Kannadigas of Kasargod concerned over name change

Fate of 'Maire' triggers concerns of name change among Kannadigas of Kasargod

Kasargod district collector Sajith Babu reiterated that no decision to change name of any places were taken

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The precedent of changing the name of 'Maire' village in Enmakaje panchayat in Kasargod to that of 'Sheni' several years back seems to be aggravating the concerns among the Kannadigas in Kasargod that Kannada names of many places in the border areas may be modified to Malayalam in the due course.

Even as Kerala government denies the reports that a decision to change names of many places were already taken, sources point out that the names of places like 'Manjeshwar' are given as 'Manjeshwaram' in Kerala government's revenue department's online portal.

Kerala Tulu Academy Chairman Umesh M Salian said that the district administration said that it was due to clerical errors and directions were already issued to rectify those. Names of around 15 villages in Manjeshwar and Kasargod taluks were facing an issue of being misspelt owing to the Malayalam pronunciation.

Read | Karnataka leaders object to changing of Kannada names in Kerala's Kasargod district

Kasargod district collector Sajith Babu reiterated that no decision to change name of any places were taken. Former Kerala revenue minister E Chandrasekharan, who is a ruling front MLA from the district, and Kasargod MP Rajmohan Unnithan of the Congress, also reacted that they did not come across any such moves.

Kannadigas in Kasargod said that the Kannada names of many places like Manjeshwar were being widely used as 'Manjeshwaram' in documents, hoardings and online applications.

The Kerala government general administration department issued a directive to the district collector in 2016 that only the original names of places should be used in all documents. This was following a memorandum given by the Kannada Samanvaya Samathi in 2016 expressing concerns over replacing the original Kannada names of many places with that of Malayalam based on pronunciation. In this January also the district collector issued a directive in this regard to all government agencies.

Read | Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa to talk to Kerala CM on renaming villages

Muraleeedhara of the Kannadiga Samathi is Kasargod said that the frequent use of the Malayalam names, though unofficially, may lead to the Kannada names of places fading into history and would suffer the fate of 'Maire'.

It was in 2013 Kerala government gave nod for a proposal of the Enmakaje panchayat to change the name 'Maire' (also spelt as Myre) as it has an abusive connotation in Malayalam. It indeed derived from Kannada name 'Mayoora Para', a region where peacocks were seen in plenty. Embarrassment of some Kerala government officials posted in the locality in identifying themselves as officers from 'Maire' was said to be the triggering factor for the name change. Now the region is now known by the name Sheni.

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