What does Tamizhagam mean? Why Governor RN Ravi wants Tamil Nadu’s name changed?

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has sparked a major controversy and received heavy backlash for a recent remark. The Governor commented in a speech last week that “Tamizhagam would be more appropriate than Tamil Nadu” as the southern state’s name. His remarks followed condemnation from the ruling party DMK as well as other Dravidian parties like TPDK.

Parties opposing the ‘Tamizhagam’ remark are demanding that the Centre remove Ravi as Tamil Nadu governor. Furthermore, the governor allegedly straying from the approved Assembly speech has added fuel to the fire. Here’s all you need to know about the Tamizhagam row.

Governor Ravi’s ‘Tamizhagam’ remark

Speaking at a recent function in Raj Bhawan, Governor Ravi said, “Unfortunately in Tamil Nadu there has been regressive politics that we are Dravidians, and by virtue of the Constitution, we have been brought together. The entire effort has been created in half a century to reinforce this narrative that we are not part of the nation, an integral part of the nation. And even a different kind of narrative has been created. Everything applicable for the whole of the country, Tamil Nadu will say no.”

“It has become a habit. So many theses have been written–all false and poor fiction. This must be broken. Truth must prevail. In fact, Tamil Nadu is the land which holds the soul of Bharat. It is the identity of Bharat. In fact, Thamizhagam would be the more appropriate word to call it,” he added, sparking the controversy.

What does ‘Tamizhagam’ mean?

Tamizhagam literally translated means home of Tamil. The word is also spelled as Tamilakam. It also refers to a geographical region where ancient Tamil people live. The ancient Tamilakam is made up of today’s land of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and southern areas of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Why is there an issue with Tamil Nadu?

The issue arises from the meaning lost in translation, specifically referring to the word ‘Nadu’ in Tamil Nadu. In translation, the word can also be read as “country”. The state’s current name literally means “Tamil Land”.

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(With inputs from ANI, IANS)

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