The court however dismissed the petition that wanted the original version of the Tamil Thai Vazhthu penned by Manonmaniam P Sundarampillai to be restored.

A generation has grown up not knowing original Tamil Thai Vazhthu Man tells Madras HCDMK leaders (1968). Photo by Mohan V Raman/Wiki Commons
news Tamil Nadu Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 17:37

The Madras High Court recently dismissed a petition by a man asking for the uncut version of the Tamil Nadu anthem ' Neeraarum Kadaludutha' to be restored.

The petition was filed by one Ramaboopathy,  who said in the petition that he is a social worker and works as an auto driver. The 52-year-old man described himself as hailing from a “cultured Tamil family”, a proud Tamil and “a very religious man”.

He said in his petition that he was very upset when the then junior Sankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, Vijayendra Saraswati, sat through TN’s state song ‘Tamil Thai Vazhthu’ at an event in Chennai in January this year.

“I felt it was an insult to the Tamil Goddess, official song of the Government of Tamil Nadu, but later to my shock and dismay I came to know that this song had been cut short, edited in the year 1967 and a generation had grown up not knowing the original version, Government of Tamil Nadu version and an alternate version,” he argued.

Ramaboopathy then went on to say that the original, uncut song is “wonderful” and “self explanatory” and has nothing objectionable in it, and therefore does not need to be modified. “The originality cannot be and should not change, it remains as it is and it is our duty to preserve it,” he said.

The anthem, written by Manonmaniam Pillai and set to tune by MS Viswanathan has five more lines in the original version on the Tamil Goddess. However, the lines talk about the birth of other Dravidian languages from Tamil and the destruction of Aryan languages, unlike Tamil.  The song was played in an official setting beginning 1967 with the first Dravidian party coming to power in the state as CN Annadurai took over as Chief Minister. 

He asserted in his petition that tampering with the original ‘Tamil Thai Vazthu’ is unnecessary after 100 years. “Forever and ever only the original will prevail and must prevail and ever honest man shall do preserve the original and certainly not the tampered, modified, edited duplicates that got to showcased.” (sic)

At another place, he said, “I don’t understand why and what reason the song was cut down to half and edited by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1967, the pride and glory of the Tamil is cut down. I don’t understand why, is it political or social compulsion.” (sic)

He asked for the modified version of the TN state anthem to be discarded and the original one reinstated.

A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Bhavani however, dismissed Ramaboopathy’s petition, saying that the (edited) song has been sung for over five decades “all in praise of Tamil language, culture, history and heritage.” “Therefore, there is absolutely no need to change at this length of time,” the bench added.

(Image: DMK leaders KA Mathialagan, VP Raman, CN Annadurai and M Karunanidhi with Swatantara Party founder C Rajagopalachari at a private function in January 1968.)

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