“Why such fads? Elanchezhian, Mathialagan, Anbalagan
and such other curious names! Why do they coin such
names? Why all this fad? What is wrong with their original
names? Aren’t those names, musical? Why should there
be sort of propaganda for changing one’s name? It is
childish. Nonsensical. When there are all around us,
big project, brilliant and bold deeds, a small group
persists in organizing a movement for propagating such
fads. Can’t understand, what there in a name!”
Those who are on the Olympian heights, talk in such
strain, ridiculing, pooh-poohing the successful attempt
sponsored by the Dravidian movement. Especially those
at the North,; think that there is no purpose and meaning
in changing manes! When they are told that thousands
and thousands of young men and women find their original
names, disgusting and derogatory, and hence change their
names, those at the North laugh in their sleeves.
But, Adikesavan, Bhuvaragan, Narasimhan, and such other
names are changed! And at every D.M.K. meeting, one
could find anxious mothers, and doting fathers, bring
forth their children, and the speakers, adorning those
children with a new name!
Veera Mani, Pandyan, Senguttuvan, Elango, Cholan, Selvan,
and Malarkodi, Malliga, Anjugham, Alli, Sethamarai,
- the speakers are sometimes fumling for want of new
and newer names.
If this is childish and nonsensical, it will not persist
and grow – but those at the North should know that there
is a purpose behind this move, those who are responsible
for it know that purpose quite well, and what is more,
the bulk of the thinking section in the public are convinced
about the necessity for such a movement and are offering
their enthusiastic support. Not only the names of individuals,
but names of places, of institutions and festivities,
have been changed.
Only the diehards today talk about ‘Sankaranthi’ – Tamil
Nad hails the ‘Pongal’ as the ‘Thirunal’! Gone are those
old epithets, Mahaganam, Agrasanathipathi, Upanyasam,
Urchavam, Uppavasam and the like. Deepasthambam has
lost its hold, pupils today know ‘Kalangarai Vilakku!’
Such terms as Thidal – Angadi – Kavalar Illam – Manram
are now profusely being used.
‘Desam’ is not the term current now, we talk about ‘Nadu’!
Even devout Congressmen have given up the old term ‘Mahatmaji’,
but speak about him with a new enthusiasm as ‘Gandhi
These are not fads – fads cannot grow up in such numbers
and so spontaneously.
Granting, for the sake of argument, that movements like
the D.M.K. are interested in feeding the people with
fads and fancies, why is it, that the people have taken
such a strong ‘liking’ for such a move? Did not the
scholars of the Congress fold, along with their masters
in the up-country deride such a move? They did, to their
hearts’ content. But did that deter the people from
the desire? Certainly not! And why? There is no answer,
from those who know but to pour forth ridicule.
Over 100 residents here have changed the ‘uncomplimentary
names’ given to them by ignorant parents when they were
Names changed included pig thief – chicken claws – sheep
Three girls below 15 had been named ‘Mother good in
the Night’ and ‘Mistress’.
The news is flashed from Formosa.
When people from whatever clime, realize that their
names denote derogatory meaning – they do change those
names. That is indicative of their ‘new awakening’ and
their determination. They find that they have new goal
to aim at – a new way of life to be built up and on
finding their very names, obnoxious and reminiscent
of the old way of life which they detest and are determined
to change, they hasten to change their names – they
erase, as it were, a blot, and turn over a new leaf!
Farmosan youths are irritated to find their names, ugly
and obnoxious. Why should they bear a name, the meaning
of which is pig-headed!
They argue and that rightly, why should they be insulted
by such an ugly name. Hence they have changed their
names. That denotes, that they are determined to begin
a new way of thinking and life – a life wherein there
would be self-respect and dignity.
Those old names in vogue in Tamil might not be as ugly
as those in Farmosa. But none would feel happy and proud,
on being told, that name Adhikesavan, a Sanskrit term,
when translated into simple Tamil, means ‘Old Hair’
– and the name Bhuvaragan means Pig of the Earth!
Most of the names – ninety out of hundred – are Sanskrit,
and they are called from Puranas and Ithiihasas, now
the butt end of ridicule. It is not disputed today by
scholars, that these Puranas and Ithihasas depict and
propagate the Aryan way of life, and the Dravidians
endowed with a distinct and different culture and way
of life, have become, due to varuous forces, ‘converts’
to the Aryan culture and that conversion has, instead
of raising up their level, dragged them down and has
placed them as the serfs, the sinners, who could gain
salvation only by offering their services to the Aryans.
Renaissance had to put forth a stiff and difficult fight,
for its very entry in Tamil Nad. The reactionary elements
were savage. Orthodoxy has by that turn become a sort
of vested interest, and knowing that the dawn of renaissance
meant death-knell to its sway, orthodoxy fought tooth
and nail, and it used all sorts of weapons. Curses,
abuses, calumny, ridicule, derision – orthodoxy had
plenty of weapons in its armoury.
Those who hoped to keep up their power for a long long
time to come, over the sons of the soil, found to their
irritation and apprehension, that the one time serfs,
who in their ignorance took whatever was thrown before
them, were beginning to question, probe, discuss, debate
That is dangerous – they thought and they were right
in thinking like that.
For, when the old names based on Aryan Mythology were
given up, new names adorned the individuals, and these
new names were mostly culled from the annals of Tamil
Nad. The names of Tamilian kings, warriors, poets and
scholars were culled out, and have gained currency.
