An Open Letter To Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy

Respected Chief Minister Of Tamil Nadu,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you and your team for the successful implementation of the much awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Tamil Nadu. You, along with the Modi Government, will be forever remembered in the Tamil Nadu Political History for achieving this phenomenal task. GST implementation marks a true victory for co-operative federalism, which many Chief Ministers of the state were not able to achieve.

At this point of time, I would like to bring your attention to following poster which came into existence on a wall near Sai Baba temple in Mylapore (Chennai) on the 16th of July 2017. Mylapore is a prime location in Chennai, which coincidentally has a considerable amount of Brahmin population.

The title of the poster says, “Protest to make a Pig wear a Poonal (sacred thread) on Avani Avittam”. Avani Avittam is considered a very auspicious day for Tamil Brahmins, hence the intent of this poster is to solely demean Brahmins in the state. Historically speaking, Poonal (sacred thread) is worn by all members of the Hindu community and this act can also be called as an act of insult to the Hindus in India.

Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK), is the fringe group which has claimed responsibility for this shameful act.

Tamil Nadu is always known for its unity and this poster is a clear indication of how certain fringe forces are trying to disturb it. This poster has been available for public view for nearly two days, there has been no action from anyone in the State Government. Pictures of poster were widely circulated on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, creating quire an uproar.

On the morning of 18th of July 2017, several workers from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) & Hindu Munnani Katchi (HMK) gathered at the Police Commissioner’s Office to represent their grievance on this issue. Tamil Nadu Police took cognizance of this issue and immediately erased the poster. On the same 18th of July 2017, during the night, several BJP workers went ahead to paint ‘Jai Hindutva’ and ‘NAMO’ on the wall, but this time the Tamil Nadu Police came to the spot almost immediately.

நேற்று பொது வெளியில் பகிரப்பட்ட பெ.தி.க சுவரெழுத்தை பார்த்த பின்னர் ஏற்பட்ட எதிர்ப்பு, பல இயக்கத்தினர் காவல்துறையில்…

Posted by Omampuliyur Jayaraman on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Brahmin bashing for scoring political brownie points has been the most favorite pastime of several politicians of the state. With the advent of leaders like M G Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa (Amma) from All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), there has been a considerable reduction in this activity but it has not subsided entirely.

This poster issue could have ended amicably after it was erased, but sadly it did not !!

On 22nd July 2017, a popular English website – The News Minute, reported a very shameful depiction of this incident with the intent of creating tension in the state. Please note that this picture has included popular Shaivite and Vaishnative symbols of Thiruneer and Naamam respectively. Although now this picture has been replaced by another one in their main page, several screenshots of this picture have been in viral circulation in WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

From Brahmin bashing, this issue has now evolved to an Anti-Hindu portrayal by the so called secular Media Houses in Tamil Nadu. This again is done in order to get sensational TRP by the website. Apart from this, the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK) have released posters regarding the location (Opposite to Sanskrit College) and date (August 7th 2017) of this shameful protest.

Brahmins currently form only 3% of the population in the state of Tamil Nadu, and we can infact term them as a minority community who don’t enjoy any reservation benefit. Casteist remarks against Brahmins is a regular thing in the state of Tamil Nadu, without even considering the quality of work this community has done for Tamil Nadu and Tamil language.

Without the likes of Uttamadhanapuram Venkatasubbaiyer Swaminatha Iyer (1855–1942) (U Ve Swaminatha Iyer), many classical works of Tamil would have never seen its daylight. You would also know that he is called the Tamil Thatha (Grandfather of Tamil) for this very same reason.

If one doesn’t appreciate or recognize the works of Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati (11 December 1882 – 12 September 1921), he can hardly be called a Tamil scholar. Bharati was not only a poet and journalist but was also a social reformer, he stood for the unity of Indians in the state against the colonial British Raj.

If one looks into the current generation, there are several popular Tamil Brahmins who will identify themselves with the Tamil culture. Be it the likes of R Madhavan of Tamil Cinema, R Ashwin of Indian Cricket or the likes of Sundar Pitchai who is the CEO of Google, they have always able to identify with the Tamil culture and have also enjoyed the support of the Tamil people.

If one has to go one step ahead, you can take a look at the picture which all AIADMK members carry on their pockets. Yes, I am talking about Ex-CM J Jayalalithaa, who is a Brahmin and has been hailed by you and many others as the ‘Mother’ (Amma) / ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ (Revolutionary Leader) of this state.

Based on the transpired incidents, I would like to raise few questions which requires attention from you Sir :-

  1. Why is it that the Brahmin community is being unfairly targeted in the state of Tamil Nadu, inspite of their close association with Tamil language & culture?
  2. If people are offended with the Brahmin community for several reasons of the past, why are they not offended by members from the Islamic / Christian communities for the atrocities they have committed in Tamil Nadu against Hindus?
  3. Will you Sir, as the Chief Minister of the state, take strict action against all those who demean the Brahmin community just for politics?
  4. Both AIADMK facts have the name Amma and Puratchi Thalavi in them. Since Ex-CM J Jayalalithaa always identified herself as Tamil and she is of Brahmin origin, will you take action at least to save the dignity of her origin?
  5. Why is that insulting the Hindu community is so easy while it is forbidden to do the same with others?

Awaiting for strict action against the miscreants who have brought shame to both Tamil community and its culture in the state of Tamil Nadu.


Prakash R