Chennai: A fortnight after Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi kicked up a major row by suggesting that ‘Tamizhagam’ is a more appropriate for the State, he backtracked on his stand on Wednesday and claimed it was misinterpreted.
“An interpretation or inference that it was a suggestion to change the name of the [sic] Tamil Nadu is erroneous and far-fetched,” he said in a statement issued through the Raj Bhavan APRO (Information).
Summoned by President Droupadi Murmu
Ravi’s volte face came against the backdrop of strong political opposition to his suggestion from the ruling party and its allies as well as after he was reportedly summoned by President Droupadi Murmu on a memorandum submitted by the DMK against him.
In a one-page clarification, Ravi said in an event at Raj Bhavan on January 4 to felicitate volunteers of Kashi-Tamil Sangamam, a recently concluded month long festival celebrating the age old cultural connect of Tamil people with Kashi, “while dwelling upon the historical cultural connect between the two, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’.”
According to him, “In those days, there was no ‘Tamil Nadu’. Hence in historical cultural context, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’ as a ‘more appropriate express’.”
He added that “without understanding the basis of my speech, arguments that the Governor is against the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ have become a topic of discussion. Hence, I am giving this clarification to put an end to it.”
‘Tamizhagam’ term not used in historical context, claim observers
Observers were quick to point out that the Governor had not used the term ‘Tamizhagam’ in historical context as claimed by him now. “If that was the case, why did he not mention ‘Tamil Nadu’ in the Pongal celebrations invite issued by the Raj Bhavan? In that he described himself as ‘Tamizhaga Aalunar’ (Governor of Tamizhagam). Also, just last Tuesday, at another function he had used the term ‘Tamizhagam’ at a public event,” pointed out Mani, a political commentator.
Incidentally, the BJP which had initially backed the Governor on this issue, had in recent days developed second thoughts and sought to distance itself from the row.
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