KOZHIKODE: ‘Maire’, a Tulu dominated village in Kasargod has lost its last ethnic link. On December 20, Kasargod Post office Superintendent released a notification changing the name of Maire Post Office to Sheni PO. This follows the Kerala government order in March 2013 which changed the decade-old name of the village from Maire to Sheni. Maire in Enmakaje gram panchayat shot to fame after people, allegedly outsiders objected to the name, contending that Maire in Malayalam had obscene and abusive connotations. “The name change was part of the utter neglect towards Kannada linguistics minorities. The change was not a demand of the locals but it was imposed,” says B. Purushotama, president of Kannada organization, Kannada Samanvaya Samiti.
Maire got its name from the word ‘Mayoorapara,’ which means a place where peacocks are found in abundance. ‘Mayooram’ means peacock in both Kannada and Malayalam. With the passage of time, Mayoorapara was shortened to Maire.
The demand for changing the name gained momentum around a decade ago after government posted officials from the southern districts to Maire. The story goes that people laughed after an official introduced himself as a village officer from Maire, at a meeting convened at Kasargod Collectorate. Officials found it embarrassing to mention Maire.
A few years ago, Enmakaje panchayat gram sabha passed a resolution demanding a change of name. The resolution was sent to the state government. Thus, Maire become Sheni, a much bigger place nearby from where well-known Yakshagana artiste Sheni Gopal Krishna Bhat hails. Kasargod district collector K. Jeevan Babu told DC that the name change of the post office was just a follow-up of the change of the village name. “To avoid confusion, correspondence to the place is still written as Maire-Sheni,” he said....