CHENNAI: Is the DMK government planning to announce the first day of Tamil month Thai as the Tamil New Year again? Speculations about this started doing the rounds after photos of bags meant for Pongal gift hampers printed with “Iniya Thamizh Puthaandu, Pongal Nalvaazhthukkal (Tamil New Year, Pongal greetings) - Chief Minister MK Stalin” went viral on social media.
In 2008, during the tenure of the late former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the first day of Tamil month Thai was declared as the Tamil New Year’s Day.
Karunanidhi had moved a bill in the State Assembly, stating that scholars had, decades ago, agreed that the first day of the Tamil month Thai should be celebrated as Tamil New Year’s Day, and legislation was passed by the Assembly.
When the AIADMK government assumed office in 2011, then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa introduced a bill to repeal the legislation enacted by the DMK regime.
Accordingly, she announced that Tamil New Year’s Day would be celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, as was done in the past.
Now, after 10 years gap, there are speculations the DMK government might revert to it’s earlier stand that Tamil New Year starts with Pongal.
When contacted, however, a senior official of the Civil Supplies Corporation, which supplies Pongal gift hampers to family cardholders, said “The State government is yet to approve the design for the bag to be used for providing Pongal gift hampers. It will be made known to all once the government approves the design for the bag.”