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Why Stalin govt’s decision to move ‘Tamil Nadu Day’ to 18 July from 1 November sparked a row

Previous AIADMK govt had begun celebrating Tamil Nadu Day on 1 November since 2019, but CM M.K. Stalin announced the move to 18 July Saturday, drawing flak from opposition parties.

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New Delhi: Chief Minister M.K. Stalin sparked a row after he announced Saturday that Tamil Nadu Day celebrations will no longer take place on 1 November, but will be held on 18 July. 

The move has prompted outrage from opposition parties, which have accused the DMK-led government of ‘political vendetta’. 

Tamil Nadu never held state day celebrations until 2019, when the AIADMK government under Edappadi K. Palaniswami named 1 November as Tamil Nadu Day. It was on that day in 1956 that the state’s reorganisation took place, and some parts of the Madras Presidency were transferred to Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. 

However, the new DMK government’s rationale for the date change is that it was on 18 July 1967 that the state assembly adopted a resolution to rechristen the Madras Presidency as Tamil Nadu. Parliament adopted a law in 1968 and the state only got its name on 14 January 1969.

Among those who have come out strongly against Stalin’s decision is former deputy CM O. Panneerselvam who, in a series of tweets, said the move was ‘inappropriate and unfair’ and said it was an attempt to distort history, as going by the DMK’s rationale, the state was born 11 years after it actually came into existence. 

Panneerselvam further condemned the move, saying it was based on political vendetta, and called for it to be withdrawn. 

The former deputy chief minister also said a child’s birthday is celebrated the day it is born, and not when it is given a name. 

Echoing him was the Tamil Nadu BJP chief K. Annamalai, who quoted Panneerselvam and said, “A child’s birthday is always celebrated the day the child was born and not on the day the child was named.” 

He also called the move unnecessary.

Even breakaway AIADMK faction Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) slammed the move, with its chief T.T.V. Dhinakaran calling the decision unnecessary and controversial. 

“The DMK government should stop such inappropriate activities when there is so much work to be done. Instead, I urge you to pay due attention to public health issues,” he tweeted. 


DMK’s defence 

The DMK-led government has defended the move by saying that it had got multiple representations from Tamil scholars and academics, who said that many parts of the erstwhile Madras Presidency became separate states individually, and therefore 1 November would not be an appropriate day to celebrate ‘Tamil Nadu Day’. 

DMK spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai told ThePrint that as Tamil Nadu was a linguistic state, the day it was rechristened ‘Tamil Nadu’ or ‘Land of Tamil’, held greater importance than when it was reorganised. 

“We take more pride in the fact that Tamil Nadu was rechristened land of the Tamils on 18 July, and therefore believe that it is the day that should be celebrated as Tamil Nadu Day,” he said. “This is not a hasty decision, it has been in the works for a while now.” 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: ‘Want Jayalalithaa regime back’: Heart of crisis in AIADMK as Sasikala seeks to reclaim party


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