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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan says ‘not considering’ changing names of villages from Kannada to Malayalam

Karnataka leaders cutting across party lines had written to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan requesting him to halt the process of renaming villages from Kannada to Malayalam.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: June 30, 2021 11:37:11 am
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal, File)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Tuesday said his government was not planning to change the names of villages in Kasaragod district, which borders Karnataka. His clarification came amid objections raised by Karnataka leaders over reports of Kannada names being changed to Malayalam in some areas.

Addressing a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Vijayan said, “This is a classic example of how no news is made up as news reports. I was wondering from where such an issue originated. It has to be checked whether there is any conspiracy behind it.”

Karnataka leaders cutting across party lines had written to Vijayan on the same day requesting him to halt the process of renaming villages.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurppa, in a letter to Vijayan, had said, “The Kannada-speaking areas of Kasaragod district, in which Manjeshwar and Kasaragod are situated, are famous for their traditional culture and historical background. Names of the places in Kasaragod and Manjeshwar are close to the emotions of people, and carry immense sentimental value for them from time immemorial.”

“It is astonishing to note that in the recent past, there is an attempt by the local bodies to change names of some villages without giving an opportunity to the residents of these areas to express their views,” Yediyurappa added.

Vijayan told the press he was yet to receive the letter from the Karnataka Chief Minister.

Karnataka Opposition leader Siddaramaiah, meanwhile, wrote a letter to Vijayan as well urging his government not to change the names of places. “It is unfortunate there are local bodies in Kasargod taking decisions to change the names of a few villages, derived from Kannada and Tulu. The people of Kasargod share a unique relationship with Kannada and are emotionally connected with the village names. Any attempts to rename the villages will demoralise them and make them feel alienated from their homeland. It is essential to ensure that anti-social elements do not disturb the sense of universal brotherhood,” he said.

“I request you to kindly address the issue, speak to the authorities, and ensure such attempts are not made again,” Siddaramaiah added.

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