The elite that affects cosmopolitan airs derides de restoration of pre-colonial names or name forms for cities as "provincial" or worse. They wouldn't dare to say that to Robert Mugabe who restored Rhodesia to its ancient glory as "Zimbabwe". But they do say it to harmless people such as the Hindus who want to de-anglicize "Delhi".
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/printable/7112/: An article by one Sadhvi Sharma expresses the Anglo-secular elite's impatience with "provincial" attempts at restoring old city names such as Mumbai for Bombay and, according to her, "Dilli" for Delhi. She falsely claims that the common people don't support these endonyms (indigenous names). To create this impression, she uses the typical Time/Newsweek trick of interviewing one or two people on the street, possibly real but certainly unrepresentative, who by coincidence express as their own the elite viewpoint buttressed by a one-dimensionalist argument about how these names don't affect their "real" (i.e. economic) concerns.
In the name-change debate, the usual double standars apply: indignation over the Hindu-nationalist Shiv Sena's "Mumbai", tacit acceptance of the Communist Party (Marxist)'s "Kolkata" or the ethnic-chauvinst Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's "Chennai". But that's so common we needn't discuss it here. What does raise my curiosity, however, is the choice of "Dilli" (the present colloquial Hindi form) as the supposed original of "Delhi". That is most certainly wrong, and seems to exemplify how even educated Hindi-speakers are losing the grasp of their own language.
The original was "Dhillika", and that the /h/ shifted due to the Persian aversion to aspirated occlusive consonants like /dh/ (cfr. Sindhu > Hindu), hence "Dihli-", which in turn was messed up by the British to "Delhi". There is, as Sarvesh Tiwari informs me, also an old name "Devali".
At any rate, if the name must be restored to its original form, why not go the whole hog and return to the name given to the capital by its founder Yudhishthira hero of the Mahabharata, probably ca. 1500 BC), viz. "Indraprastha"? That is what the Hindu-nationalist party Jan Sangh used to promise decades ago, and likewise "Karnavati" for Gujarat's metropolis Ahmedabad. And promises should be kept. As Ms. Sharma notes, the Shiv Sena promised Mumbai, and implemented the name change not long after coming to power.
But the Jan Sangh or at any rate its successor party BJP is made of mellower stuff. The BJP has been in power numerous years at the city, state and central levels in Delhi and Ahmedabad, and yet no move was ever made in this direction. Possibly the present crisis in the BJP will churn up a new resolve to get serious about the Hindu nationalist agenda. Restoring the capital to its traditional name would be a resounding international statement of self-respect.