Tamil New Year in Chithirai

August 23, 2011 04:28 pm | Updated November 22, 2021 06:55 pm IST - Chennai

Jayalalithaa: "People's faith cannot be changed through laws". File photo

Jayalalithaa: "People's faith cannot be changed through laws". File photo

The Tamil New Year will be celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, and not on the first of Thai.

The State Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill to repeal the Tamil Nadu Tamil New Year (Declaration) Act, 2008, brought in by the DMK government three years ago for declaring the first day of month of Thai as the Tamil New Year's day.

Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister S.P. Shanmuganathan, who introduced the Bill, said the government had decided “to restore the time immemorial custom of celebrating the first day of Chithirai as the Tamil New Year.”

Participating in the debate on the bill, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the DMK government enacted the law to create a false impression that the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi alone had love for the Tamil people and the Tamil language. Further, she said, no reason was given for bringing in such a legislation.

“It was enacted with a view to seeking Mr. Karunanidhi's self-publicity. None benefitted from the law. Instead, it hurt the sentiments of the people who had been celebrating Tamil New Year on the first day of Chithirai since time immemorial. People's faith cannot be changed through laws.”

She said the government had received representations from the people seeking the law's repeal.

She said even though the DMK government claimed that it enacted the law after Tamil scholars unanimously expressed their opinion in favour of celebrating Tamil New Year on the first day of Thai, Tamil people continued to celebrate it on Chithirai the last three years. As per the Tamil calendar, Chithirai was the first month and it was done based on the movement of the Sun. “Chithirai covers the Sun's transit through mesha. It is said our ancestors selected Chithirai as the first month since the year should begin with spring. It is based on astronomy and the wheel of seasons. One of the ancient Tamil epics, ‘Seevaka Chinthamani', refers to this period as the first season of the year.”

She said many scholars had expressed their opinion in favour of celebrating Tamil New Year in Chithirai.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.