CHENNAI: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday took exception to the absence of experts from southern states particularly Tamil Nadu in the experts' committee constituted by the central government to study the origin and evolution of Indian culture during the past 12 millennia and its interface with other cultures of the world.
Expressing surprise at how the Union Ministry of Culture had chosen to ignore Tamil Nadu while setting up the said committee, the Chief Minister, in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, “On behalf of the people of the state, I request you to personally intervene and direct the Ministry of Culture to reconstitute the expert committee by inducting eminent scholars from Tamil Nadu. May I request an early reply?”
Stating that though it was a welcome move to deepen our understanding of our country’s rich and varied cultural roots, Palaniswami said the composition of the committee in itself was a matter of deep concern. The committee has no representative from any of the southern states, especially Tamil Nadu, which has a glorious past and is home to one of the oldest civilisations -- Dravidian civilisation -- a living and thriving culture in the south of India.
Palaniswami pointed out that the recent archaeological excavations in Keezhadi and other parts of Tamil Nadu revealed that the world-reputed Sangam era can now be dated back to as early as the 6th century BCE. “This places Tamil culture and language as one of the oldest surviving heritages in the world,” he added.
He recalled the Prime Minister’s visit to Mahabalipuram last year where he had observed the awe-inspiring timeless monuments and glorious legacy of Tamil heritage in full splendour. “You will, therefore, agree with me that any chronicle of Indian history and culture would be grossly incomplete without giving its rightful place to Tamil culture and language,” he added.