Used Tamizhagam in historical, cultural context, comment misconstrued: Guv RN Ravi

The statement came on a day when the governor left for Delhi for the second time in a week.
TN Governor RN Ravi. (File photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
TN Governor RN Ravi. (File photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CHENNAI: Following the controversy over his ‘Tamizhagam’ remark, Governor RN Ravi on Wednesday said he had referred to the state as ‘Tamizhagam’ only in historical and cultural context and construing it as his suggestion to change the name of Tamil Nadu is ‘erroneous’ and ‘far-fetched.’

“In those days, there was no ‘Tamil Nadu’. I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’ as a more appropriate expression. 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,” said the statement issued by the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.

The statement came on a day when the governor left for Delhi for the second time in a week. A DMK delegation last week met President Droupadi Murmu and handed over a letter sent by CM MK Stalin expressing disappointment over the actions of the governor, including the changes he made to the governor’s address.

The Raj Bhavan’s statement evoked sharp reactions from leaders of the DMK alliance and some outfits as they argued that ‘Tamil Nadu’ has been in use since the Sangam age for the past 2,000 years.

DMK’s propaganda secretary T Sabapathi Mohan told TNIE, “He is again misleading the people. The word Tamil Nadu has been in use for more than 2,000 years. Our founder CN Annadurai spoke about it in the Rajya Sabha when Bubesh Gupta, a CPI member, brought a private member bill to rename the Madras state as TN. Even after the discussions being held in the state for the last two weeks over his comment, if the governor is again saying that there is no TN, it means he wants to cheat the people of Tamil Nadu.”

CPM MP Su Venkatesan in a tweet took a dig at the governor for claiming that the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ was not there in “those days”. The MP tweeted, “TN was absent only in the Pongal festival invitation sent by him. Otherwise, TN has been there forever.”

VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan tweeted it’s enough if the governor understands the sentiments of Tamil people though his statement is a distortion.Congress assembly floor leader K Selvaperunthagai, who welcomed the governor’s statement, said the governor must give his assent to bills which were adopted in the assembly for the state’s welfare.

The governor made the statement at an event in Raj Bhavan on January 4, 2023, organised to felicitate the volunteers of Kashi Tamil Sangamam. The month-long festival was organised by the union to celebrate the age-old cultural connection of Tamils with Kashi.

Though several BJP cadre and right-wing activists extended support to Ravi over his ‘Tamilzhagam’ remark, they were conspicuous by their absence on Wednesday over the Raj Bhavan’s clarification.  Sources said the governor is set to return Chennai on Thursday.

Guv cheating people of TN

“If the governor is again saying that there is no TN, it means he wants to cheat people of TN,” said the DMK’s propaganda secretary T Sabapathi Mohan

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