A journey that originated two years ago is finally on the verge of finishing point as more than a thousand vicinities, towns, and cities in the state of Tamil Nadu as they all have undergone an amendment in its spelling or name marking the end of the project.
The state government has elucidated this step to be a move towards the re-inclusion of the native and local context in the names which had been previously passed over by the colonial government and as well as to reverberate the pronunciation of the modified names with the Tamil language.
With the implementation of these steps, the state’s second-largest city, namely it’s English name, Coimbatore shall now appear in all the official records as Koyampuththoor to resound the name with the native Tamil origins of the state. Another city, Vellore shall be renamed to Veelor while similarly, Tuticorin or Thoothukudi has an addition of ‘the’ making it, Thooththukkudi.
Although the amendments may be costly and as well as arduous on the part of the government and also baffling particularly for the non-locals but this move will help in striking a string of unanimity among the linguistic identity of the local speakers.
However, this move of renaming is not the result of any emotive appeal to vote banks or rallying against a fear of the weakening of local identity or emphasizing the dialectal vanity which has been the reason behind such steps in the past.
Such moves also framed the political spheres of the state, like the anti- Hindu activists in the year 1930s and 1960s which facilitated the rise of the Dravidian movement in the then Madras state. Predictably, when the DMK which was a by-product of the movement when holding the office in the year 1967, it renamed the state of Madras to Tamil Nadu, which essentially meant a land for Tamils which also shadowed the organizing of the World’s first Tamil Conference to mark the grandeur of the Tamil language and to rejuvenate the civilizational character of the Southern region.
Nevertheless, the new phase of this kind of reform is more concerned with a more “mature phase of linguistic sub-nationalism” unlike the character of decisions by the previous governments.