Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi clarifies on ‘Tamizhagam’ row: ‘Did not use word to suggest a name change’ | The Financial Express

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi clarifies on ‘Tamizhagam’ row: ‘Did not use word to suggest a name change’

An interpretation that his remark was intended to suggest a change in name of the state was far-fetched and erroneous, the Governor said.

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi clarifies on ‘Tamizhagam’ row: ‘Did not use word to suggest a name change’
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi's customary address at the first session of the state legislative assembly 2023, in Chennai on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Wednesday issued a clarification on his use of the word ‘Tamizhagam’ during an event at the Raj Bhavan on January 4, 2023, and said that his use of the term was never used in the context to suggest a change in the name of Tamil Nadu. Such an interpretation, the Governor said, was “erroneous and far-fetched”.

The Governor, in his statement, referred to the event at Raj Bhavan on January 4, 2023, to felicitate the volunteers of Kashi – Tamil Sangamam, a recently concluded month-long festival celebrating the age-old cultural connect of Tamil people with Kashi.

“While dwelling upon the historical cultural connect between the two, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’. In those days, there was no ‘Tamil Nadu’. Hence in historical-cultural context, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’ as a ‘more appropriate expression’,” Governor Ravi said in a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday.

The clarification comes amid simmering tension between the DMK-led state government and the Governor on the issue. The latest flashpoint in the ongoing controversy came when the Governor walked out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly aftr Chief Minister MK Stalin raised objections to the Governor’s deviation from his speech approved by the government for his address to the House.

Stalin later moved a resolution in the House to take on record only the portions of the speech which have been approved by the government and distributed among members of the Assembly.

On another occasion, the Raj Bhavan sent out invitations for a Pongal event referring to the Governor as Tamizhaga Aalunar (Governor of Tamizhagam) instead of Tamil Nadu Aalunar (Governor of Tamil Nadu).

The Governor’s actions in the past few days have come in for all-round condemnation by the Left, Congress, Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi as well as the BJP. While the Congress’ state unit on Wednesday announced a protest against the Governor, state BJP chief Annamalai termed the Governor’s remarks as “unwarranted”.

In his statement today, Governor Ravi said that the inference that he was against the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ was without understanding the context of his January 4 speech. “Without understanding the basis of my speech, arguments that the Governor is against the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ have become a hot topic of discussion. Hence, I am giving this clarification to put an end to it,” he said.

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First published on: 18-01-2023 at 16:52 IST