These new names kindle patriotism! These names have
got a message to give – they denote, vaguely though,
that Tamil Nad was once free and rich, valorous and
chivalrous! People began to catch just glimpses of the
glorious past and that kindle the fire of enthusiasm,
and the Torch of Freedom was lit.
When years ago, Swami Vedachalam, than whom Tamil Nad
has not produced a more erudite scholar, changed his
name as Marai Malai Adigal, there was an uproar!
‘This is a fad!’ announced those, who were under the
strong and tempting influence of the Aryan culture.
“This is not how the Tamil language could be or should
be improved. Such a sort of antipathy towards Sanskrit
is dangerous. It leads one to fanaticism and even irreligion.
The country should not encourage such moves!” – such
was the criticism that was let loose.
But undaunted by derision or denunciation, the movement
gathered momentum, and today most of the institutions
bear but simple and sweet Tamil names.
We were, before the advent of this movement, forced
to speak about the ‘Local Boards’ – as Sthala Sthapanam!
Even the official records use today, terms like Nagaratchi
Manram, Ooranmai Kazhagam, Mavatta Khazhagam and the
The ‘fad’ was not annihilated, it marches on claiming
new and newer victories!
Only, now and then the Congress politicians speak disparagingly,
and that too because they are afraid, that the forces
unleashed by such a new thought, would become dangerously
powerful – dangerous in the sense that it would destroy
the power which the Congress today holds.
Cultural movements cannot exist independent of political
movement –in fact only that political movement which
has for its base, a strong cultural foundation, can
become virile and vigorous, and finally victorious.
Those who began weeding out Sanskrit from Tamil works,
did that, not because they were fanatics; they knew
that that is essential, if a Tamil Nationalism is to
be forged. Today it has become a fact – it is not a
fad! May be there are still some battalions, who refuse
to come out of the marshes. But even they are conscious
of this; they cannot hold on for a long time to come
– and most of them oppose fondly thinking that their
masters would be immensely pleased. They, in their ignorance,
forget that the real masters are here – the sons of
the soil. They are determined to resurrect – and they
are going to succeed. They demand, hence, that this
State should be named, ‘Tamil Nad’.
Why such a fad? – asks the Congress, again. Knowing
full well that this demand comes not only from the D.M.K.
and allied political parties, but from Tamil scholars,
poets, dramatists, institutional heads and even heads
In no other demand is there such an unanimity and no
other party has insulted the public by such callousness.
An old man and an ardent Congressman Mr. Sankaralinganar,
fasted unto death. Tamil Nad was grief-stricken.
The one valiant man to look askance then, could be pointed
out – Mr. Kamaraj.
Only last week, the veteran dramatist, Sambandanar,
who was awarded a fitting title, requested, in moving
terms, the ministers who came there to offer their encomiums,
to name this state as ‘Tamil Nad’.
No! This movement cannot be a fad.
From France comes the news, and that at least should
act as an eye-opener to those who still hug the delusion.
Nearly 3,500 defenders of French linguistic purity,
alarmed at the Anglicization of French, have set up
a body which will for several weeks from April 1, subject
all the nation’s dailies to a searching scrutiny for
using words of foreign import instead of the good old
The members of this ‘body’ will then offer a handsome
prize to the news-paper which offends the least.
What do those who mistake shackles for ornaments, just
because they glitter, say to this French linguists’
move? Another, fad? All but these galley slaves are
to be dubbed as fads and fanatics! Wonderful courage
– born out of power!!
Having been placed on power for a long time, Congressmen
have forgotten the history of the freedom fight of various
countries – especially the annals of Ireland, which
once guided their thought and action. We should be failing
in our duty, if we do not offer assistance.
Anybody knows that Irish freedom was won because of
the prowess of the Sinn Fein Movement.
But some are apt to forget, what formed the basis for
the Sinn Feign Movement. We quote Michael Collins.
“From the germ of the language movement sprung, that
larger, wider movement known to the outside world as
the Sinn Fein Movement. But which is more descriptively
called the Irish Ireland Movement. Strictly speaking,
it was not a political movement! It aimed at creating
national self—reliance, and inducing Irishmen to speak
their own language, to cultivate their own music, art,
literature and games, and to support Irish manufacturers
by purchasing articles of native production in preference
Many would be tempted to borrow from Congress top-men
some amount of the arrogance that is in such abundance,
and ask, “What sayest thou now, you, wooden-headed babbler?
Do you still say, these are fads?” But, no, those who
desire the victory of a cause, should be dignified,
whatever the provocation. So, we shall conclude by requesting
those Congressmen of Tamil Nad who are misled by their
masters, to read and re-read what De Valera has declared.
“If I were leaving the scene to-morrow and was asked
what I would leave to the Irish people or what I would
wish to the Irish Nation, it would be, if you want to
continue to be Irish, you must save the Irish Language”.
And how could the language of a nation – Tamil, a distinct,
ancient and virile language – be saved?
Is it, by naming our children as Adhikesavan, Bhuvaragaswami
and the like? Is it by importing into the Tamil language
and culture such terms as Jathi – Archana – Yagam? Is
it by importing ‘Akashvani’? Is it by naming Tamil Nad,
None of them could answer in the affirmative. Yet, because
they are pwer-mad, they become willing tools, and wily
abettors for the Aryan cult and Hindi Imperialism –
and speak disparagingly about the National Movement,
the D.M. K.
(Editorial - 12-04-1959)