Disquiet in Dravidian Land Over Governor’s Sanatana Rhetoric

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The DMK Government in Tamil Nadu has drafted a memorandum against Governor R N Ravi highlighting his recent statements, which they said have caused deep wounds to the sentiments and pride of the Tamil people. 

Syed Ali Mujtaba | Clarion India

CHENNAI – After Arif Mohmmad Khan’s appointment as Governor of Kerala with an alleged brief to praise and propagate the BJP’s ideology, the new Governor of Tamil Nadu R N Ravi is doing the same to turn the Dravidian land into that of Sanatana.

In protest, the ruling DMK government and its allies have drafted a memorandum listing out their grouses and sent it to the President of India demanding the Governor’s recall. Their main grouse is that the Tamil Nadu Governor’s recent statements have caused deep wounds to the sentiments and pride of the Tamil people. 

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi, since his appointment in September 2021, has been making public statements praising the Sanatana Dharma, saying India has been guided by Sanatana Dharma for several thousand years. He had said the country is dependent on one religion like the rest of the world and that is Sanatana Dharma.

RN Ravi is reported to have denounced the Dravidian heritage Thirukkural, a classical Tamil text consisting of 1,330 short couplets of seven words each which have angered the Tamil people.

At an event orgnanised to commemorate the Vellore Sepoy Revolt, Ravi claimed that the British created a false history of the Aryan-Dravidian divide. He criticised the British for their theory of the “racial” division of Aryans and Dravidians and termed the Aryan-Dravidian division geographical, not racial.

The DMK-drafted memorandum states that the Governor has been instigating communal hatred and posing a threat to peace and tranquility of the state. “His speeches are made with a calculated intent to incite hatred and create communal unrest among the people,” the memorandum reads.

“Some might even consider his statements as seditious as his statements bring or attempt to bring into hatred or contempt or excite or attempt to excite disaffection towards the government established by law,” the memorandum further states.

The DMK government has alleged that R N Ravi has not cleared at least 21 Bills passed by the state Assembly. These include the abolition of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) and the release of the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

 “It is the constitutional duty of the governor to act immediately on the Bills passed by the members of the elected House but the Governor is sitting on the Bills and trying to act as an alternate power center, which cannot be accepted, it is an affront to the constitution,” the memorandum states.

Governor Ravi is also praising the Centre’s policies, some of which are actually state subjects and in turn assaulting the federal structure of the country, DMK memo reads.

The other grouse of the state government is the Governor has not consulted the state chief minister over the appointment of vice-chancellors of the universities. Most recently, the Governor decided to hold the 54th convocation ceremony of Madurai Kamaraj University without “consulting the state government”, leading to state higher education minister K Ponmudi boycotting the event.

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Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He  can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@kasimjaipurgmail-com

Photo: Governor of Tamil Nadu R N Ravi. — PTI file

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