Off the cuff: Kovai teachers tongue-tied

Following a TNIE report titled ‘Kovai teachers told not to wear salwar kameez’, the teachers were apparently told not to speak to journalists, share views regarding news affairs.
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations | Sourav Roy))
Image used for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations | Sourav Roy))

Tongue-tied
Following a TNIE report titled ‘Kovai teachers told not to wear salwar kameez’ that was published on November 6, highlighting a Coimbatore-based teacher’s accusation that an official warned the teachers against wearing salwar kameez to schools, the teachers have now been strictly warned against airing their views out to journalists. Recently, a district educational officer (DEO) for primary education, conducted a meeting regarding the National Means Cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMS) exam and around 100 graduate teachers took part in it. The teachers were apparently told not to speak to journalists, share views regarding news affairs and not to talk loudly in front of the officials. They were allegedly even warned of dismissal if they continued to speak to journalists.

Saiva Pazham
It was definitely worth the wait when TNCC state president KS Alagiri finally decided to address media persons in Tiruppur city after a long gap. He began by condemning Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for suggesting that the government should not be allowed to interfere in the affairs of temples. He even cited the patronage Saivism received during the reign of Rajaraja Chola, to highlight how temple administration had thrived in the hands of kings and rulers. Intending to also wax lyrical about HR&CE Minister PK Sekarbabu, the Congress leader said, “The present minister is also doing a great job. He even looks like a Saiva Pazham (fruit of Saiva knowledge).” The reporters who had travelled far and waited long for the news bite, were in stitches.

Cattle battle 
When two prominent DMK councillors demanded that the contract of the stray cattle seizure team be cancelled immediately, others attending the Tiruchy Corporation council meeting last month were taken aback, because, for the past year, appreciation had been pouring in from all corners for the civic body’s efforts to impound stray cattle. Mayor Mu Anbalagan and Corporation Commissioner R Vaithinathan vehemently opposed the demand. Then, one of the councillors, who raised the issue, went on to claim that several complaints had surfaced against the team contractor. Sources later said the DMK councillors had raised the demand purely over personal reasons. One of them allegedly had a scuffle with the team and this led to the enmity. Meanwhile, the other DMK councillors have decided to bring the issue to the notice of party leadership if the duo again brings up the demand during the council meeting scheduled for this week.

(Contributed by Saravanan MP, N Dhamotharan and Jose K Joseph; Compiled by Alen Moni Mathews)

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