Tamil

Questions and Answers:

Tamil Nadu National Flag and National Anthem

Question: Sibi

Answer: Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, October 2002 (ID. 2002-10-02); Updated: 2017-02-01
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(EDITOR'S NOTE: We publish here an e-mail received from "Sibi" dated July 3, 2002 and Thanjai Nalankilli's response to the e-mail.)

Sibi writes:

I would like to know whether Tamil Nadu has any flag or not. If not, are there artists working on creating one? Lots of us who share the idea of an independent Tamil Nadu want to know of the national flag and national anthem. We can proudly fly Mother Tamil Nadu's flag and sing the anthem. Though the current "Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu" (Praise for Mother Tamil) is very well written, I think that it is not emotive enough for a full-fledged freedom struggle.

Vazhga Tamil Nadu! (Long Live Tamil Nadu!)
Thani Tamil Nadu ovvoru Tamizhanin Pirappurimai!
(Independent Tamil Nadu is every Tamil's birthright!)

Thanjai Nalankilli's Responds:

1. Tamil Nadu National Flag

There is no "official national flag" for Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu students demonstrated against continued Hindi imposition in December 1967 and January 1968. There were Anti-Hindi Imposition Marches (rallies) throughout Tamil Nadu. In Coimbatore City (Kovai), after marching through the main streets the students gathered at the Va Voo Chithamparanar Park (VOC Park) at the center of the city. Convener of this Anti-Hindi Imposition March in Coimbatore, addressing the huge gathering, said that independence for Tamil Nadu is the only way to end Hindi-imposition over Tamil Nadu. Amidst thunderous applause, he raised a Tamil Nadu National Flag. He saluted the flag and everyone stood in attention. It was a rather simple flag. Map of Tamil Nadu drawn on a rectangular white flag.

The flag fluttered in the wind until the meeting ended and students left the park. Throughout the march and the meeting large numbers of TamilNadu police were present. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was in power in Tamil Nadu State at that time. DMK swept the elections and came to power in 1967 because the people "punished" the previous ruling party (the Congress Party) for Hindi imposition and the brutal manner it put down the 1965 Tamil Nadu Students Anti-Hindi Imposition Agitation (at least 63 unarmed Tamil people were killed and many more wounded by Indian security forces during that agitation). Unlike in 1965, police did not interfere with the protest marches and meetings in 1967/1968 but were present and kept a watchful eye.

We may use this flag for the time being. The final national flag needs to be decided by the Constituent Assembly of Tamil Nadu (Constitutional Assembly) after Tamil Nadu is liberated from Indian rule. In my opinion the flag should be simple so that people can draw it easily; may be two or three strips of different colours drawn vertically or horizontally without things like the emblems of the three Tamil royal dynasties (Chera, Chola, Pandiya dynasties). Though these symbols have great historical and emotional impact, they are very difficult to draw. This is my personal opinion.

2. Tamil Nadu National Anthem

Tamil Nadu does not have a National Anthem. The State Government of Tamil Nadu under Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) rule announced in 1970 that a song in praise of Mother Tamil (Tamil thaai vazhthu) be sung at all state government functions. The government selected "neeradum kadaluduththa" written by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai for that purpose. It is an excellent song but the song talks of Dravida Nadu, not Tamil Nadu. Moreover, what is sung at Tamil Nadu State functions is not the full song but a curtailed or truncated version of the song. Most of the web sites and books contain the truncated version only. We found one of the websites that has the full version (including the deleted 5 lines) [see Reference 1].

Sibi writes "Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai's  neeradum kadaluduththa  is not emotive enough for a full-fledged freedom struggle". I agree. However the song sung during freedom struggle need not necessarily be the national anthem after independence. My tentative choice for this purpose is Paaventhar Bharathidasan's poem "engal vaazhvum, engal valamum" [Reference 1]. This song has an "up-beat" quality to it and may be sung at meetings and marches. It may also become the national anthem after independence. This song is in the Tamil movie "kalangkarai viLakkam" and a clip of this song-dance is available on some Internet sites.

Bharathiyar's "senthamizh naadenum pothinilae" [Reference 1] is another possible candidate for Tamil Nadu National Anthem.

Of course the final choice is up to the people of Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu Constituent Assembly will be elected and convened after independence and that assembly shall decide the national anthem, national flag and national emblem after independence!

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Tamil names may be spelled differently by different authors. Here are some variations of names in this article: Bharathiyar - Bharatiyar. Bharathidasan - Bharathithasan)

REFERENCE

1. Tamil Poem Site [This web page has all three songs (neeradum kadaluduththa, engal vaazhvum, engal valamum) and a few more]

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