Crucial Craziness

50 Chennai roads to be renamed

on June 15, 2010

The news report that made me ponder today was about the renaming of 50 roads in Chennai.

It said that the Chennai Corporation has planned to replace the names of all roads named after foreigners with names of Tamil Scholars and contributors to the language.

This is to commemorate the World Tamil Classical Meet (தமிழ் செம்மொழி மாநாடு) that would be held at Coimbatore from June 23-27.


The names of our very own Sterling Road,Pantheon,GreamsPatullos Road,Casa Major,Madley,Coates,Whites road etc etc would now abolished.


Renaming of these roads would require a change in Gazette and various modifications in Postal and other Legal Records.Though its not a big deal at all,what about the people?Will we be able to adopt ourselves to the new names?

Earlier,Mount Road was renamed Anna Salai,but none calls it that way.Mount Road has always remained to be Mount Road.And Avvai Shanmugham Salai is well and better known to be Lloyds Road.The abolishment of the names such as Mudali,Pillai,Chetti etc from the street and road names a few years back was fine.That was required!But now,we feel like should we really need this change?It would only bring about more confusion.


Madley was an Engineer in the waterworks department and it was under his supervision that almost all the drains in Madras was laid.Coates was an Engineer who takes the credit of developing most of the backward areas.They were great people who have worked for the development of our city;they aren’t aliens or British Tyrants.

While these names cause no hindrance,why do we need them to be changed?

I won’t surprise if the new names would be Kanimozhi Salai,Azhagiri Salai,Dayalu,Rasatthi,Karunanidhi Salai etc-the people who have greatly contributed to Tamil!


How can this new order help in enriching Tamil?Will it make people curious to learn the literature,read novels and study ‘Sanga Ilakkiyam'(Ancient Tamil Literature)?


Instead of renaming ,the corporation could please lay good roads and maintain them.That is more desired now.


                         FINAL QUESTION: Will our Deputy CM ‘STALIN’ also be renamed????


[Thanks to historian V.Sriram,one of whose articles helped me to quote about the British Officials who developed Madras]


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