A road in Kerala's Kasaragod district has now become the talk on social media as it is named Gaza Street, apparently referring to the disputed land between Israel and Egypt under Palestinian self-rule.
Gaza Street in Thuruthi was recently renamed and inaugurated by Kasaragod district panchayat president AGC Basheer, though the municipal authorities are apparently unaware of the change. "I was not the person who was supposed to inaugurate the street as the area falls under the municipality's jurisdiction. But I had to step in at the last moment," Basheer told the TOI.
In the wake of as many as 21 missing youngsters, who are suspected to have joined the Islamic State since 2016 from Padanna village, the area is currently being observed by the Intelligence Bureau and National Investigation Agency.
"There is a deliberate attempt to change the names of various areas in Kasaragod. When such matters come to the municipal council, there will be a debate and if the name is not of public acceptance, it will be rejected. For the same reason, many such names are not brought to the attention of the council," Kasaragod municipality opposition leader P Ramesh said.
Meanwhile, it has to be noted that this is not the first case of giving a controversial name to a place in Kerala. In Malappuram district, there is a Saddam Beach in Tirurangadi renamed from Tipu Sultan Beach after the former Iraq President Saddam Hussein as an act of solidarity following the Gulf War in 1991.