Following outrage over reports of a proposed change of names by Kerala of various villages in the border district of Kasaragod, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has assured that he would write to the state's CM Pinarayi Vijayan seeking status quo.
Various leaders including former CM H D Kumaraswamy had taken to Twitter, objecting to the ‘Malayalamisation’ of names of villages in the border districts — which have been disputed owing to the predominance of Kannada-speaking people there.
Kumaraswamy also wrote to Vijayan reiterating the demand for retaining the ‘original Kannada flavour’ of the district.
Member of Parliament for Mysore and Kodagu, Pratap Simha, tweeted with an image of the proposed changed names.
As per the tweet, Madhuru will be known as Madhuram, Malla-Mallam, Karadka—Kadagam, Bedadka—Bedagam, Kumble—Kumbla, Pilikunje— Pilikunnu, Anebagilu—Anavadukkal, Hosadurga—Pudiyakota, Sasihitlu— Thaivalappu and Mahasatigundi— Mastikundu.
Karnataka Border Development Authority Chairman Dr C Somashekar met Yediyurappa on Monday regarding the move to change names of villages in Kasargod and Manjeshwar.
Yediyurappa said that the matter has already come to his notice and assured that he would write to his Kerala counterpart requesting him to retain the original Kannada names of villages.
The CM also said that he would request the Kerala Chief Minister to immediately stop the process of changing the names.
"Kannadigas and Malayalis in Kasaragod and Manjeshwara are living harmoniously. It is not appropriate to change the Kannada names of villages, which have their own cultural and historical values,” he added.
“The Kannada-speaking areas of Kasargod district, in which Manjeshwara and Kasargod are situated, are famous for their traditional culture and historical background...the existing manes were predominantly from Kannada and Tulu language. 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,” said Yediyurappa, as quoted.
Somashekhar accused local organisations of possibly having attempted to change names without bringing it to the notice of the Kerala government.
Meanwhile, Kerala has denied news reports suggesting a change in nomenclature and said there were no plans to make any such changes. Minister for Local Self-government, M V Govindan Master's office, as per reports, denied the news and said the Kerala government had not taken any step to change the names of any place in Kasaragod district.
Manjeshwar MLA A K M Ashraf, who recently made news after taking oath in Kannada as the Muslim League candidate, too rubbished the reports.
“Someone from the Karnataka Border Development Authority has come up with this news. There are no plans to change the names of the places," he said, as reported.
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