By T.S. Venkatesan
TN Governor RN Ravi faulted the British colonial rulers for wrong narratives that divided the Northeast from main land. He also praised lavishly that the Tamil literature which is old and rich and other parts of the Bharat are not adequately told about the same.
For TN government, Governor Ravi is raking up issues and following the agenda of RSS and BJP . it feels his speeches are debunking its false narratives and affecting its vote bank politics. His love for Tamil , learning , getting facts from Tamil literature ,DMK sees, will erode its true champion of Tamil, saviour of Tamil people image.
After the TN Assembly incident, where the Head of the state was forced to walk out in the middle of the session after his customary address on 9th January, DMK delegation met the President of India and presented a petition seeking his removal. Ravi who met Home Ministry officials and explained what had happened on that day and reason for his walk out. Two days ago he made a clarification. In that he clarified that it was “erroneous and far-fetched” to say that he had suggested changing the name of the state with his recent comments on “Tamizhagam”.
On January 21st, he was interacting with a group of civil service trainees at Raj Bhavan about his role as the interlocutor for the Naga peace talks between 2014 and 2021. He blamed the British colonial rulers for creating a deep divide between Northeast from the mainland. He said “ Before the Britishers set foot in Bharat, there was active communication between people of northeast India and main land India. It was the British who divided the Northeast from the mainland. “Realising that this false narrative, followed later even by the union government, I gave clear message after taking charge as interlocutor to the negotiating groups that the narrative of Nagaland not being a part of Bharat was unacceptable. The first thing what I did was to change the Venue of Talks to Delhi which happened until then in other countries as part of an earlier arrangement. The groups involved in the talks were globetrotting at the expenses of Central government”. He said the government refused to be blackmailed that the talks could be conducted with only one group. Ravi told them in clear terms and to accept them that Nagaland was part of India and a solution should be reached within India’s Constitutional framework which some special (privileges) could be considered by amending the constitution. “After taking charge as interlocutor, I addressed a public meeting that the government of India must accept that Nagas had to be won by love and not by military action and Nagas must accept that they could not drive India out of Nagaland. Nagaland people liked the clarity and plain-speaking and came around even though they were initially unhappy”.
Governor Ravi faulted the British for dividing the hills in the plains and the hills in the North east and rest of the India. He said that the British control over Bengal disconnected the traditional link and ties between the North east and rest of the country. He said it become worse by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) introduced in 1873 citing American Baptist writing to the then Bengal Governor about his inability to travel to hills to spread the gospel. Ravi said “there is a false narrative that northeast is not part of India given by the British. But there is evidence of frequent interaction between people of Northeast and the mainland even 500 years ago. Only after British came to India they separated northeast from India”. He also recalled that people from various parts of the country undertook pilgrimages to northeast and there trade links and educational connections.
Ravi said “Tamil literature is old and rich and other parts of the country are not adequately aware about it. There is continuity of culture in Tamil Nadu and some of the practise that is 2,000 years old and is still prevalent here. I am learning Tamil and started to read Tamil dailies. I am undergoing a crash course in Tamil language at the Banaras Hindu University. I am surprised to see more than 30 non-Tamil students learning Tamil. I have invited them to Tamil Nadu as my guest for 10days and asked them to see all the cultural and historical places”.
After paying tributes to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on his 126th birth anniversary, Ravi said Bharat is yet to have an authentic history of freedom movement. He said Netaji was one of the forgotten one. There are some names and unfortunately they were not find place in the history. “ When we started celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav, Prime Minister made it a point to discover unsung heroes. Because of a nation that forgets its martyrs and fighters is an ungrateful nation and cannot grow. And Bharat, certainly, is not ungrateful. Contribution of those who fought against Britishers were slowly forgotten” . He underlined the importance of information on Indian National Army (INA) veterans.
TN Governor said in July last “It is a false history, created by the British as part of their divide-and-rule policy, that Dravidian is a race. This was evident from the fact that when they [the British] left, India had 600 independent countries, apart from Pakistan, within it in 1947,”. In August, he said British mandated East India Company to evangelise India and missionaries like G.U. Pope, who first translated the epic poem of Thiruvalluvar, the Thirukkural, into English, presented a “de-spiritualised” version of it. He said “The translation was done with colonial objective to trivialise the spiritual wisdom of India. British attempted to destroy India’s great spirituality by distorting Indian history and culture and to colonise the people’s mind. I want the Youths and the scholars to shun the colonial interpretation of ancient Tamil texts and have soulful reading of these scriptures and experience their true essence”.
These are not go well with the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu.