THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.MAHADEVAN and THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.SATHYA NARAYANA PRASAD W.P.(MD)No. 21483 of 2022 S.M.A.Pon Gandhimathinathan                                  .. Petitioner

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

Reserved on Pronounced on
24.11.2022 02.12.2022

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.MAHADEVAN and

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.SATHYA NARAYANA PRASAD

W.P.(MD)No. 21483 of 2022

S.M.A.Pon Gandhimathinathan                                  .. Petitioner

 

Versus

1.The State of Tamil Nadu,

Rep. by the Secretary,

Department of Tamil Development

and Information,

No.37C4 + V58, Tamizh Salai,    Secretariat, Fort St. George,    Chennai – 600 009.

2.The Director,

Tamil Development Department,    1st Floor, Halls Road,    Egmore, Chennai.

3.The Director,

Department of Archaeology,

Tamil Valarchi Valagam,

Tamizh Salai,

Egmore, Chennai – 600 008.                                                  .. Respondents

PRAYER: Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondents to pass an appropriate order to declare the name of Thamirabarani River (jhkpuguzp MW) as Porunai River (bghUie MW) in the light of Tamil Literatures and the report submitted by the Archaeological Department of Tamil Nadu dated 07.09.2021 by considering the representation dated 10.12.2020 and 27.04.2022 made by the petitioner within time stipulated by this Court.

For Petitioner                          :      Mr.I.Pinaygash

For Respondents                          : Mr.P.Thilak Kumar

Government Pleader

 

O R D E R R. MAHADEVAN, J.

The prayer made in this public interest litigation is to issue a writ of mandamus, directing the respondents to pass an order, declaring the name of the River Thamirabarani (jhkpuguzp MW) as River Porunai (bghUie MW) in the light of Tamil Literary references and the report of the Archaeological Department of Tamil Nadu dated 07.09.2021 by considering the petitioner’s representations dated 10.12.2020 and 27.04.2022, within a time frame to be stipulated by this Court.

  1. The petitioner claims to be a member of the Advisory Committee of

Thoothukudi District Consumer Protection Department and a former member of Monitoring Committee of the National Green Tribunal. He further stated that recently he penned a book by name, Mjpapd; ntiuj;njo (bghUiea[k; Mjpj;jey;Y}Uk;). According to the petitioner, the Porunai is a perennial river that originates from Agastyarkoodam peak of Pothigai hills in the Western Ghats and it flows through Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi Districts of Tamil Nadu and joins the sea at the Gulf of Mannar. The banks of River Porunai were home to many Tamil grammarians viz., Tholkappiar, Kakkaipadiniyar and Vamanar.

  1. It is further averred in the writ petition that Porunai is a symbol of Tamil culture and civilization and an identity of South India. Bishop R. Caldwell, in his book, ‘A History of Tinnevelly’ discussed various interpretations of the word

“Tamiraparani” at length and according to him, the meaning of the word “Tamiraparani” itself is sufficiently clear, but its application in this connection, is far from being self-evident. The derivations of Tan Porunai include Tampraparani, Tamirabarni and Tamiravaruni; and “Tan Porunai Nathi” finds mention in the ancient Sangam literature Purananuru.

  1. The petitioner also referred to various books in the Tamil literature, addressing the River Thamirabarani as River Porunai.
  • Madurai Kaandam of Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam authored by Saint

Paranjothi, refers to ‘Thanporunai’ as under:

” bgUF jz;bghUie bad;Dk; bgzk; fg; bgw;wsd;nu”

and Thirunattu Sirappu segment of the same Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam, again refers to ‘Porunai’ in the following terms:

“bghd;kzp ahue; jh’;fpg; bghUieah’; fd;dpKe; euP;j;  jd;kfpH; fpHth dhfe; jHP ,f;bfhL fye;jd;nw”

The Saint Paranjothi went on to further glorify it thus:

“jpiugL bghUie ePj;j”; brtpypnghy; tsu;f;Fkhnjh”

  • The Tamil thesaurus Pingala Nikhandu authored by Pingala Muniver in the Avani Vakai verses 448-725 in the 4th chapter, in which, the word “Porunai” finds a place at verse 525. The Kurinji Chief has been named as Porunai – bghUed; rpyk;gd; btw;gd;wiy kfd; (564). The River Porunai has been referred to as

Porunai Thanporundham (566). It has also been described as under:

“Mdpthdp ahd; bghUie N:j ejpahd; bghUj;jk;””

  • Palliyar Kudiththaram Mootha Palli Sindhu of Mukkoodar Pallu mentions the tributary of the river, ‘Thenpaal Porunai’ in the segment as under:

