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Tamil Nadu withdraws order changing place names

Chennai: In a sudden development, the Tamil Nadu government government withdrew its recent order changing the English spellings of 1,018 place names so as to follow the Tamil pronounciation.

The government order changing place names drew flak from several quarters for its lack of consistency and clarity and for its timing amidst the COVID-19 crisis. However, Tamil writers welcomed the move.

Tamil culture minister Ma.Foi. K Pandiyarajan said in a tweet Thursday:  “We are working on alignment of views on transliteration standards from Tamil to English. Hopefully, we should get this released in two/three days. The G.O. on the change of English names…has been withdrawn. Will absorb all feedback and reissue shortly.”

Earlier, industrialist Gopal Sreenivasan had tweeted on the issue, quoting Dravidian ideologue Suba Veerapandian that if the government really wanted to help restore the authenticity (of place names in Tamil) it should first provide a standard for English spellings. “It is not too late for a transliteration standard!”

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