Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 12:48 IST
Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi on Wednesday stated that deciphering his assertion as a suggestion to vary the identify of the state is inaccurate and far-fetched.
“Without understanding the basis of my speech, arguments that the Governor is against the word ‘Tamil Nadu’ have become a topic of discussion. Hence, I am giving this clarification to put an end to it,” a statement released by Raj Bhavan said.
A debate was triggered after the governor said Tamizhagam was a more appropriate name for the state than Tamil Nadu, bringing him in the line of fire of several political parties. The governor was being criticized for using a name other than the one approved by the Constitution. Both words find mention in Tamil literature, but Tamil Nadu is being accepted and Tamizhagam opposed.
Reasoning the usage of the term, R N Ravi said, “In an event at Raj Bhavan on January 4, 2023 to felicitate the volunteers of Kashi-Tamil Sangamam, a recently concluded month long festival celebrating the age of cultural connect of Tamil people with Kashi, while dwelling upon the historical cultural connect between the two, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’. In those days, there was no ‘Tamil Nadu’. Hence in historical cultural context, I referred to the word ‘Tamizhagam’ as a ‘more appropriate expression’.”
Tamizhagam, when literally translated, means home of Tamil. The word is also spelled as ‘Tamilakam’. It refers to a geographical region where ancient Tamil people live. The ancient ‘Tamilakam’ is made up of today’s of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and southern areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu literally means ‘Tamil Land’. The issue arises as the actual meaning of the name is lost in translation without ‘Nadu’. The word ‘nadu’ can also be read as “country”.
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