RN Ravi’s recent remarks about “a more appropriate name” for the state have ignited the Tamil Nadu versus Tamizhagam controversy. An invite from the Governor’s House, which uses “Thamizhaga Aazhunar” instead of Tamil Nadu government, has infuriated Tamil Nadu legislators.
There is also no state government’s emblem on the invitation for Pongal festival at the Governor’s House Raj Bhavan, which is in Tamil.
On the English version, the name is Tamil Nadu Governor.
In an event last week, the governor said: “Everything applicable to the whole country, Tamil Nadu won’t do. It’s like a habit. There have been so many theses written – all fake and bad fiction. This has to stop. Truth must win.” Tamizhagam is a better word to use. Foreigners wrecked the rest of the country for a long time.”
Thamizhagam means “abode of the Tamil people” and is the ancient name for Tamil Nadu.
By pitching the name “Thamizhagam”, the DMK and its allies accuse the Governor of pushing the agenda of the opposition BJP.
TR Baalu, DMK leader, said he makes factually incorrect statements.
Despite being a few days old, Mr Ravi’s invitation has sparked more controversy after he walked out of the Tamil Nadu assembly yesterday over his speech.
CPI(M) MP Su Venkatesan posted screenshots on Twitter comparing two invites. In the invitation for Pongal, he’s called “Thamizhaga Aazhunar” instead of “Tamil Nadu Governor”.
A Pongal ceremony invitation last year said “Governor of Tamil Nadu.” Now it says “Thamizhaga Governor.” He should leave the state at the same speed he left the House yesterday. He should be expelled,” the Left leader wrote.
Mr Ravi’s walkout marked a dramatic escalation in his standoff with the government. He protested after Chief Minister Stalin urged the Speaker to record only the printed speech approved by the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
While reading the speech, the Governor edited bits, skipping references to secularism, social justice, and women empowerment.
DMK allies shouted “Tamil Nadu” repeatedly in protest. Twitter briefly trended #GetOutRavi.
During an event this morning, the governor added to the name row.
He criticised the ruling DMK for calling the central government “Ondriya Arasu” in Tamil. “Ondriyam is also a block or small place in Tamil, so it belittles the Union government.” This is only an issue in Tamil Nadu.” (Ondriyam in Tamil means union and blocks. Ondriya Arasu refers to the union government).
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