Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 4 ]


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CHENNAI – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 26 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

 

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

After four days stay , I left Vaitheeswaran Koil in the afternoon and reached Chennai in the night . Sitting in the room of my hotel Golden Tower , I am writing the 4th installment of ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” .

In my last 3 blogs I have tried to explain some of the misconceptions about Tamil Nadu , its leaders and general public . For the large sections of North Indian people the image of Tamil Nadu of 1965 is hard to forget . I think I have explained everything in detail about Tamil Nadu of 1965 .

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai , Muthuvel Karunanidhi , Marudhur Gopal Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa Jayaram have dominated the Tamil Nadu scene since 1967 . They all jointly left Dravid Kazhagam led by Erode Venkata Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” a.k.a. E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. D.M.K. in 1949 .

 

English: M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan...

M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan, C. N. Annadurai, C. Rajagopalachari, M. Karunanidhi at a private function in Jan 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai a.k.a. C. N. Annadurai led D.M.K. to victory in 1967 elections and became the first non – Congress leader to form a majority government in any Indian state . He left Dravid Kazhagam and formed a new party because he was not willing to be part of anti national forces . He was against vivisection of India and was in favour of fighting elections under Indian Constitution . Atheism and anti – Hindi sentiments were the only two things which he accepted and borrowed from Dravid Kazhagam . He was instrumental in dropping the demand of independent Dravid Nadu of Periyar and berrying it forever in the pious land of Tamil Nadu .

C. N. Annadurai's House in Kanchipuram

C. N. Annadurai’s House in Kanchipuram

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

After his death in 1969 the post of chief minister went to Muthuvel Karunanidhi a.k.a. M. Karunanidhi . He followed almost same principles of C. N. Annadurai and atheism and anti – Hindi rhetoric still continues to be his credo .

But he has participated in the N.D.A. as well as U.P.A. governments of centre and his earlier bellicose attitude does not exist any more . A five time chief minister of Tamil Nadu is not the same M. Karunanidhi of yore . He is a changed man .

English: K. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tam...

M. Karunanidhi, ex Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972 Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran a.k.a. M. G. Ramachandran split the D.M.K. and formed Anna D.M.K. It was later on rechristened as All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. A.I.A.D.M.K. He is the only chief minister of Tamil Nadu , who holds the record of winning three consecutive terms as the chief minister . Though he followed atheism initially , but he was a practising Hindu and a follower of Bhagawan Muruga . During his regime , animosity towards North India disappeared and he followed a policy of no confrontation towards centre .

MGR Memorial

MGR Memorial

His successor Jayalalitha jayaram is a Hindu Brahmin and though she has not said anything openly but she is not an atheist . She is the only leader of prominence from Tamil Nadu , who can speak fluent Hindi . In my personal opinion she is only leader from Tamil Nadu who is capable of becoming the Prime Minister of India . I must say that she could , rather she should become the Prime Ministar of this nation . That day will be a red-letter day in our history and it will be a final blow to some of the misguided policies of E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” .

Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, 2011

Jayalalithaa , Incumbent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus in Tamil Nadu of today a different picture emerges these days . Gone are the days of unnecessary bellicose attitude of Tamil politicians . Credit for this goes to Bharat Ratna M. G. Ramachandran . Again a personal opinion , but I think he would have been an excellent Prime Minister of India . But alas he died young . 70 is no age to go .

I will again say that Tamil Nadu is changing fast . Or it has already changed ?

I am waiting to narrate these findings to all the current students of  my acting school Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 1 ]


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VAITHEESWARAN KOIL – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 23 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

When I landed at Chennai Airport on December 21 , 2012 , it marked my 3rd visit to the Southern metropolis . On December 22 , 2012 , when I drove to Vaitheeswaran Koil in the morning , it marked my 2nd visit to the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu .

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People of my generation always view Tamil Nadu and Tamil people through the prism , which was created in 1967 , when the first Dravidian government was formed in Tamil Nadu under the leadership of C. N. Annadurai .

But if you want to understand Dravid Movement of Tamil Nadu , you have to study the history of Self Respect Movement and Justice Party stablished by E. V. Ramasamy Naicker a.k.a. Periyar . It all started in 1925 , much before 1967 , when Annadurai led D.M.K. [ Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam ] formed the first non – Congress government in Tamil Nadu .

In the history of India , 1925 seems to be a very unique year . In the Tamil Nadu E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” started his Self Respect Movement and in the same year in Nagpur Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar started R.S.S. [ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ] . Periyar’s movement is considered separatist and anti national by many and Dr. Hedgewar’s movement is perceived ultra nationalist by the majority . But it is uncanny that both the movements were started in 1925 .

English: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Periyar E.V. Ram...

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on 06-Jan-1940 at Jinnah’s residence in Bombay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Dr. Hedgewar

Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar , Founder of R.S.S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is said that Periyar was peeved by the superiority of Brahmins and their dominance in all the departments and strata of Tamil culture and life . He started this movement called Sel Respect and started espousing the cause of non – Brahmin castes of Tamil Nadu . He started breaking idols in the temple , advocated atheism , despised JANEU , the sacred thread and finally gave a call for the boycott of Brahmin priests in the marriages . His espousal of Self Respect Marriage had far – reaching repercussions and he became quite unpopular in rest of the country . His anti – Brahmin crusades drew wide – spread indignation and his opposition of Hindu deity worship was considered as anti Hindu and finally anti India .

