According to ‘Utkal Parishad', the name was changed by the British
Demands are on in the city that the State government should take immediate measures to change the name of the city to ‘Brahmapur'.
It may be noted that since the ‘90s Indian Railways has accepted the traditional name of the city ‘Brahmapur' for all its official purposes. In all railway maps, time tables, tickets as well as the signboard in front of the city railway station bear the name of the city is mentioned as ‘Brahmapur'. It is an irony that the State government is yet to take any measures to change the name of the city to its past original name.
At present in the official records of the State government, the city bears two names. It is ‘Berhampur' in English, but the same city is named ‘Brahmapur' while written in Oriya or Hindi.
According to Pramod Panda, general secretary of cultural organisation ‘Utkal Parishad', the city was named ‘Berhampur' by the Colonial rulers as they could not pronounce ‘Brahmapur'. The misspelling due to wrong pronunciation has made generations accept a name which has no meaning linguistically, he said.
Added to it the name ‘Berhampur' also matches with the name of a town in Murshidabad district in West Bengal. There are also a few places in Orissa which bear the same name.
In the past when core-banking had not emerged, cheques and drafts used to be wrongly drawn in the name of the town in West Bengal. So, for postal addresses and banking work, people of the city used to be advised to mention the name of Ganjam district and Orissa along with the name of the city to avoid errors.
Recently a bill to rectify the name of the State from ‘Orissa' to ‘Odisha' and name of its language from ‘Oriya' to ‘Odiya' has been moved in the Parliament and it has unanimously passed in the Lok Sabha. People of the city therefore want a similar bill to be brought in the Assembly to change the name of the city.
The Ganjam Chamber of Commerce had played a major role in getting the name of the city changed to its traditional correct name during the ‘90s by approaching the then Prime Minister P.V.Narasimha Rao, who later contested and won from this parliamentary constituency. Present president of the Ganjam Chamber of Commerce, C. Ravindranath alleged that although around 15 years had passed, the State government has neglected the issue due to which in the government records name of the city could not be changed.
President of the Ganjam Bar Association, Bhagaban Sahu also criticised the negligence of the State government for the delay in changing the name of the city although Central Railway ministry could bring in the change 15 years ago .
“It is high time for the State government and the Assembly to end the colonial misspelling imposed on the inhabitants of the city through enactment of an Act,” he said.