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Will Goa's Vasco da Gama town go the Sambhaji gar way?

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Paji, March 16: Goa’s port town of Vasco da Gama, med after the 15th century Portuguese explorer, was once briefly called Sambhaji gar, according to Goa Speaker Rajendra Arlekar who has now called for indigenisation of the mes of places with a foreign legacy. Arlekar said the initial proposal to reme Vasco had been derailed due to “political pressure” and that the global trend of re-christening of places after mes of local icons should be practiced in Goa too. He was speaking to a select group of jourlists on the sidelines of a press conference on the 358th birth anniversary celebrations of Sambhaji, the warrior son of Maratha king Shivaji. “We should not have mes (after) foreigners. We should have our own mes. This is a worldwide trend,” Arlekar said when asked whether the port town should be med after foreigners who came to India for trade and ended up as rulers. Arlekar also reminisced about the days, when for a brief period during the regime of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), soon after the liberation of Goa in 1961 from over 450 years of Portuguese colonial rule, the town of Vasco located 35 kms from Paji, was known as Sambhaji gar. “The Vasco railway station was called Sambhaji gar. While entering Vasco there was a plaque which said Sambhaji gar and the Mormugao municipality sigge also said Sambhaji gar. “Railway tickets also had Sambhaji gar printed on them. All this was there, but the issue lagged behind due to political pressure,” said Arlekar, who is himself a long-time dweller of the port town and was once elected MLA from the Vasco constituency. While Vasco da Gama has been credited with discovering a new sea route to India in 1498, when he landed in Calicut, Sambhaji is a Maratha hero with several ballads eulogising his fight against Muslim rulers of the Deccan region and Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb. (IANS)

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