February 05, 2023

TN: Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial Day Observed

G Udayakumar

THE Tamilnadu Platform for People's Unity has been observing every year Mahatma Gandhi's memorial day on January 30 as anti-bigotry day, and conducting various programmes in the state exposing the dangerous activities of the BJP and Sangh Parivar forces that are trying to divide the people on communal lines for its political gains.  In the last two years, there was no such programme because of the pandemic situation. This year, this day was observed throughout the state.                  

At a meeting organised in Chennai at Chepauk Reporters Guild Hall, former governor of West Bengal, Gopalkrishna Gandhi garlanded Mahatma Gandhi's portrait and took the anti-bigotry oath along with other leaders and the audience. The meeting was presided over by            G Udayakumar, coordinator of the TNPPU, and various political leaders and prominent social activists participated in the function.                               

Well known social activist, Harsh Mandar, participating in the programme mentioned how Gandhi wanted to create an egalitarian society without religion, language, caste and gender bias.  He believed that all citizens have equal rights. Gandhiji was not killed while fighting the British, but he was killed by those who oppose equality among humans.   

Former Judge of Chennai High court, Hari Parandaman, who spoke in the meeting, said that bigotry has taken various forms in Tamilnadu. Communal and obscurantist forces are working in different names. He suggested that one should not call this a memorial day, but instead call it as an assassination day, since he was shot dead by the Hindu fundamentalists. We should fight against bigotry in the country, he said. 

CPI(M) leader V Meenakshi Sundaram, Prof. MH  Jawahirullah, A Kobanna, Congress senior leader,  Tamilan Prasanna, DMK leader,  Prof. Haja Gani, general secretary of  TMMK,  Vanni Arasu, general secretary of VCK,  Bishop Deva Sahayam and others also addressed the meeting. S Kumar, coordinator of the Chennai Makkal Medai welcomed the gathering and Jennifer Wilson, a freelance journalist gave the vote of thanks.               

In Madurai, Prof. Arunan, coordinator of TNPPU and  other leaders from democratic parties and organisations garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and took the anti-bigotry oath in front of the statue.  In the evening a seminar was held in which Prof. Arunan, Bhoomi Nathan, MLA and others spoke.    The garlanding of Mahatma Gandhi statue and anti-bigotry oath taking functions were held in more than 40 centres in Tamilnadu.                             

In Cuddalore town, a seminar organised by TNPPU was attended by several political parties and organisations.  In the function held at Salem town, the effigy of Godse was hanged in front of the public and the police intervened and prevented them.