God’s Own Country wants to embrace its traditional name.
A resolution moved by the Kerala chief minister to rename the state ‘Keralam’, which is what it is called in Malayalam, has been passed unanimously by the Assembly.
The House has also urged the Centre to take “immediate steps” to amend the name under Article 3 of the Constitution, which deals with the formation of states as well as any changes to the names or areas of existing states.
Tabling the resolution today, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The name of our state is Keralam in the Malayalam language. States were formed based on language on November 1, 1956. Kerala Day is also on November 1. The need to unite Kerala for the Malayalam-speaking communities has been strongly evident since the time of the national freedom struggle.”
“However, the name of our state is listed as Kerala in the First Schedule of the Constitution. This Assembly unanimously requests the Union Government to take immediate steps to amend it to ‘Keralam’ under Article 3 of the Constitution. This House also requests that our state be renamed as ‘Keralam’ in all the languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution,” he added.
The First Schedule of the Constitution lists the states and Union Territories and their territorial jurisdictions, while the Eighth Schedule lists the 22 official languages of India.
The resolution was accepted by the opposition United Democratic Front alliance, led by the Congress, which did not suggest any amendments to it. Based on a show of hands, the resolution was then declared as unanimously adopted by Speaker AN Shamseer.
Last year, the Centre had informed the Lok Sabha that it had given its approval for the renaming of seven cities and towns – including Allahabad to Prayagraj – in five years.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had also said that the Centre had received a proposal from the West Bengal government to rename the state as ‘Bangla’.
The names of cities and towns can be changed by states with the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs, but changing a state’s name requires the Parliament’s approval.
Over the years, Kerala has reverted to the original names for many of its towns and cities, including the capital Trivandrum, which is now called Thiruvananthapuram. Cochin went back to the traditional Kochi, Quilon to Kollam and Trichur to Thrissur.
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