Thattu Kadai: Taunting tanglish

The New Indian Express' reporters on the spicy happenings across Tamil Nadu in the week that was.
Image for representational purpose only. (​  ILLUSTRATION: sourav roy  )
Image for representational purpose only. (​ ILLUSTRATION: sourav roy )

Cold-shoulder to Sangamam
The UGC had earlier directed all colleges and universities across the country to live-telecast the inauguration ceremony of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, which kicked off on November 16 in Varanasi. The ceremony for the 30-day event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Not a single institution in Chennai followed the UGC circular, as the state government expressed its displeasure over the event. Heads of institutions were so fearful that they even hesitated to hold discussions about it. “Though the event is a celebration of Tamil culture and legacy, it is organised by the Centre. We don’t want to invite unnecessary trouble and face the state government’s ire,” is what a head of Chennai institution told TNIE.

Taunting Tanglish
Film director Thankar Bachan — known for his out-of-the-box thinking — would often express his views on culture, issues that often might pass the notice of others. On Friday, he frowned at the frequent use of the English word ‘model’ while communicating in Tamil, in an apparent taunt at the ruling DMK which has been flaunting the Dravidian model of governance. Of late, Tamil Nadu’s rural development department is putting up flex boards for its new scheme ‘Namma Ooru Superu’ (Our place is super!). Noting that the advertisement uses the transliteration of the English word ‘super,’ Bachan took a jibe at it that after `model’, even the word `super’ is Tamil. “Are they doing these things consciously?” He ends it with a bang: “Don’t destroy Tamil anymore!” Many observers have however dismissed his overzealous reaction saying that it is nothing unusual for ads to use colloquial way of communications to enhance their reach. Watch this space for more on this.

Money matters
Transfers at Tamil Nadu’s electricity distribution utility Tangedco are mired in controversy. As per seniority, the staff get transfer orders mostly through requests made in January and July every year. However, this year, while they got orders in January, TNIE learned that steps are yet to be taken for those who applied in July. Some employees accused senior staff of demanding bribes to facilitate transfers, and urged the state government to intervene in the matter.

Knocking at High Command
Following the TNCC in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao’s intervention and his stay on the suspension of the treasurer and Nanguneri MLA Ruby R Manoharan, the in-fighting in the grand old party has taken a curious turn. The conflict is now between TNCC president KS Alagiri and Congress Assembly floor leader K Selvaperunthagai. Sources tell TNIE that Alagiri strongly believed that the MLA’s suspension was stayed only because of the support of the floor leader. A team of 11 MLAs, out of the party’s 18 MLAs, met Mallikarjun Kharge and urged him to sack Selvaperunthagai. The intense in-fighting has kept some of its top leaders busy during last week.

Grievances redressal giving grief?
It was time for redressal of grievances at the Madurai Collectorate on Monday. Before receiving the petitions from the general public, Special Deputy Collector for Social Security Scheme (SSS) R Soundarya reviewed the pleas and ordered officials to maintain a preference register for redressing them. She randomly picked up replies given by various departments and found several of them irrelevant. One petitioner applied for a house site patta from Grama Natham area for an already-constructed house. On behalf of the Peraiyur tahsildar, a reply had been issued that the petition was forwarded to the survey department. In some other petitions, the reply was to file their petition online. The deputy collector has ordered officials to crosscheck responses, do inspection and send appropriate reply.

(Contributed by Binita Jaiswal, T Muruganandham, S Guruvanmikanathan, S Kumaresan, Jeyalakshmi Ramanujam. Compiled by Archita Raghu)

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