MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Government should recommend to the Centre naming the Madurai airport after Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran, said K. Krishnasamy, founder president, Puthiya Tamilagam.
The PT leader, who observed a fast here on Wednesday, said this was the third fast to press the demand. Stating that Immanuel was the first martyr in post-independence India, he lost his life fighting social injustice in 1957.
Social reformer Periyar, former Chief Ministers Annadurai and K. Kamaraj had appreciated him and remembered his efforts to fight for the rights of depressed classes.
Dr. Krishnasamy said it would be apt to name the airport after him. This act, through its symbolic nature, could become a shining example of an effort to instil participative democracy.
He complained that the Tamil Nadu Government had not recommended his name and this had resulted in the creation of feeling among the Devendra Kula Vellalars of southern districts that they were being ignored and sidelined. “We expect the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to announce a positive decision on this during the ongoing Assembly session.”
Besides, the lands that were acquired by the Government during establishment and expansion of the airport belonged to Dalits of Chinna Udaipu. So it was a justifiable demand, he said.
A large number of cadres participated in the fast.