Kannada Names To Be Changed In Kerala Villages? Karnataka Leaders Object

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BS Yediyurappa wrote, “I also feel the Kerala government may not have the intention to change names”.

Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram:

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has written to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan to request him to stop change of original Kannada names of villages in the border districts of Kasaragod and Manjeshwar.  Mr Yediyurappa’s predecessor, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, has also written to Mr Vijayan, asking that the renaming process be halted.

“Names of the villages in Kasaragod and Manjeshwara are very close to the emotions of people and carry immense sentimental value to them from time immemorial. Hence it is very astonishing to note that in the recent past there is an attempt by the local bodies to change names of some villages without giving any opportunity to the residents of these areas to express their views. The change of villages’ names would affect the feelings of the people and their sentiments detrimentally. This would also destroy Kannada and Tulu culture, which is in existence since so very long,” Mr Yediyurappa wrote to the Kerala Chief Minister.

“The existing names (of the villages) were predominantly from Kannada and Tulu languages. In some places, it is a mixture of Kannada and Tulu names. Some of the names of these villages have a long history of several centuries,” his letter read.

“I also feel that the Kerala government may not have the intention to change the names of these villages and this may have been a unilateral decision of the local bodies of these villages,” his letter added.

The Kerala government has denied there is any such move.  “Kerala has no plans to make any such changes,” Local Self Government Minister MV Govindan told NDTV on phone.

Dr D Sajith Babu the Kasaragod collector said he had “no idea” what this was about. “There is not even a single file on this existing before me. There has nothing been initiated on this. I don’t know where is this coming from,” he told NDTV.

Earlier today, the Karnataka government had expressed concern that the Kannadigas and Malayalis in Kasaragod and Manjeshwara are living harmoniously and any change in name will have repurcussion.

“It is not appropriate to change the Kannada names of villages which have its own cultural and historical values,” the government had said in a statement after the Chief Minister’s meeting with Dr C Somashekar, chairman of the Karnataka Border Development Authority for a discussion on the issue.

Dr Somashekar had written to Kerala minister PA Mohammed Riyas on Sunday, asking him to stall their decision of changing the names in view of people’s sentiments.

“Some local bodies are attempting to change the names of Kannada-speaking villages in Kasaragod district, Kerala, without any consultation with people. This would destroy Kannada and Tulu culture, existing here for long,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

“The names of Madhuru-Madhuram, Malla-mallam, and other divine fields are also changing. In a letter to Kerala PWD and Revenue Minister, I have requested them to stall their decision of changing the names and not hurt people’s emotions,” he had said.



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