The Puducherry government, at present, observes August 16 as Dejure Transfer Day.

A nine-member committee constituted by Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria to give its recommendations on declaring November 1 as Puducherry’s Independence Day, met at the Secretariat here on Tuesday.

It was the first sitting of the panel since it was constituted on December 23, 2013.

David Annoussamy, former Judge of the Madras High Court, , who is the chairman of the committee, presided over the meeting. K.T. Alagiri, director, Information and Publicity, Member-Secretary, other members such as B. Krishnamoorthy, Director of Centre for European Studies, Pondicherry University, S.A. Vengada Soupraya Nayagar, associate professor of French, Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Lawspet, S. Anandavadivelou, president, Alliance Francaise, Kalai Maamani Kallaadan, president, Historical Society of Puducherry, R. Ramasrinivasan, Tamarapatra awardee, Karaikal, D. Sivaraj, president, French India Puducherry Pradesa Viduthalai Kaala Makkal Nala Narpani Iyakkam, and V. Balan, Chairman of Anglo French Textile, Puducherry, took part in the meeting. It discussed evidences available to prove that November 1 is Puducherry’s Independence Day. It also took up the agenda of declaring holiday to all schools, government departments and labour communities and others on November 1 every year.

D. Sivaraj, who is spearheading the campaign to declare November 1 as Puducherry’s Independence Day for so long, told The Hindu that except one, all other members spoke in support of the demand. Many of them had brought out historical dates and background details based on evidences about Puducherry’s freedom struggle.

The committee is likely to present its report to the government within three months from the date of constitution.

The Puducherry government, at present, observes August 16 as Dejure Transfer Day. It was on that day in 1962 France ceded to India full sovereignty over the territory of [Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam] through the exchange of Instruments of Ratification between then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and French Ambassador to India Jean Paul Garnier.

However, freedom fighters, activists and others stress that November 1 should be made as Puducherry Independence Day, marking the de-facto transfer made through a treaty of cessation between French and Indian government on November 1, 1954, on that day Puducherry was merged with the Indian Union.

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