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Even the Oxford has its bad moments

Staff Reporter

Kannada organisations upset about the entries for Bangalore, Hubli and Mysore in the dictionary


  • It says Kempe Gowda was a local chief in Hoysala kingdom
  • The organisation have called for a protest against the book

    BANGALORE: Listen Bangaloreans. You have a lot to do with Bengalis. In fact, most of you actually spoke Bengali, according to the hallowed Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names (2005) edited by John Everett-Heath.

    The entry for Bangalore reads: A city which takes its name from the fact that it was founded as a mud fort in 1537 by Kempe Gowda, a local chief in the Hoysala kingdom, in an area where the population spoke mainly Bengali. The Bengalis took their name from a chief called Banga.

    No wonder some citizens are bristling with indignation over this twist.

    Upset that a reputed institution has committed such a faux pas hurting Kannadiga sentiments, Ra. Nam. Chandra Shekara, convener of the Kannada Geleyara Balaga, and V.C. Chinnegowda, president of the KSRTC Kannada Kriya Samithi, told The Hindu that they would burn a copy of the book on Monday on Mahatma Gandhi Road.

    They are also upset about the entries for Bangalore, Hubli and Mysore.

    Mr. Shekara pointed out that Bangalore had nothing to do with Bengalis. Tradition had it that the name emerged from Bendakaluru.

    He said he was deeply hurt about the misinformation because people would believe it because it had been published by a reputed institution.

    Chieftain

    He also pointed out that Kempe Gowda was a chieftain who had nothing to do with the Hoysala kingdom, having built Bangalore during the reign of the Vijayanagara rulers. The entry for Mysore says the city's name means that it is a "city of buffalos".

    Though it is true that the name comes from Mahishi (which means a buffalo), Mysore was never a City of Buffalos. The name came from Mahishasura, the demon. It was like referring to Kempaiah as Red Father (Kempu = red and aiah = father), he said.

    Hubli

    The meaning of Hubli, on the other hand, is given as Old Village, whereas it is a derivative of Hu-Balli (flower and creeper).

    Protest

    Mr. Shekara and Mr. Chinnegowda said Kannada organisations such as Kannada Janashakthi, Karmika Loka, Kendriya Nagara Kannada Sangha and Bangalore Nagara Zilla Sahitya Parishat would participate in the protest.

    A memorandum was being prepared and they demanded that the book be withdrawn immediately.

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