Tamil Nadu has always been a state which can be emotionally instigated with ease. Be it the death of a celebrated Tamil leader, be it the ban on Jalikattu, be it the arrest of a Tamil fisherman or be it the imposition of Hindi language, the Tamils living in both the state and outside India are easily agitated.
The Politicians of both All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have ensured they exploit this emotion of Tamil citizens for their own political stability. Rumors are often manufactured and spread across the State with the aide of Media Houses owned by Political Parties. The lack of a common communication language between the Centre Government and State Government has only aided the ease with which such rumors can be spread.
Recent rumor which has broken our is that, the BJP Government at centre has removed Tamil Festival “Thai Pongal” from the mandatory list of Holidays. This hoax news has also been carefully well packaged and spread across the State by DMK, AIADMK and other regional parties.
The day of Thai Pongal marks the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards (the Uttaraayanam). Thai Pongal is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for providing the energy for agriculture. This Hindu festival is not just celebrated by Tamils in Tamil Nadu but celebrated by farmers all across India with different names.
|Thai Pongal||Tamil Nadu|
|Makara Sankranthi||Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Kerala, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana Uttar Pradesh|
|Uttarayana||Gujarat and Rajasthan|
|Maghi||Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab|
|Magh Bihu/Bhogali Bihu||Assam|
|Maghe Sankranti or Makar Sankranti||Nepal|
On 5th June 2012, the Government of India released a letter stating the list of mandatory Holidays to be followed by the Central Government employees. This list contained fourteen compulsory holidays to be observed by Central Government in Delhi.
Apart from these fourteen holidays, the Central Government employees in the State are given additional three additional holidays to choose in consultation with the state. These three holiday options contains festivals like Holi, Pongal, Makar Sankaranti, Onam, Rama Navami, Ganesha Chathurhti etc.
Now the above mentioned list was released during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) regime headed by Congress. Both DMK and AIADMK which had their respective Member of Parliments (MPs) in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at that time, never bothered to raise this issue.
On 24th June 2016, the Centre Government released a similar holiday list for 2017, this was never considered an issue for the past 6 months. But now all of a sudden, Tamil Nadu politicians are creating a hue and cry about this circular, that too when Thai Pongal festival is around the corner.
Arch Political rivals, Sasikala Natarajan of AIADMK and M K Stalin of DMK, have now joined together hands to accuse the BJP Government at the centre for disrespecting the cultural heritage of the Tamils. Both parties have promised to create agitations against the centre for this act of disrespecting the Tamil sentiments.
One can only wonder, what happened to this sentiment on 5th June of 2012? Wasn’t the Tamil Culture disrespected under Congress? Weren’t Congress the first to remove this mandatory holiday of Thai Pongal?
Or is this a new profound disrespect to Tamil Sentiment has been manufactured to hide the Demons created by Demonetisation? Only time and more IT raids across Tamil Nadu will answer this question.