First anti-Hindi agitation remembered

Published - August 02, 2012 02:21 pm IST - TIRUCHI

Members of various Tamil Organisations of Tiruchi district unveling the plaque to mark the 75th year of anti hindi agitation in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: M.Srinath

Members of various Tamil Organisations of Tiruchi district unveling the plaque to mark the 75th year of anti hindi agitation in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: M.Srinath

Unveiling of a plaque, a rally and a public meeting marked the 75th anniversary of the first anti-Hindi agitation, in the city on Wednesday.

It was on August 1, 1938, when a group of Tamil enthusiasts under the banner of ‘Tamizhar Padai’ commenced the anti-Hindi agitation rally from Woraiyur to Madras, to protest the imposition of Hindi and protect Tamil. A public meeting was held at Town Hall to give a warm send off to the participants of the rally.

I. Kumarasamy, a leading advocate from Thanjavur, led the rally, in which top leaders of those days, including Pattukottai Azhagiriswamy, Moovalur Ramamirtham, and others participated. They addressed 87 public meetings en route and finally reached Madras on September 11, 1938.

Following this rally, anti-Hindi agitations were organised every week in Madras and many women participated with young children and courted arrest. In the agitations that followed, Natarajan and Thalamuthu sacrificed their lives to condemn Hindi imposition. The commemoration plaque was unveiled at the Nachiyarkoil road junction in Woraiyur by Tamil scholar Tamilzhannal, amidst slogan shouting in praise of Tamil and the martyrs who laid down their lives condemning the imposition of Hindi on the Tamils.

T. Banumathi, advocate, flagged off the rally from the spot in which a large number of people affiliated to various Tamil organisations participated.

The rally ended with a public meeting and it was presided by R. Ilamkumaranar, founder, Tiruvalluvar Davasalai, Allur.

The leaders who spoke recalled the sacrifices made by Tamil martyrs in the past to protect the language.

They said that Hindi is ruling the roost in the country and its imposition is strangulating the progress of other national languages, including Tamil. They lamented that Tamil is being slowly forgotten in Tamil Nadu itself and the language is not being taught even in primary schools.

The State is facing a grim situation of the birth of a new Tamil generation without knowing Tamil.

They said there is an urgent need for implementing Tamil as an official language in all departments.

V. N. Somasundaram, delivered the inaugural address and Tamil Annal, pulavar Senthalai N. Gowthaman delivered special address at the meeting. K. Tirumaran, S. Muruganandam, president of the Tirukkural Kalvi Maiyam, P. Tamizhagan, president, Paavanar Tamil Iyakkam, and others spoke.

Forums including Tiruvallur Davasalai, Paavanar Tamil Iyakkam, Tamizhiyakkam, Tirukkural Kalvi Maiyam, Tamizhkalai Ilakkiya Peravai, Tiruchi Tirukkural Peravai, Ulaga Tamizh Sanam, Musiri, Shenbaga Tamil Arangu, Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association, Periyar Pasarai, Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumanram had organised the meeting.

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