Mr U R Ananthamurthy, who started it all, was heard telling NDTV that Kannada had this capability to embrace a foreign term by suffixing a ‘u’ – a table becomes ‘tableu’, a chair, ‘chairu’, and a bore, ‘boru’. Kannada is that simple. Tamil, a designated ‘classical’, tends to complicates things.
Had Madras been part of Karnataka we could have, simply, added a ‘u’ and called the place ‘Madrasu’. In its current Tamil ‘avatar’, Chennai has little in common with the good old Madras. I’m sure Mr URA had sound reasons – cultural and emotional – for coming up with an idea, so thought-provoking that it managed to move our government into action within days. Normally, any bright idea the government receives is put through the bureaucratic wringer, of a departmental committee, cabinet sub-committee, legislature debate, resolution and such rigmarole.
I, for one, find the name-change idea particularly appealing, as it plays on our innate instinct for keeping up with the Joneses. If TN and Kerala, not to mention W B and Maharashtra, have done it, why shouldn’t we?
But then in a democracy we have people who raise silly questions, such as, ‘what is the big deal?’. Bangalore, whichever way you pronounce it, would stay a city of IT-walahs, drought beer, bad roads, and traffic jam. What’s in a name? Bangalore, by any other name, would still have traffic jam.
We could say this about Mysore. When it becomes Mysooru, it won’t rhyme with eyesore.