What is in name, but Kerala govt changes the name

What is in name, but Kerala govt changes the name

“What’s in a name?” goes the adage. But, it apparently makes a difference to the Kerala government, which has finally acceded to a decade-old demand for renaming a village in the Kasargod district bordering Karnataka.

Maire village in the Enmakaje Panchayat is home to a few hundred people speaking mainly Tulu and Kannada. It shot to fame after people objected to the name, contending that Maire in Malayalam was considered obscene and had abusive connotations.

As a consequence, the village will now be called “Sheni.” The order ((g.o.477/12/rd/17/12/12) was issued last week, much to the bewilderment of the locals.

Maire got its name from the word “Mayoorapara,” which means a place where peacocks are found in abundance. “Mayooram” means peacock in both Kannada and Malayalam. With the passage of time, Mayoorapara was shortened to Maire.

The demand for changing the name gained steam around a decade ago after the Kerala government posted officials from the southern districts of the state to Maire.

It was learnt that the people had burst into laughter after an official introduced himself as a village officer from Maire, at a meeting convened by the district collector at the Kasargod Collectorate.

Officials found it embarrassing to mention Maire. Over the years, demands for renaming the village grew stronger, with some pro-Malayalam teachers and organisations backing the call.

A few years ago, the Enmakaje panchayat gram sabha passed a resolution demanding a change of name.

The resolution was sent to the state government. It was suggested that Maire be called Sheni, a much bigger place nearby. Sheni was well-known since it referred to revered Yakshagana artiste Sheni Gopal Krishna Bhat.

Some people from Kasargod had even approached former Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan and present Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash to officially rename Maire. They also roped in Kerala PCC President Ramesh Chennitala.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Sheni special village officer in-charge M Ashok Nayik confirmed the change of name. He, however, said it was not a demand by the locals, while Kerala Tulu Academy chairman Subaiyya Rai said every language “has its own beauty in its own terms.”

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