Political leaders cutting across party lines expressed their disapproval of Governor R.N. Ravi’s statement that he preferred the term ‘Tamizhagam’ instead of ‘Tamil Nadu’ to denote the State.
D. Jayakumar, AIADMK organisation secretary, said former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai had got the State renamed as Tamil Nadu, and had given an explanation in support of his stand in 1963 to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. “As our party was named after the former Chief Minister, his stand is our stand, too,” he added.
T.T.V. Dhinakaran, general secretary of the AMMK, wondered whether the latest observation of Mr. Ravi behoved the position he held. “He has become a hero for stirring up controversies,” Mr. Dhinakaran said, adding that if the Governor’s views were ignored, he would stop making such comments.
Both Mr. Jayakumar and Mr. Dhinakaran explained that the term Tamil Nadu was chosen to highlight the State’s identity, culture and history.
Condemning the Governor’s remark, CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan said he was acting like an RSS cadre and functioning against the interest of the people of the State, and it won’t be accepted.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko said the Governor had no right to say that the name Tamil Nadu was not appropriate.
Alleging that Mr. Ravi was speaking out of “arrogance” and as per the plan laid out by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other Hindutva forces, he said the Governor may be unaware of the struggle that took place to rename the Madras Presidency as Tamil Nadu.
He said Annadurai named the State Tamil Nadu with foresight. “It is not just a name, but an emotion that is intertwined with the veins of crores of Tamil people,” he added.