Keeladi Museum is a reality today. What is your message to the Tamils?
I would like to convey to the people of Tamil Nadu and Tamils living across the globe that my government is fully committed to promoting and preserving the rich heritage of Tamils. We shall marshal all our resources to make the rightful claims about our antiquity which will be duly recognised by the intelligentsia across the world.
Since the museum has gained national importance, are there plans to cater to the potential growth of tourism in Sivaganga district?
We have grand plans for promoting heritage tourism in Madurai and Sivaganga districts in a big way. My government will take steps to get UNESCO to declare Keeladi a World Heritage Site. Our tourism plan for this region will include promotion of traditional Chettinad architectural style and rural tourism.
Can we expect Madurai to be declared Tamil Nadu’s cultural capital to promote the rich culture and heritage of Tamils?
History has already recognised Madurai as the cultural capital of the State. My government has taken a lot of initiatives to promote the rich cultural heritage of Tamils in Madurai.
Any plans for integrating the excavations carried out at Adichanallur and Vembakottai?
Excavations are in progress along the Thamirabarani, the Vaigai, the Cauvery and the Pennaiyar to unravel the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu, which is our primary objective. The Tamil Nadu government has allocated ₹5 crore for carrying out excavations every year. This season, the excavations will be conducted at Keeladi, Vembakkottai, Thulukkarpatti, Gangaikondacholapuram, Kilnamandi, Bhoodhinatham and Pattaraiperumpudur. It is needless to point out that this is the highest allocation ever made by any State government in the country for carrying out archaeological excavations.
What is the next stage of the Keeladi excavation?
We have tied up with reputed scientific and technological institutions to carry out the scientific validation of our findings, which will put the rich Tamil heritage in a pre-eminent position in the Indian subcontinent.