The plans of Doordarshan and All India Radio in Chennai to observe the Amruth Mahotsav (75th anniversary of India’s Independence) has turned sour even before the first episode of the programme was aired.
Both Doordaarshan and AIR had made grand plans to broadcast features and programmes on freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu who had contributed great services to liberate the country from the shackles of British rule. “But some of the names included in the list were shocking and insulting as they had no role in the freedom movement,” said B R Gowthaman, director, Vedic Research Centre, an autonomous body engaged in propagating Vedic Studies and Indian culture.
In memorandums addressed to Anurag Thakur, L Murugan, union ministers of State for Information and Broadcasting , and K Annamalai, Tamil Nadu BJP chief, Gowthaman said that three persons in the list prepared by the bureaucrats of Doordarshan and AIR do not have any role in the country’s freedom movement.
“E V Ramasami Naicker (popularly addressed as Periyor) was never a part of the freedom movement. In fact Naicker had pleaded with the British not to leave India,” Gowthaman told The Pioneer. He further pointed out that Rettamalai Srinivasan, whose name has been included in the list by the bureaucrats of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was a social reformer and had never taken part
in any agitation for the liberation of the country.
Yet another person whom the officials want to highlight is Marshal Nesamani, who too did not take part in freedom struggle. “Nesamani hailed from Kanyakumari in the then Travancore State. He was focussed on annexing the district from Travancore and joining it to the then Madras Province and had no role in the freedom movement,” said Gowthaman.