When the Tamil Nadu government passed the “Tamil Nadu Tamil New Year Day Declaration Bill” on 1 February 2008, changing New Year Day from Chiththirai - 1 to Thai -1, there was no mention about the original Tamil New Year day, which fell on 13 April 2008.
On 9 February 2008, a motley group of chauvinistic “scholars” under the banner “Sanga Tamizh Peravai” felicitated the Chief Minister for his “revolutionary” move of making the first day of Thai month the Tamil New Year Day.
The ‘scholars’ associated with ‘Sanga Tamizh Peravai’ are all anti-Sanskrit and anti-Hindu; some are atheists. The outrageous part of the felicitations was that artists dressed up as ancient Tamil scholars such as Thiruvalluvar, Tholgaappiyar, Kambar, Avvaiyaar, Ilango Adigal, et al, lined up to praise Karunanidhi! One cannot think of a worse insult to those great scholars.
Accepting the felicitations, the Chief Minister said, “This decision had been made, neither with a view to effacing the existing names of years in Sanskrit, nor out of hatred towards them. The move is to give importance to Mother Tamil while calculating the years and to redeem the honour of the language”. But he neither had the courage to explain how the honour of the language was lost in the first place, nor the know-how of the methodology of the new calculation.
Tamil New Year - 2008
As the original Tamil New Year (13 April 2008) was fast approaching, Jaya TV reported on 11 April 2008 that the HR&CE department had issued a circular to all temples ordering them to prohibit the sacred “Almanac Reading” ritual and other “Varusha Pirappu” celebrations and special poojas on the traditional Tamil New Year Day. Rejecting the government’s unilateral decision with utmost contempt, the people celebrated New Year with gaiety. All private temples organized the usual rituals as per tradition with fanfare.
The shameless government persisted with its decision and waited for the arrival of “Thai” (January 2009). The Chief Minister and other ‘Dravidian-racist” (who claim Dravidians are a separate race, on unknown grounds) leaders including Ramadoss, Tirumavalavan, Veeramani, et al, extended Pongal-New Year greetings to the people, but the people celebrated only Pongal/Sankranti with the usual religious fervour. When the most important need of the New Year is the “Almanac”, the Dravidian government failed to provide one, though the Chief Minister claimed of a “new” calculation a year ago! As most TV channels are owned by Dravidian parties, they all ran special programmes on “Pongal-New Year.” thus, the “Thai-New Year” found place in government records and Dravidian TV channels, but not in the minds and hearts of the Tamil people.
Tamil New Year - 2009
The Tamil Nadu government, in its list of holidays for 2009, identified 14 April only as the birthday of Dr. Ambedkar and marked 15 January as Pongal-New Year. The Central Government played safe by not mentioning Tamil New Year in its list of holidays. But most business establishments, due to fear of the government, refrained from mentioning 14 April as Tamil New Year in their calendars.
Though the government failed to connect with the people and earned their wrath last year, it persisted with its decision. The Dravidian lobby coined a new term, “Chiththirai Thirunal” (Chiththirai Day) and all TV channels telecast “Chiththirai Thirunal Special Programmes” though none could explain what Chiththirai Thirunal is! Last week, these leaders extended “Yugadi” greetings to Telugus and Kannadigas for the sake of their votes. Their core agenda of de-Hinduisation is targetted at Tamils only, ie., alienating Tamils from the Hindu fold is their objective; Telugus, Kannadigas and Malayalis are not on their agenda.
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa preferred to play vote-bank politics on the issue and duly greeted the people for Tamil New Year; her ally, MDMK leader Vaiko, followed suit! It is pertinent that both AIADMK and MDMK didn’t oppose the Tamil New Year ordinance last year in the Assembly, thereby helping a unanimous enactment. As people celebrated Tamil New Year with enthusiasm and thronged temples, the government developed cold feet, that too after seeing the greetings issued by Jayalalithaa and Vaiko.
