Tamil Nadu

HC dismisses case filed against Tamil Thai Vazhthu

A view of the Madras High Court buildings in Chennai.

A view of the Madras High Court buildings in Chennai.

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a 2007 writ petition challenging the State government’s decision to use edited portions of ‘Manonmaniam’ P. Sundaram Pillai’s song Neerarum Kadaludutha as an invocation to Mother Tamil in public functions.

Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu rejected the case after State Government Pleader P. Muthukumar brought to the notice of the court that the government had recently declared the Tamil Thai Vazhthu a State song. The judges said the court cannot interfere in such issues when the government, in its wisdom, had decided to use only one stanza of the original song for the invocation and leave out the other stanza to avoid complaints of other languages having been belittled.

J. Mohan Raj, general secretary of Jebamani Janata Party, had filed the writ petition, contending that the State government had no authority to make changes to the song without the express approval of the author. He complained that the government had not only deleted the second stanza of the song, which had references to Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and Sanskrit, but also interchanged the third and fourth lines in the first stanza to suit its convenience. The petitioner argued that the State government should have either accepted the song in its original form or dropped it altogether. It cannot make changes to the song without the consent of the author, who lived from 1855 to 1897.

In a counter-affidavit filed in July 2017, the government denied any mala fide intention behind the decision to use only an edited portion of the original song as an invocation to Mother Tamil. It said the song was reconstructed with certain modifications to avoid complaints of languages other than Tamil having been underestimated or belittled.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 12:50:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-dismisses-case-filed-against-tamil-thai-vazhthu/article38305361.ece