Lord Murugan, who is revered by people across Tamil Nadu, had taken centre stage in the state’s politics recently.

Thaipusam celebration in MalaysiaCourtesy:Pixabay
news Holiday Tuesday, January 05, 2021 - 13:06

On Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced a public holiday on January 28 for Thaipusam, a festival for Lord Murugan celebrated by Tamils across the world. The Chief Minister also said that he will include Thaipusam in the public holiday calendar for the coming years. Tamil Nadu already has 23 public holidays in a year. List here.

In a press release, the CM said, “Thaipusam is an important festival in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the Tamil Lord Murugan. Not only Tamil Nadu people in Kerala also celebrate this festival. Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Indonesia celebrate Thaipusam.” (Keralites celebrate the day as Thaipooyam).

“While I travelled across Tamil Nadu, the public urged me to give holiday for Thaipusam like Sri Lanka and Mauritius.  Hence, I announce that Thaipusam on January 28 will be a public holiday in the state and Thaipusam will be included in the public holiday calendar for the coming years,” the Chief Minister said on Tuesday.

Thaipusam is a festival globally celebrated by Tamils on a day which marks god Murugan’s birthday and some believe it is also the day when goddess Parvati is supposed to have handed over a vel to her son Lord Murugan to kill a demon.

Soon after the announcement, Tamil Nadu BJP state unit president L Murugan thanked the state government for the move. L Murugan said,”I thank the Chief Minister for accepting the demand of BJP and declaring Thaipusam as a public holiday”. 

Lord Murugan, who is revered by people across Tamil Nadu, had taken centre stage in the state’s politics recently.

This announcement by the Chief Minister has political significance too as the BJP has been trying to woo voters projecting itself as the saviour of Murugan. The whole political controversy started after a YouTube channel called ‘Karuppar Kottam’ published a video on Kandha Sasti Kavasam, a hymn sung in praise of Lord Murugan. BJP started staging protests across the state condemning the video for demeaning Lord Murugan. While the people behind the video were arrested, the controversy around it went on for weeks with the BJP starting a ‘VetriVel Yatra’ as a response to ‘anti-Hindu beliefs’ in the state and visited the various abodes of Lord Murugan in the state.

The VetriVel Yatra also led to fissures between the AIADMK and BJP as the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government denied permission for the yatra citing coronavirus norms. However, defying the ban, BJP continued the yatra in the state amid the coronavirus lockdown. 

Read: Defying govt's order, BJP launches Vel yatra from Tiruttani in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu government announces list of 23 public holidays for 2021

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