Both the Tamilian parties ; Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam [ DMK ] and All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam [ AIADMK ] owe their existence to E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and his movement . And thus atheism and anti North India and anti Hindi credo became their life lines . And when DMK came to power in 1967 , Anna Durai accepted many things which were espoused by Periyar . Thus in the rest of India people became suspicious and majority started disliking DMK and it anti Hindi , anti God and anti North India policies .

I was definitely misguided by this prism , which I got while studying in Allahabad from 1967 to 1974 . My recent visits have changed my perception of Tamil Nadu , Tamil people and Tamil politics of Dravidian parties .

I will complete this ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” series in my next blog and would like to share it with all the current students of my acting academy Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  after my return from Tamil Nadu .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Vidur’s Travel Diary – 6 : Kanchipuram


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          DECEMBER 05 , 2011           01.00 P.M.

On the 30th morning , my last day in Chennai , I started for my journey to Kanchipuram . It is 71 km. from Chennai . I had read in the Holy scriptures that 7 holy cities have powers to give you salvation or Nirvana . They are Ayodhya , Mathura , Maya [ Haridwar ] , Kashi [ Varanasi ] in Uttar Pradesh , Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu , Avantika [ Ujjain ] in Madhya Pradesh and Dwarka in Gujarat .

अयोध्या , मथुरा , माया , काशी , कांची , अवंतिका ;
पुरीद्वारावातिश्चैव , सप्तैते मोक्षदायिका

This is the shloka from Garud Puran and I used to recite it during my childhood . I had already visited 6 cities and only Kanchipuram was left . So the excitement was palpable . After fabulous breakfast in a roadside restaurant , we reached Kanchipuram in 2 hours . The city , formerly known as Conjeevaram , is situated on the banks of Vegavati river and is known for thousand temples and silk sarees . It is also called City of 1000 Temples . Once upon a time , it was kingdom of Pallava empire for 200 years , and is one of the oldest cities of South India .

Our first stop was 3,500 years old Ekambarnathar Temple :

At The Gate of Ekambarnathar Temple

Gopuram of 3,500 years old Ekambarnathar Temple :

Gopuram of Ekambarnathar Temple

Kanchipuram is the centre of one of the four Mathas , stablished by Adi Shankaracharya . Badrinath in the North , Dwarka in the West , Jagannath Puri in the East and Kanchipuram in the South . So our next stop was Kanchi Kamkoti Peetham Meenakshi Temple :

Meenakshi Temple of Kanchi Kamkoti Peetham

Gopuram of Meenakshi Temple : Kanch Kamkoti Peetham

After Kanchi Kamkoti Peetham , we visited Varadharaja Perumal Temple :

Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Entrance of Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Kanchipuram is birthplace of famous Sanskrit poet Dandin . He is writer of Dashakumaracharitam . Another famous Sanskrit poet Bharavi , who wrote Kiratarjuniyam , also hailed from here . Bharavi wrote his Kiratarjuniyam here under the patronage of the Pallav king Simhavishnu .  So out of four most famous poets of Sanskrit , two ; Dandin and Bharavi belong to Kanchipuram . Other two are ; Kalidas and Magha . The famous shloka describing their eminence is still fresh in my memory :

उपमा कालिदासस्य , भारवेरर्थ गौरवं ;
डंडीनः पद लालित्यम , माघे सन्ति त्रयो गुणाः

It is irony of the fate that Kanchipuram , which is second only to Varanasi in Sanskrit learning and which is the centre of Hinduism since time immemorial , is also the birthplace of C. N. Annadurai , an atheist and most famous Dravidian leader , second only to E. V. Ramasami Naicker Periyar . He formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam in 1949 and led it to victory in Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 1967 . Though C. N. Annadurai ruled only for 2 years and died in 1969 but his influence on Tamil Nadu and Dravid politics is immense . He is the first Non – Congress and Dravid leader to become Chief minister of Tamil Nadu , then known as Madras  . He is the first Non – Congress leader to come to power with absolute majority in any Indian state and ended monopoly of Congress in Tamil Nadu . M. Bakthavatsalam was the last Congress Chief Minister and since 1967 to 2011 , it is 44 years since Congress lost power . C. N. Annadurai symbolized this Non – Congress sentiment .

Kanchipuram is his birthplace and his house is converted into a memorial . I visited his memorial also ;

C. N. Annadurai's House in Kanchipuram

After Kanchipuram , I proceeded to Vellore . It is a small town 145 km. from Chennai . It is situated on the banks of Palar river . It is famous for hospital and V.I.T. University [ Vellore Institute of Technology ] . Since my sister’s son is studying there I went there to meet him .

With My Nephew Kaustubh in the V. I. T. Campus

V. I. T. Gate

While coming to Kanchipuram from Chennai , one can see Rajiv Gandhi Memorial in Sriperumbudur also . This small place is situated 40 km. away from Chennai and comes under Kanchipuram district . It is birthplace of Sri Ramanujacharya , one of the most prominent Hindu Vaishnav saints . In 1991 Rajiv Gandhi was killed here during an election campaign and this small , unknown town became known to all . I visited his grand memorial ;

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial at Sriperumbudur

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial at Sriperumbudur

Rajiv Gandhi Memorial at Sriperubudur

It is a grand and opulent memorial . I am not against it  . But I am sad that crores are spent on Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial and Subramanya Bharathi’s memorial in Puducherry is now closed .

With this I finished my 12 days pilgrimage , said good-bye to Chennai , took train from Egmore on December 01st and reached Mumbai on December 02nd .

Egmore Station - Chennai

I don’t know whether I would be visiting these place again or not . I do intend to visit but …….? As usual I remember few lines of Hindi poet Agyeya and leave everything to my destiny .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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