In a last minute decision, the government seems to have given oral instructions to temple authorities through the HR&CE Department to organize the custom of “Almanac Reading.” As per Article 26 of the Freedom of Religion Act enshrined in the Constitution and also as per the HR&CE Act, the government cannot meddle with the rituals and worshipping pattern in a Temple. But when this writer went to a nearby temple, more than 1000 years old, in the morning, there was no talk of Almanac Reading or special poojas. These were taken up suddenly in the evening, and even the reading of the Almanac was conducted after 7 pm.
Malice and the Christian connection
We have seen that the ordinance was based on a decision of so-called scholars belonging to the “Pure Tamil Movement” headed by “Maraimalai Adigal”, a Christian. Christian attempts to hijack the Tamil language for evangelical purposes are at least a few centuries old. It began in the 17th century with French Padire Robert De Nobili, followed by Francis Whyte Ellis, Joseph Besky aka Veeramaamunivar, G U Pope, Seagan Palk, Vincent Smith, Caldwell, Eros Padire, and others.
Another sacred thread-wearing white man “Abraham Pandithar” (Pandit Abraham) gave medicinal treatments to people and converting them; there is a street named after him in Thanjavur. Bishop Caldwell earned the dubious distinction of planting the poisonous tree of Aryan-Dravidian racism in Tamil Nadu. All these men had an evangelical mission and learnt the native language for purely evangelical purposes.
The famous “Maraimalai Adigal” in whose name Kalaignar changed the Tamil New Year was allegedly addressed as “Padhire Magan’ (Priest’s son) in Tamil Nadu. In due course, the Church developed a hidden agenda of forming a Tamil Christian Nation comprising Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The Christian push behind the LTTE and the Dravidian support to it only confirms this theory of Tamil Christian Nation.
Kalaignar expressed a wish that the New Tamil New Year (Thai-1) be celebrated in all cities, towns, villages and hamlets with programmes depicting traditional art forms and portraying the greatness of Tamil culture and richness of its heritage, organized by people themselves according to their means on the lines of the much-hyped “Chennai Sangamam”, which is being held for the last two years. Chennai Sangamam is organized by “Tamil Maiyyam” run by Father Jagat Gasper Raj and the Chief Minister’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi is a part of it. Jagat Gasper’s connection with LTTE has been widely reported in the media. The Chennai Sangamam festival opened this year with a western choreography of a Tamil song on the Cauvery; the attempt to Christianize Tamil culture was obvious throughout the festival.
Last year the ruling DMK came out with an amusing Dravidian view on Thiruvalluvar and Tamil New Year as, “Thai is important to Tamils, and Thiruvalluvar is as important to Tamils as Jesus Christ is for the Christians.” Since last year there have been many attempts by the Christian lobby to baptize Thiruvalluvar claiming he was a disciple of St. Thomas and that Thirukkural contains a lot of Biblical teaching. This lobby is also attempting to place Shiva and Vishnu as sub-divisions of Thomas Christianity, with the support of the Dravidian lobby, as seen in the change of New Year.
As the Gregorian calendar starts in January, the DMK move to shift Tamil New Year from April to January seems inspired by the malicious intention of Christianising the traditional Hindu festival. Dravidian leaders who claim Pongal is a Tamil festival, have created a peculiar concept called “Samathuva Pongal” (Egalitarian Pongal) saying the festival can be celebrated by people of all faiths!
This celebration is permitted within church premises, but NOT inside the church, which proves that the farcical nature of ‘Samathuva Pongal.’ But it has become an occasion for photo-ops and Muslim leaders also participate without fail, confirming a Dravidian-Minority nexus.
Nevertheless, the government’s attempt to change the Tamil New Year is a miserable failure. Many genuine scholars, historians, linguists and astrologers are of the view that this naïve move would die a natural death soon! Tamil Hindus have rejected it outright and Tamil-speaking Muslims and Christians are not bothered about it.
The people of Tamil Nadu have been celebrating all Hindu festivals including "Thai Pongal" and "Chiththirai Varusha Pirappu" as per the Tamil Hindu Calendar starting from the first month of Chithirai to the twelfth month of Panguni. More importantly, Tamils knew that ‘Pongal’ falls on “Kari Nal”, which is not auspicious for starting anything new. Hence, Tamil Hindus will never accept a “Kari Nal” as their New Year, for no sane person will commence anything new on that day.
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