Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi on Friday, May 12, said that while the linguistic reorganisation of States was necessary in the 1950s, the “politics” around the linguistic differences has now become “overwhelming” and “it keeps weakening the unity” of the country.
Addressing a group of students from Bihar touring Tamil Nadu on on ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’, as part of the ‘Yuva Sangam’ programme in Chennai, the Governor said linguistic States were formed in 1956 for better administration, and since the State governments needed to understand the language of the people.
“Unfortunately, the politics has become so overwhelming that we have started identifying as Bihari, Tamilian, Kannadiga, Malayali…That becomes overwhelming and it keeps weakening the unity [of India],” he said.
According to him, people were being looked at in terms of the State they belonged to, alongside language, race and religious differences.
Contending that Bharat has had a cultural and civilisational continuum for thousands of years, he said cultural unity formed the core of the country. Though many kings and kingdoms existed in the various geographical regions of India, the people always remained one. He said this unity could be observed in cultural manifestations, and a common thread ran across the country in the rites and rituals and the mythological stories shared in different regions.
Sharing his view that various sages who travelled across the country played a crucial role in bringing about this unity, he said even the public, back then, had travelled freely throughout the country crossing different kingdoms for pilgrimages and other purposes.
To a question on how he saw his role as the ‘first citizen’ of the State, he said his duty was to devote himself fully in whatever ways possible, for the good of the State and its people.
“If I see that something is not good, then it is my job to restrain it,” he added. He said such good things could be done in many small ways, including by offering whatever support possible to the people who were silently working for the benefit of society.