Law altering Tamil new year day challenged

April 29th, 2008 - 9:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) A yet to be enacted Tamil Nadu law, seeking to alter the Tamil new year day from a tentative date in mid-April to on or around January 14, was challenged Tuesday before the Supreme Court. The petition seeking to stall the state legislature from enacting the law altering the Tamil New year day was filed by a Chennai-based social activist K.R. Ramaswami.

The petitioner has come to the apex court in an appeal against the Madras High Court’s February 13 ruling which dismissed his petition challenging the bill for alteration of the Tamil new year day - currently pending in the state legislature.

The high court, while dismissing the petition seeking direction to restrain the state legislature from passing ‘The Tamil Nadu Tamil New Year (Declaration) Bill, 2008, had also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 against the petitioner.

In his petition to the apex court, petitioner Ramaswami has also challenged the imposition of fine on him.

The petitioner pointed out to the court that the Tamil new year begins from the first day of the Tamil month ‘Chitirai,’ also known as Chaitra in Hindi, which tentatively falls in mid-April.

But the bill, pending in the state legislature since January 29, seeks to change the Tamil new year day to on or around January 14, the first day of the Tamil month Thai.

Terming the bill as an “unheard of step taken by any Indian legislature”, Ramaswami contended in his petition that the Tamils not only in the state but across the entire globe have been celebrating their new year day on the first day of the month Chitirai since time immemorial.

He contended that the Tamil new year day had been fixed on the basis of a sound astronomical, astrophysical and mathematical calculation and the state government was out to destroy the sanctity of the Tamil New year day.

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