Tamil Nadu

AIADMK against demolition of John Pennycuick’s house for memorial library

Major achievement: Colonel John Pennycuick is the architect behind the Mullaperiyar dam. File  

The AIADMK on Sunday opposed any move to demolish the memorial of Colonel John Pennycuick, the architect behind the construction of the Mullaperiyar dam, for the construction of a library to be named after late DMK leader and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

In a joint statement, AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami warned that their party would join protests with farmers if the government went ahead and demolished the memorial.

Any move to demolish the memorial of Colonel John Pennycuick only to construct a library to be named after the late DMK leader was nothing but an attempt to “erase history”, they claimed, and urged the DMK government to rethink the proposal.

“The AIADMK urges the Tamil Nadu government to set up the Kalaignar Library in a place where there is no objection,” they said. Colonel John Pennycuick had even contributed his personal funds towards the construction of Mullaperiyar dam, which has been a source of livelihood for people in southern Tamil Nadu, they pointed out.

The AIADMK leaders also recalled that late AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had unveiled a statue of Colonel John Pennycuick in the Lower Camp area in Theni on January 15, 2013. They also recalled that she had named the bus terminus in Theni after the architect.

Ramadoss against idea

PMK founder Dr. S. Ramadoss on Sunday said the memorial library should not be built by demolishing the John Pennycuick memorial in Madurai.

In a social media post, he said that the State government must give up the plan. “It is a welcome move to build a library that would help in the growth of knowledge in Kalaignar’s name, but it is not right to do that by demolishing the house in which Pennycuick lived,” he said.

He said that the State government owns enough land in the Madurai Pandi Koil region and a grander library can be built there.

Minister’s reply

Public Works Department Minister E.V. Velu condemned the statement released by the AIADMK, and criticised AIADMK leaders Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam, stating that they were unhappy with the prospect of a library being established in Kalaignar’s name and were unable to accept a good initiative being proposed for the youngsters of South Tamil Nadu. “The library in Kalaignar’s name will definitely be established for the benefit of the youth in Madurai,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:47:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-against-demolition-of-john-pennycuicks-house-for-memorial-library/article35672651.ece

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