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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

IIT-M’s diamond jubilee celebrations come under fire over Vande Mataram

Pro-Tamil activists say that Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) has insulted Tamil sentiments by choosing Vande Mataram over the ‘Invocation to Mother Tamil’ for the inaugural event of its diamond jubilee celebrations.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2019 21:56 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
IIT-Madras’  decision to choose the national song Vande Mataram for the inaugural event of its diamond jubilee celebrations.has angered pro-Tamila ctivists.
IIT-Madras’ decision to choose the national song Vande Mataram for the inaugural event of its diamond jubilee celebrations.has angered pro-Tamila ctivists.(Twitter)
         

The Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) has come under fire from pro-Tamil activists for its choice of the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ over the ‘Invocation to Mother Tamil’ for the inaugural event of its diamond jubilee celebrations.

The diamond jubilee celebration is scheduled for Wednesday evening. The IIT’s invite did not specially state that it will play Vante Mataram as the invocation song. But the song will be the first item to kick off celebration where Tamil Thai Vaazhthu (Invocation to Mother Tamil) was expected to be sung.

The programme at the Students Activities Centre would have Karin Stoll, Germany’s Consul General in Chennai, as the chief guest. IIT-M was established under an Indo-German agreement in Bonn, then in West Germany in 1959.

Pro-Tamil activists and political parties are furious since the programme schedule does not mention the official ‘Tamil Thai Vazhthu’ (invocation of Mother Tamil). This song is mandatory in all public functions in the state.

PMK founder S Ramadoss said the premier institution ignoring ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’ is unacceptable and demanded that the Tamil Nadu government issue a notice to IIT-M, seeking an explanation.

“Though IIT-M is an autonomous institute under the central government, it should not hurt the sentiments of Tamils by ignoring Tamil language. IIT-M is functioning in the land allotted by Tamil Nadu government. The event should commence with the ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’. The IIT-M management should apologise to the people of the state,” Ramadoss said in a statement.

Viduthalai, the mouthpiece of the rationalist Dravidar Kazhagam, also condemned IIT-M’s decision saying that this was not the first time that the institution has insulted Tamil sentiments.

“It had faced criticism in February 2018 during the visit of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Then, Ganapathi Vanthanam - a Sanskrit song, was played for the invocation. Following protests, IIT-M director Bhaskar Ramamurthy had apologised and assured that ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’ would be played in the upcoming events. But, the assurance has been breached,” the paper said.

Meanwhile, sources at IIT-M said ‘Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu’ would also be played at the commencement of the event.

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 21:37 IST

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