New Delhi: A special leave petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday challenging the law enacted by Tamil Nadu government changing the Tamil New Year from the month of ‘Chithirai’ to ‘Thai’.
It is expected to come up for hearing next week.
Under the law, the first day of ‘Thai,’ which usually occurs on or around January 14, had been declared the first day of Tamil New Year instead of the traditional ‘Chithirai’, which normally comes in the middle of April.
A public spirited person, K.R. Ramaswami, challenged the law in the Madras High Court, which dismissed his petition and imposed Rs.10,000 as costs. The present special leave petition is directed against this judgment dated February 13.
The SLP said any attempt to thwart the centuries-old, scientifically calculated date and calendar merely by enacting a law was illegal and unconstitutional. ‘Chithirai,’ heralding the Tamil New Year in the middle of Uttarayana, could not be altered by the legislature.
The SLP raised important questions of law of public importance: whether festivals such as Pongal, Deepavali, Karthigai deepam and Navarathri, celebrated as per Hindu customs, could be changed or altered according to the whims and fancies of a legislature; whether the High Court was correct in upholding the government’s policy without regard to the historical, cultural, linguistic and cultural heritage associated with the Tamil calendar.