Kerala Government would look into demands for changing the official spelling of the state to "Keralam" to make it conform to the way it is pronounced in Malayalam, chief minister V S Achuthanandan told the state Assembly on Wednesday.
He, however, said a decision on the matter would be taken only after evloving a consensus through discussions with experts.
Responding to Babu M Palissery (CPI-M), who raised the issue as a submission, he said there had been demands from various quarters to change the official spelling of the state to "Keralam", as it is written and pronounced in Malayalam. They had reinforced their argument by citing instances like changing the name of "Bombay" into "Mumbai."
There was a committee headed by the revenue minister to consider the issue of changing the names of places so as to make them conform to the way they were spelt or pronounced in Malayalam. The usual practice was that before finalising the change,it would be discussed with experts and others concerned
In his submission, Palissery pointed out that colonial spelling of places like "Trichur" had already been changed to "Thrissur" and "Calicut" to "Kozhikode. So there was no justification in delaying correcting the official spelling of the state itself into "Keralam", which means "land of Keras" (coconut trees).
Pallissery said there were demands from different sections to rename the state. "They are asking if Bombay could be Mumbai, why not Keralam? The colonial spelling of places like Trichur had been changed to Thrissur and Calicut to Kozhikode. There is no justification in not correcting the state's official spelling," said the MLA. The state had constituted a committee headed by a minister to consider the issue of changing names so they match their Malayalam pronunciation.