TN Guv RN Ravi refuses to read customary speech in Assembly on ‘moral grounds’
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi caused yet another stir, this time by refusing to read his customary prepared speech in the state Assembly on Monday, February 12. Claiming that “the speech has numerous passages with which I convincingly disagree on factual and moral grounds, I cannot lend my voice to as it would constitute a constitutional travesty,” the Governor quickly concluded his inaugural address of the Tamil Nadu Assembly that has convened for the first time in 2024.
The Governor opened his address by greeting the Assembly and media in Tamil and quoted a Thiruvalluvar couplet. He immediately went on to allege that the Assembly had repeatedly ignored his request to play the national anthem before and after the address.
The ‘Tamil Thai Vazhthu’, a song of praise to the Tamil language, is customarily sung before the beginning of Assembly sessions in Tamil Nadu and the national anthem is sung after the end of the session. “My repeated requests and advice to show due respect to the national anthem and play it at the beginning and the end of the address has been ignored. This address has numerous passages with which I convincingly disagree on factual and moral grounds. Lending my voice to it would constitute a constitutional travesty and hence with respect to the house, I conclude my address,” Ravi said.
Ravi’s refusal to read his entire speech this year is reminiscent of the row he caused last year, when he skipped several paragraphs from his prepared speech that referred to the state’s ‘Dravidian Model’, Dravidian leaders like Periyar and Annadurai, and Dr BR Ambedkar, and stormed out. His behaviour at the time triggered a furore in the Assembly.