CHENNAI: Madras was officially renamed Chennai in 1996. Over the years, many Chennai streets named after British people have been renamed after Tamil scholars. Now, an omnibus order to change the names of all places — villages to towns — is coming soon. Just as Triplicane was originally Thiruvallikkeni, names of numerous places will be called and written as they are in Tamil.
This was one of many announcements made by Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture Minister K Pandiarajan while replying to the discussion on the demands for grants for his department in the Assembly on Wednesday. Pandiarajan said a high-level committee would be set up to change the names of places to Tamil and with the help of the Revenue department, the committee would submit a report within three months. Based on the report, the names of places that need to be changed to Tamil would be changed. For this, `5 lakh would be allocated.
With a view to encourage those who write in pure Tamil, an award in the name of Tamil savant, Maraimalai Adigal, would be instituted. Similarly, another award would be instituted in the name of the late scholar Iyothee Dasa Pandithar. Both awards would carry `1 lakh cash award, one-sovereign medal and a certificate. Late Tamil scholars ThiruVi Kalyanasundaranar and Maraimalai Adigal would be honoured on their birthdays.
In order to honour the legendary author of Tamil grammar, Tholkappiar, his statue would be installed at the Marina complex at a cost of `10 lakh.
The works of former Assembly Speaker Dr Mu Thamizhkudimagan, Tamil writers Melanmai Ponnusamy and Pon Savurirasan would be nationalised. For this purpose, `25 lakh would be allocated.
Pandiarajan also announced that a contemporary dictionary of Tamil would be created which contain words used in day-to-day life. Besides, a separate book on Tamil equivalents for words from other languages commonly used by people will be brought out.
A dictionary of literary terms would be released to help students in understanding various works in Tamil including Sangam literature.