Karunanidhi: time to correct ‘mistake' of British Governor

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday demanded that the taluks of Devikulam and Peermedu, now in Kerala and forming parts of the catchment of the Periyar river, be merged with Tamil Nadu.

“The Kerala government has compelled us to reiterate our demand that Devikulam and Peermedu which, historically and geographically, belong to Tamils and Tamil Nadu, be retrieved,” DMK president and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said in a statement.

He called upon the Central and State governments to make efforts to correct the [M. E. Grant Duff] and undoing the “injustice” meted out to the State at the time of reorganisation of States.

While an Empowered Committee, constituted by the Supreme Court and headed by Justice A.S. Anand, was going into the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was insisting on a negotiated settlement and repeating that his government would never go back on its position of seeking a new dam (in place of the 116-year-old dam).

Mr. Karunanidhi recalled how his party had been demanding that Peermedu and Devikulam be merged with Tamil Nadu. He referred to DMK founder C.N. Annadurai's plea in January 1956 in this regard.

The party, along with Tamizharasu Kazhagam, the Communist Party of India and the Praja Socialist Party, called for a day-long general strike the next month and held a rally. The DMK, at its conferences in January 1956 and February 1957, adopted resolutions in this regard, he noted.

On the ‘mistake' of the British Governor at the time of signing of the 1886 agreement, Mr. Karunanidhi claimed that originally the boundary of the erstwhile Travancore princely state was up to Aroor and Kottarakara, but the British government regarded Devikulam and Peermedu as parts of the princely state.