Tamil Nadu

Romila Thapar, Y.N. Harari replace bouquets at T.N. Secretariat

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin being presented with a book.  

The tradition of presenting books by dignitaries to VVIPs is not new to Tamil Nadu, but only a few chose to do that. Most preferred to present a bouquet of flowers or both. Now the situation has changed. If scenes in the Secretariat were to go by, books have overtaken flowers already.

Many dignitaries and individuals visiting Fort St. George campus to greet newly-elected Ministers and newly-appointed officers prefer presenting books to them. Books with silk ribbons in tact, are seen stacked at several chambers of new Ministers and the newly-appointed officers.

“There are two main reasons for this. Most of the personal staff of these VVIPs have been told to stop bouquets outside fearing the spread of COVID-19. And the other reason is the general perception that some of these officers and Ministers are known for their genuine interest in literature and are known as book-lovers,” said a personal secretary to an officer.

However, another personal assistant to another officer points to a different reason. “It could be because it is challenging to locate a florist, especially during a lockdown and it would be challenging to keep them from withering away. Books can be bought in advance and moreover, it can impress people who are lover of books,” he said.

The VVIPs were presented with not only the biographies and thoughts of leaders of the Dravidian movement such as Periyar E.V. Ramasamy and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai, but also the books authored by historian Romila Thapar, historian-philosopher Y.N. Harari and even novels by Jeffery Archer.

“It is not as if these dignitaries would have time to read these books, especially when they were busy working day and night during COVID-19 times. At least, books are better than flowers and will end up in bookshelves and those who presented would be remembered for long,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 4:13:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/romila-thapar-yn-harari-replace-bouquets-at-tn-secretariat/article34530660.ece

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