Parliamentarians from Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country have written to the President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his immediate intervention in ensuring that the committee announced by the Minister for Culture to study the origin and evolution of Indian culture is disbanded. They pointed out that the 16-member group formed to study this subject did not itself reflect a pluralistic society and ignored various sections of the country’s population.
“There are no South Indians, Northeast Indians, minorities, Dalits or women. Almost all the members of the said committee belong to certain specific social groups which are in top of the Caste hierarchy of Indian society” read the letter that was endorsed by 32 Members of parliaments, which predominantly featured opposition MPs from Tamil Nadu. They reasoned that India with its great legacy of pluralism, requires inputs from diverse cultures of the nation.
It was emphasized that the the committee did not feature any experts in South Indian languages, including Tamil, which has been recognized as a classical language by even the Central Government. Raising questions about the intentions, composition of the committee, the letter asked, “Isn’t India below Vindhya hill ? Is there no civilization other than the Vedic Civilization ? Is there no ancient language here than Sanskrit ?”
The letter also expressed fear that the committee in question, would negate the positive, immense contributions of scholars like John Marshall, Sunithkumar Chatterjee, Iravatham Mahadevan, Tony Joseph and R. Balakrishnan. “We feel this committee with this composition may not have scientific outlook and may lead to distortion of history and defeat the very purpose if its stated objective” it added.
On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Paaniswami had written to Prime Minster Narendra Modi, requesting him to personally intervene and ensure that experts from Tamil Nadu are included in the same committee. The Chief Minister’s letter expressed surprise on how the Ministry of Culture, which is responsible for this initiative happened to ignore experts from the Southern state.
Touching upon the Prime Minister’s Mamallapuram visit, it was pointed out that the committee had no representative from any of the Southern states, especially from Tamil Nadu, which has a glorious past and is home to the Dravidian civilization, which is a living and thriving culture in the South of India.