THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Pakistan has for long has played a pivotal role in shaping India’s political discourse. The run-up to the Lok Sabha elections is also witnessing the same pattern with Pakistan being one of the focal points of the election campaign, especially that of the BJP.
The saffron party sees red in anything that has got a Pakistan tag to it. However, in Kerala, this hyper-nationalistic ventilation has got far less takers than the north Indian states which is best exemplified by the existence of seven places that have ‘Pakisthan’ attached to their names. Pakisthankavala, Pakistanpeedika and Pakistanmukku (in fact there are five such places).
Situated less than half-a-kilometre from Venjaramoodu in Thiruvananthapuram lies a Pakistanmukku.
As the town is developing rapidly, the growth is now taking place along the fringes and Pakistanmukku has become a busy centre housing scores of shops and other business establishments.
The residents of the area do not know how the place got its unique name and they are least bothered about it too.
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“From my childhood days the place has borne the name,” said CPI(M) MLA DK Murali, who represents Vamanapuram constituency. Vamanapuram constituency has two Pakistanmukku - the other ones near Kallara, which is situated some 40 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
The other places with a Pakistan touch to it are Pakistankavala in Vazhoor panchayat in Kottayam district, Pakistanpeedika near Kannavom in Kannur and Pakistanmukku (one more in Thiruvananthapuram and two in Kollam districts).
The MLA said the place might have got the name because of the concentration of the people from the Muslim community.
“I guess so, but I am not sure,” he said. “Now, though we now have people from various communities and they all live together harmoniously,” he added.
At a time when the rechristening of cities have become a norm elsewhere in the country, Murali said there has been no demands from any corners to change the names of the places.
“People are proud of the names of their place. It’s part of their legacy. There is no plan or demand to change their names.”
However, slowly there are different opinions emerging, especially from the millennials, on the names. Different reasons are being given for it and the opinions reflect the opinion maker’s political convictions too.
What’s in a name!
Seven places in the state have ‘Pakistan’ attached to their names. Pakistankavala, Pakistanpeedika and Pakistanmukku (in fact there are five such places)