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Reconsider changing Kannada names of villages in Kasargod: BSY to Vijayan

Bengaluru Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday wrote to his Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan, to reconsider the decision to rename some villages in Kasargod and Manjeshwar
PUBLISHED ON JUN 29, 2021 12:29 AM IST

Bengaluru Chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday wrote to his Kerala counterpart, Pinarayi Vijayan, to reconsider the decision to rename some villages in Kasargod and Manjeshwar.

“The Kannada speaking areas of Kasargod district, in which Manjeshwara and Kasargod are situated are famous for their traditional culture and historical background. Names of the villages in Kasargod and Manjeshwara are very close to the emotions of people and carry immense sentimental value to them from time immemorial,” Yediyurappa said in his letter.

He added that it was “very astonishing” to note that there were attempts by local bodies to change names of some villages without giving any opportunity to the residents of these areas to express their views.

He said that the change in names would affect the feelings of the people. “This would also destroy Kannada and Tulu culture, which is in existence for very long,” the letter added.

The letter comes a day after former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, in a series of tweets, asked Vijayan not to change the names of these villages.

Yediyurappa said that the change in the names of these villages is likely affect the harmony, comity and brotherhood among the population there.

Karnataka’s forest and Kannada and culture minister Aravind Limbavali wrote to the chief minister regarding Kerala government’s move to change names of border villages in the state from Kannada to Malayalam.

He said the Kerala government is implementing its decision to change the Kannada names of villages in Kasargod and Manjeshwar taluks, which border Karnataka, into Malayalam.

“Kannada speaking people are in high number in these taluks. They have been speaking Kannada and also following Kannada culture for several centuries. The Kannada name of every village reflects the culture of the local residents. The people too are emotionally attached to these names,” the minister said in the letter.

The government should have at least discussed the matter with the local residents and taken their opinion before making the move. The present decision, therefore, is totally unilateral, Limbavali said.

“We must strongly oppose the move of the Kerala government as a move to protect Kannada culture. Since the issue is about emotions of the people and also a sensitive one,” he said and requested Yediyurappa to write to his Kerala counterpart and urge him to withdraw the decision to rename the villages into Malayalam.

Kasargod in Kerala has a large Kannada speaking population and has deep ties to the coastal belt of Karnataka.

Kumaraswamy on Monday wrote a letter to Vijayan asking the latter to reconsider his decision to rename these villages which would retain the Kannada meaning but in Malayalam.

“If this is indeed correct, may I sincerely request you to halt the process in the name of the linguistic harmony and cultural co-existence. Kasargod, although a part of Kerala, has had a seamless affinity with Karnataka for decades, and people in the area have always been accommodative of each other’s linguistic heritage. It would be wonderful to continue this tradition. There is an argument that the name change may not affect the meaning, but to allow the village names to retain the original Kannada flavour would be greatly appreciated,” Kumaraswamy wrote in his letter.

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