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Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation drops caste name from school textbooks

- August 5, 2021

Chennai, August 5(BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu textbook corporation has started implementing the order of the state government a few years ago to drop the caste surnames in streets and roads of Tamil Nadu. A statement from the state Text Book corporation on Thursday said.

The former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late M.G.Ramachandran (MGR) while speaking at the centenary celebrations of Dravidar Kazhagam founder, E.V. Ramaswami Periyar(Thanthai Periyor ) in 1978 said that his government would take steps to remove the caste references from roads and streets of the state and a government order was issued for the same.

Tamil Nadu textbook corporation removed the surnames of famous scholars like U.V. Swaminatha Iyer his teacher Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, Mayavaram Vedanayagam Pillai who authored the first Tamil novel, C.W. Thamotharampillai, Ramalingam Pillai.

While U.V. Swaminatha Iyer who is known as Tamil Thatha (grand old man of Tamil) for his immense contribution to Tamil literature will henceforth be known as U.V.Swaminathar.  His teacher and guru, Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai will be known as Meenakshisundaranar. Mayavaram Vedanayagam Pillai, who authored the first Tamil novel will herein be known as Vedanayagam.

C.W. Thamotharanpillai will be known as just Damodaranar and poet Namakkal Kavignar Ramalingam Pillai will be known as Ramalingnar, but the  Text Book corporation has not touched upon the titles, Deekshithar and Desikar.

There are however opinion among Tamil scholars that those whose name was established in the literature and academic circles could have been given an exemption.

V. Manivarnan, Tamil  Scholar and writer on contemporary Tamil language while speaking to BPNS said,” While socially it is a good move to remove the caste tag from scholars but the names of established scholars like U.V.Swaminatha Iyer should have been retained.”