July 18, not November 1; Tamil Nadu Day kicks up a row

The DMK govt’s plan to celebrate Tamil Nadu Day on July 18 has irked the Opposition AIADMK.

A row has broken out in Tamil Nadu’s political circles in the name of its Formation Day celebrations. The current DMK government led by Chief Minister M K Stalin has announced that the Tamil Nadu Formation Day will have a change of date, and will be henceforth celebrated on July 18. The Tamil Nadu Formation Day had been celebrated on November 1 earlier.

Chief Minister M K Stalin’s announcement in this regard has come in for sharp criticism from the Opposition AIADMK, with leaders of the party terming the new move as political vendetta.

The DMK government’s stance relies on the July 18 date, on which day Tamil Nadu got its present-day name. However, it may be recalled that the erstwhile Chief Minister and leader of the AIADMK had 2019 announced that Tamil Nadu Formation Day will be celebrated on November 1. His announcement had followed up on requests in this regard from several quarters.

Tamil Nadu Day is the day when the state got its current name, feels DMK

However, the DMK government currently in power believes that July 18 has to be the Formation Day of the state as that was the day when Tamil Nadu got its current-day name after an Assembly legislation brought forth by late Chief Minister C N Annadurai in this regard.

Stalin, invoked a chapter from history, stating that on November 1, 1956, what happened was the Linguistic Reorganisation of States across the country. As per this, certain parts of the state were taken away by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala from what used to be the then Madras State. This was owing to linguistic considerations.

This development had prompted the governments that assumed power successively to think that November 1 should be celebrated as Tamil Nadu Formation Day.

The Chief Minister is of the opinion that Tamil scholars, associations, and activists and also political parties across the state believe that November 1 only signifies the border struggle and that the day when the state was rechristened as Tamil Nadu should be the Formation Day.

Opposition AIADMK terms DMK move ‘political vendetta’

The Opposition party has taken this reversal of practice as an insult and is all out against the Chief Minister’s stance. Leaders in the Opposition even went about saying that the DMK is doing things as per its convenience and that such a stance is nothing more than political vendetta (see tweet).

However, the decision seems to have been made. The government is likely to hold forth a government order stating that the Tamil Nadu Formation Day will henceforth be celebrated on July 18, in commemoration of the naming of Tamil Nadu.

Further, in what seems to be a bid to pacify detractors, the government will honour as many as 110 people who were part of the border struggle with Rs 1 lakh each on November 1, as a special gesture. However, that wouldn’t be enough to silence the protests by the Opposition AIADMK.

Feature Image Source: By Gan13166 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53408206

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