Kerala panchayat junks use of ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’, says officials to be addressed by name or designation

By: |
September 02, 2021 5:15 PM

Visitors at the panchayat office will no longer have to address officials as 'sir' or 'madam'. Instead they can call them by their name or designation.

The Mathur gram panchayat located in Kerala's Palakkad district held a meeting of its council on Tuesday where a resolution was passed banning the use of salutations like 'sir' or 'madam'.

A Kerala panchayat in Kerala’s Palakkad district will no longer use salutations like ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, words it sees as remnants of the colonial rule in India. The Mathur gram panchayat located in Kerala’s Palakkad district held a meeting of its council on Tuesday where a resolution was passed banning the use of salutations like ‘sir’ or ‘madam’. With this, the Mathur gram panchayat has become the first panchayat in the country to do so. Vice-president of the Mathur panchayat P.R. Prasad, who moved the resolution, said that India secured freedom from Britishers 75 years ago and it’s the time to show the supremacy of the people in a democratic government.

Visitors at the panchayat office will no longer have to address officials as ‘sir’ or ‘madam’. Instead they can call them by their name or designation. All panchayat officials will display their names on their table for the convenience of the visitors. Interestingly, if someone considers addressing an elder person/official by name disrespectful, then he or she can use words like Cheta (elder brother) or Chechi (elder sister).

The panchayat also asked the Official Language Department to suggest alternatives to ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’, reported The Hindu.

The gram panchayat also banned the use of words like ‘apekshikkunnu’ or ‘abhyarthikkunnu’ (meaning I request) in application letters and said that people can use words like ‘avakasapedunnu’ (I demand) or ‘thalparyapedunnu’ (I desire). It said that if any officer denies anyone of any service, they can complain to the panchayat president or secretary.

Mathur gram panchayat chief Pravitha Muraleedharan said the step will help decrease the gap between officials and the people.

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