ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tamil-Friendly Hindutva

Sriman L Ganesan, the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu state unit of the BJP, is a man of many roles. With an unmatched skill in political masquerade, his new avatar is one of a passionate defender of Tamil and its much-celebrated classicism. It is in this new avatar that he made an appeal recently to Murli Manohar Joshi, the union minister for human resources development, that Tamil should be declared a classical language and accorded the status of an official language of the Indian union. What is more, he also wants year 2000 to be sanctified as the year of Tamil.

Sriman L Ganesan, the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu state unit of the BJP, is a man of many roles. With an unmatched skill in political masquerade, his new avatar is one of a passionate defender of Tamil and its much-celebrated classicism. It is in this new avatar that he made an appeal recently to Murli Manohar Joshi, the union minister for human resources development, that Tamil should be declared a classical language and accorded the status of an official language of the Indian union. What is more, he also wants year 2000 to be sanctified as the year of Tamil.

Ganesan’s appeal, which shares a close kinship with the language of the Dravidian parties – in particular, the DMK, is not an idiosyncratic moment in the career of the BJP in Tamil Nadu. It is indeed wilful and deliberate. After all, for the past two years, Ganesan and his band of Hindu zealot are grabbing every little occasion to declare loud and clear their untainted love for Tamil – often putting to shame the raucous Tamil nationalists of the past and the present. The BJP’s national executive meeting held in Chennai in December 1999 is a case in point. While the meeting complex was named after the ancient Tamil poet of unrivalled fame, Thiruvalluvar, the meeting hall itself was named after Subramania Bharati, a modern Tamil poet of great eminence. One hundred couplets from Thirukkural, authored by Thiruvalluvar, were translated into Hindi and English to be displayed in the meeting venue.

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