“cj;ju ghf khd rpj;jpu ejpa[k; bjd;ghy; XLk; bghUiea[ld; TLk;/”

Further, in the segment, Deiva Nilai Potrudhal, the author praises the river Porunai that helps grow two harvests of the best variety of Paddy – the Poonjali, as under:

“bghUieae; jpUejpapd; ,Ufiua[k; ,Ug{t[k;  g{“;rhyp tpisant Ttha; Fapny/”

  • Periyapuranam, also known as Thiruthondar Puranam, written by Poet

Sekkizhar, at 12th Thirumurai of Thirunavukkarasu Puranam, refers to ‘Thanporunai’.

  • In Silapathikaaram, the Chera King is called as ‘Porunai Poraiyan’ and the

River is glorified as ‘Nachinarkiniyam Thanporunai’.

  • The poet Kambar refers to the River as Porunai and not Thamirabarani, in the following lines:

“bghd;jpzpe;j g[dy; bgUFk; bghUie jpUe;jp”

  • Bharathiyar sings in one of his poems as “jkpH; fz;lnjhu; itia bghUie ejp/”
  1. It is also stated by the petitioner that in the Sanga Ilakkiya Porut Kalanjiyam (Compilation 1) published by the Thanjavur Tamil University, “Porunai” finds place as “Mdb; ghUie ? Xu;ahW”. Further, in the stone inscriptions from the year 1013, during the period of the King Raja Raja Chozhan I, the River

Thamirabarani has been referred to as “Than Porundham” in the Seevalaperi Region, where the River Chitharu joins it. Even in the Nayak period, the river was mentioned as “Porunai”.

  1. The writ petition further proceeds to state that the Archaeological

Department has published a report dated 07.09.2021 in the name of “Porunai Valley Civilization (bghUie Mw;w’;fiu ehfhPfk;); and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has also announced in the Assembly that a Museum will be instituted in the name of ‘Porunai Museum’ (bghUie mU’;fhl;rpafk;) at Tirunelveli District.

  1. Thus, according to the petitioner, there are countless materials available across the State, where the name of the river is mentioned as “Than Poruntham” and “Than Porunai” which transformed into “Tamira Porunai” before becoming “Thamirabarani”; and “Porunai” is the pure Tamil word.
  2. Narrating all these facts, the petitioner made a detailed representation dated 27.04.2022 to the respondents, requesting to pass an order, declaring the name of the River Thamirabarani as River Porunai. However, there was no response on the same. Hence, this writ petition in the nature of public interest litigation.
  3. Drawing the attention of this court to Article 51-A(f) of the Constitution, the learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture. Further, Article 29(1) specifically provides that any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof, having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same. Therefore, the petitioner has a legitimate expectation that his representation dated 27.04.2022 ought to have been considered and appropriate orders should have been passed by the respondent authorities. Stating so, the learned counsel prayed for appropriate direction to the respondents in this regard.
  4. On the other hand, the learned Government Pleader appearing for the respondents fairly submitted that the respondent authorities would consider the claim of the petitioner and pass appropriate orders, on merits and in accordance with law, within a time frame to be stipulated by this Court.
  5. Having regard to the fact that the petitioner has submitted a detailed representation dated 27.04.2022 requesting the respondent authorities to pass orders declaring the River “Thamirabarani” as River “Porunai”, which is pending till date, this Court directs the respondents to consider the said representation, in the light of the Tamil literary references as well as the report submitted by the Archaeological Department of Tamil Nadu dated 07.09.2021, and pass appropriate orders, on merits and in accordance with law, within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
  6. With the above direction, the Writ Petition is disposed of. There is no order as to costs.

  [R.M.D., J.]             [J.S.N.P., J.]

           02.12.2022

Speaking / Non-speaking Order

Internet : Yes.

Index   : Yes / No r n s

To

1.The Secretary,

Department of Tamil Development

and Information,

Government of Tamil Nadu,

No.37C4 + V58, Tamizh Salai,    Secretariat, Fort St. George,    Chennai – 600 009.

2.The Director,

Tamil Development Department,    1st Floor, Halls Road,    Egmore, Chennai.

3.The Director,

Department of Archaeology,

Tamil Valarchi Valagam,

Tamizh Salai,

Egmore, Chennai – 600 008.

  1. MAHADEVAN, J. and  J.SATHYA NARAYANA PRASAD  , J.

r n s/ps W.P.(MD)No. 21483 of 2022

02/12/2022

You may also like...

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
Call Now ButtonCALL ME