Historians seek to give Dehli back its name

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THE Indian capital should be renamed Dehli to correct a 150-year-old mistake, according to historians in India.

They have launched a campaign to correct the "mis-spelling", which they say happened during British rule because the colonialists could not pronounce Hindi names.

K M L Misra, a former head of history at Agra College, said: "For 800 years Delhi was called Dehli but the British couldn't manage the breathy sound of Hindi and the spelling of the city later came to reflect this."

Mr Misra and several members of the Agra Archaeological Society have written to the Indian president, the secretary of cultural affairs for Delhi and the Hindustan Times demanding change.

"I don't want to injure the feelings of the British, indeed I hold them in high regard, but our government is mistaken to cling doggedly to this British mis-spelling of our capital," Mr Misra said.

In support of his argument he points to a host of other Indian place names that were altered by the British but quickly changed back after Independence.

What the British knew as Cawnpore is now Kanpur, the northern city of Muttra is Mathura, and the Ganges is known once more as Ganga.

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