Tamil Nadu reverts to New Year in Chithirai again

August 23rd, 2011 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 23 (IANS) The first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai (mid-April) will once again mark the official New Year in Tamil Nadu.

Going back to the age-old tradition, the AIADMK government passed a bill in the assembly Tuesday amid opposition from the communists, reversing yet another DMK government decision.

The DMK government had legislated in 2008 that from 2009 on the Tamil New Year would begin on the first day of Tamil month Thai (mid-January) instead of Chithirai.

Introducing the bill, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister S.P. Shanmuganathan said that the public, experts in astronomy, archaeology and other scholars had said that shifting the Tamil New Year to Thai was against the sentiments of the Hindus and age-old practices.

The minister said that the request to revert had come from experts, who also argued that the people faced difficulty in celebrating the Pongal festival and Tamil New Year at the same time.

Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa said former chief minister M. Karunanidhi had enacted the law mainly for publicity and had not cared about the sentiments of people.

“The reasons for enactment of law should also been clearly stated,” Jayalalitaa said on her 100th day in office. “The erstwhile DMK government had enacted a law which was of no use for anybody.”

Reacting to AIADMK’s latest decision, Karunanidhi told reporters here that his government had taken the decision based on the views of around 500 Tamil scholars.

Public sector employee R. Shanthi said: “Regardless of the law, we used to celebrate Tamil New Year only in April. The government has no business to meddle with traditions.”

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