Tamil Nadu withdraws order changing names of over 1,000 places

South India

Bowing to pressure from various quarters, the Tamil Nadu government has 'withdrawn' its order on replacing anglicised versions of Tamil names of over 1,000 localities in the state with Tamil ones.

State Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture, K Pandiarajan said that the order has been withdrawn as the government was working on alignment of views by experts on transliteration standards and added that the government will reissue the order shortly after making necessary changes.

"We are working on alignment of views by experts on Transliteration standards from Tamil to English. Hopefully, we should get this released in 2/3 days," he said in a tweet. "The GO on the change of English names for Tamil names for places has been withdrawn. Will absorb all feedback and reissue (it) shortly," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

The government had come up with new spellings in English for 1,000 plus localities, including cities and villages. Accordingly, the textile city of Coimbatore was proposed to have been called Koyampuththoor, Vellore as Veeloor and Dindigul as Thindukkal, among others with the issuance of the Government Order.

Though the move had earlier found resonance with Tamil lovers, it also drew flak from many including netizens, who had questioned its timing amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, a News Minute report said.

In Coimbatore, netizens even started an online petition calling for retention of the old name. Some suggested that a simple 'Kovai' could do. Stalin, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, said the government should have consulted experts before taking a decision on the matter.

An official had said last week that the anglicised versions do not reflect the original Tamil names.

Image Credit: Local Samosa

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