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Friday, January 15, 2016

Tamil Nadu State formation day : செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே

Nov. 1 is significant ~ Jan 14th also is – but not many know it to be !!

செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே - இன்பத்
தேன் வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே - எங்கள்
தந்தையர் நாடென்ற பேச்சினிலே - ஒரு
சக்தி பிறக்குது மூச்சினிலே !
தமிழ்நாட்டின் சிறப்புக்களைப் புகழ்ந்து போற்றிய பாரதியின் பாடல் வரிகள்.

Meaning :  When you utter the name of ‘sweet Tamil Nadu’- it is music to ears and you feel honey flowing; when you speak of  the country of your forefathers, you get great amount of power to succeed in your breathe’. 

This beautiful State of Ours - Tamil Nadu is the eleventh largest state in India.   With the Independence of the Nation,  Madras Presidency became Madras State. The state was subsequently split up along linguistic lines.

The early history of the people and rulers of Tamil Nadu is a topic in Tamil literary sources known as Sangam literature.  Three dynasties, namely the Chera, Chola and Pandya, ruled the area of present-day Tamil Nadu and Kerala. All three had extensive trade relationships with Rome, Greece, Egypt, Ceylon, Phoenicia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Persia. Trade flourished as also literature. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the three Tamil kingdoms were overwhelmed by the Kalabhras.  The Kalabhras were expelled by the Pallavas, Mutharaiyar, Badami Chalukyas and Pandyas in the 6th century.

Madras State  was the name when it was formed in 1950 and it included many places which over period of time have been annexed to other States.  After Indian Independence, the Madras Presidency became the Madras Province on 15 August 1947. On 26 Jan 1950 it was formed as Madras State by the Government of India. As a result of the 1956 States Reorganisation Act, the state's boundaries were re-organised following linguistic lines.  

An article in Times of India of date states that Tamil Nadu as a distinct linguistic entity came into being after a long struggle by the Dravidian leaders who had earlier pitched for a multi-lingual Dravidanadu comprising people speaking Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam besides myriad dialects. Coming after the anti-Hindi agitations, the renaming of Madras state as Tamil Nadu, was an assertion of Tamil identity , which was created 47 years ago on January 14, 1969.

Tamil Nadu, researchers note, was a deliberate political creation as historically there was never a Tamil Nad and the geographical area was called Pandya Nad or Chera Nad or Chola Nad depending on which dynasty was ruling. Tamil Nadu born out of the 1956 States Reorganization Act ended the dream of a multi-lingual Dravidanadu. Ironically it was a prolonged fast by a Telugu speaking man in the then Madras State Potti Sreeramulu in December 1952 to concede to the demand for separation of Rayalseema and coastal Andhra that triggered a sentiment for carving out a separate Tamil Nadu. Later, it was the martyrdom of Tamil nationalist Sankaralingam in Virudhunagar prior to the 1957 general elections for the cause TN that prompted two parties Nam Tamilar (We Tamils), founded in 1958 by barrister S B Adithan, and Sivagnanam's Tamil Arasu Kazhagam to mount a campaign in later years for a sovereign Tamil Nadu.

Sankaralingam's death, prior to the 1957 general elections, did not visibly alarm Congress, but the protests of 1960-61 led by the We Tamils and the Tamil Arasu Kazhagam did elicit a response, highlighting as they did the growing strength of the Dravidian movement on the eve of the 1962 elections. In early 1961, the government partially relented and, after a lengthy debate in the legislature, agreed that within Tamil Nadu, when communications were conducted in Tamil, the name Tamil Nad would henceforth denote Madras state. Finally the assembly passed the bill and MLAs across all parties, including Congress, shouted Tamil Nadu vazhga. [TOI Chennai edition 15th Jan 2o16]

1st Nov is celebrated as ‘ Kannada Rajyotsava ’ as it was on this day  in 1956 when all the Kannada language-speaking regions of South India were merged to form the state of Karnataka.  It is a Govt holiday in the State.  It was also celebrated as AP formation day for almost 5 decades.  However, now the AP government has decided to drop November 1 as the AP formation day. Instead, it would celebrate it on June 8, when the new State of Andhra Pradesh was officially formed after bifurcation of the erstwhile AP.  Mr Chandrababu  Naidu government was in a quandary as whether it should continue to treat it as the formation day, as only Telangana got separated and the remaining State is continuing with the same old name. But officials apparently told him that since the erstwhile AP ceased to exist and two new States were formed, there is no point in celebrating the formation day on November 1.

What you saw first the State emblem – it contains the (West) tower or gopuram of the famous Srivilliputhur Divya Desam at the center in yellow. The base consists of the Indian emblem (Sarnath Lion Capital) at the center in red colour with the Indian flag on both sides. The emblem also has 2 inscriptions in Tamil script, one at the top ("Thamizh Naadu Arasu" which translates to "Government of Tamil Nadu") and other at the bottom ("Vaaymayae Vellum" which translates to "Truth Alone Triumphs" also commonly known as "Satyameva Jayate" in Sanskrit).

Here is a  photo of Srivilliputhur temple gopuram from inside.

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2016.

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