A Tulu speaking village in Kasargod, the northern district of Kerala, has changed its old name. But the reason behind it has evoked a mixed response. 

 

The traditional name of the village was ‘Maire.’ But in Malayalam, the term is used as a cuss word. 

 

On 20 December, Maire Post Office officially changed its name to Sheni PO. Kerala government had ordered in 2013 to replace Maire with Sheni, following complaints from some sections objected to the use of ‘obscene’ word as the name of the village.

 

Some government officials, who got transferred to Maire from South Kerala, found the name embarrassing and used their clout to effect the name change.

 

 The demand for a change in the name found an echo in a resolution passed by Enmakaje panchayat a few years back. 

 

But Tulu language activists say that the name Maire is derived from Mayoorapara, meaning the abode of peacocks. 

 

 The name change is an example of discrimination and neglect of Kannada linguistics minorities, B. Purushotama, president of Kannada Samanvaya Samiti told Deccan Chronicle. “The change was not a demand of the locals, but it was imposed,” he added.