Date : 15.04.2021
The Chief Secretary,
Government of Tamil Nadu
Secretariat, Fort St. George,
Chennai – 600009
Sub : Erection of sign / name boards of Highways in the State of Tamil Nadu – changing the existing names – Regarding.
With great pain and anguish we are constrained to write this letter, under the direction of our leader, the DMK President &Hon’ble Leader of Opposition Mr. M.K.Stalin.
It is common knowledge that certainarterial roads/ highways leading to Chennai have been named after greatcolossal leadersof Tamil Nadu. This is a policy decision taken by the Government of the time. Naming roads in memory of the political, social, cultural and intellectual icons of Tamil Nadu is in recognition of the yeoman service renderedby them to the society, State and Country. It is to ensure that future generations recall and remember these great leaders, and their contribution to our culture and polity.
The Poonamallee High Road was renamed as PeriyarE.V.R. High Road in the year 1979 in the memory of Late ThiruE.V. Ramasamy lovingly called as ThanthaiPeriyar. It is known to every Tamilian that ThanthaiPeriyar, the grand architect of the Dravidian movement was fundamental in changing the political and social landscape of Tamil Nadu by showing the path of equality, self-respect and rationalism.The Mount Road was renamed as Anna Salai in the memory of great leader and former Chief Minister Periragnar Anna and the Beach Road is renamed as KamarajarSalai in the memory of another great leader and former Chief Minister Thiru. Kamarajar. Likewise the name “Mahabalipuram Road” was changed as “Mamallapuram Road” leading to Mamallapuram taking into account the sentiments of the people, after a great Tamil Pallava King, by way of Gazette notification.
We are given to understand that in derogation of such policy decisions of the State Government, the names of these arterial roads have been changed to Grand Western Trunk Road,Grand Southern Trunk Road, Grand Northern Trunk Road and Mahabalipuram Road and these names are found in the signboards erected on these Roads. Such unilateral action of the State and National Highways amounts to disrespecting the memory of the tall leaders and the wishes of the Tamil people in the State of Tamil Nadu and their sentiments. This action of changing the names of the roads, and the sheer disrespect to Tamil icons cutting across all parties, has brought uneasiness and unrest in the State and this may even lead to agitations and unrest.
It is quite apparent that the name change is done to please the ideologies of the AIADMK’s masters from the north, whose dislike of the Dravidian movement, and its icon ThanthaiPeriyar is well known. Their aim is to ‘sankritise’ and ‘saffronise’ everything. After all, everybody was witness to their pathetic attempt to shade the great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar with religious colour. It is up to the Tamil people to save our identity, pride and preserve our culture, and remembering and celebrating our icons and leaders is part of this struggle.
We therefore request your goodself to intervene immediately in the matter, and take up the issue with the appropriate authorities, including the Central Government if need be,and restore the names of the respective roads and assert the rights of the Tamil people and oblige.