has been existing for decades, to a new name which will never be honored/used by anyone in case it gets materialized. Look at some of the new street names which have replaced the old names- and hardly anyone uses them. Like the old name as”Jogi Mutt Road”, which was changed to Sri Vivekananda Road, (from Nanthoor stretch to Kadri Park)- everyone still calls it “Jogi Mutt Road”. Similarly Falnir Road was rechristened as Mother Teresa Road, but everyone still uses “Falnir Road” in their communications, and even business signs carry the old street name. And then we have ‘Dr Ambedkar Circle’, but 99% of the people still call it ‘Jyothi Circle’. So, do you think, this idea of renaming ‘Lady Hill Circle’ to ‘Sri Narayan Guru’ is a right thing to do by Mangaluru City Corporation, and the Netas.
Many citizens want to keep the old street names because they have become a part of their identity. For many of us, street names are no more than simple signposts. Many experts believe it does. If nothing else, most of us say or type our street name on a daily basis, as we give our physical address over the telephone or enter it into a website. For most of us, it is our cultural capital, our cultural history. And it is observed in the breach – you most notice it when a street name is changed. It’s the same as a church or a temple or Mosque being knocked down: you may never have walked into that church/temple/Mosque, you may not be religious, and yet, to most of us, it is an affront, an insult: Someone has changed my environment without consulting me.
How the streets get their new names is a fascinating story, and one that highlights the tension between those in power and those they rule. In this regard, it could be the power or influential connection of a “Particular” community which has been trying to dominate Mangaluru City in many issues- and now wants to change a Catholic Road name. And that MCC is bowing down to them is not right- MCC which should be neutral in such decisions and should not go out of its way-thereby creating disharmony among communities. That environment is evolving all the time, but changing street names etc, as MCC is doing in this regard is unusual. Some locals are really anal about what streets are called, others don’t care that much. Street names have substantial symbolic and historical value, and conflicts over the naming – and renaming – of streets have become a regular part of regime changes.
Sources reveal that there is a Protocol for renaming roads- Every time a road or an area is renamed, questions are raised over the procedure and logic behind the process. Names can be mooted by anyone, either the public or the MCC council. The proposal for renaming is then published in newspapers and objections are invited. On receiving objections, they are discussed in the council for approval. In the absence of a council, the administrator takes a decision. The approved resolution is moved to the Urban Development Department, Government of Karnataka which renames places in the city, it is said. After this, an intimation about the same is sent to the Department of Posts. Will the protocol be followed in this case?
Will this move by MCC and MLA lead to a controversy just like we had two years ago, when it was decided to rename ‘St Aloysius College Road’ to ‘Mulky Sunder Ram Shetty Road’, the man behind the Vijaya Bank Ltd growth. (Ref:‘We’re Ready for a Win Win Situation’- SAC Rector on Road Renaming Issue ) (Ref : Road Renaming Solution! Name it ‘Aloysius Shetty Idgah Gudde Road’? Ha..ha ). And now with yet another renaming of a Circle to a different name, could end up in controversy. Look what happened to the fight between two parties, one education institution and the other Banking Sector- in the end there were no positive results- the road name still stands as ‘Light House Hill Road” for many, and for the Jesuit community, it remains as “St Aloysius College Road”?
Seems like only Jesus, Ram, Allah can solve this up-coming issue. Oh Jesus! Oh Ram! Oh Allah! -only these deities can come to the rescue if people of all communities start fighting in a battle of renaming a Circle/junction. There are chances that community members of different faiths, namely Christians, Hindus and Muslims will wake up to make this issue more complicated, more controversial, leading to communal disharmony. Controversy over renaming of Lady Hill Circle’ may refuse to die down. So, it would be wise, that a compromise could be made in this issue, to avoid unnecessary trouble. Anyways, in the end who wins this battle, we will have to wait and see!