The Tamil Nadu Assembly once again passed a resolution opposing a Union government policy; this week it was against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Last week, the assembly passed a resolution opposing the three Farm Laws passed in 2020. The BJP ministers staged a walkout from the assembly in both the instances.
The assembly also decided to erect several statues and memorials for a wide-range of leaders. In the recent past, there have been incidents of statues of Dravidian leaders such as EVR Periyar and C N Annadurai being defaced. The ruling DMK appears to be asserting its politics by erecting more statues.
The state received a new governor late on September 9. Existing governor Banwarilal Purohit was replaced by Nagaland governor R N Ravi. However, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri opposed the move saying it was a wrong precedent to appoint an ex-intelligence officer as a governor. Newsclick brings you a round up of the happenings this week.
MORE STATUES AND MEMORIALS
The Tamil Nadu assembly has decided to erect several statues and memorials of leaders and martyrs across the state. It ranged from Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former state finance minister VR Nedunchezhian to Tamil freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman.
During his reply to the discussion on demand for grants for his department on September 7, Information and Publicity Minister MP Swaminathan made a slew of these announcements.
Over the past two weeks, memorials for former chief minister M Karunanidhi and for the 21 people who died in the Vanniyar reservation protests in 1987 were announced.
The politics around statues and memorials is an old one in Tamil Nadu; it also reveals the tussle between the two dominant Dravidian parties, the DMK and the AIADMK.
RESOLUTION AGAINST CAA
The Tamil Nadu Assembly on September 8 adopted a resolution urging the Union government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) because it is “not in tune with the secular principles laid down in our Constitution, and also not conducive to the communal harmony that prevails in India”. Read more
Members of the main opposition party, AIADMK, were not present when the resolution was adopted as they had walked out earlier over another issue. While the BJP MLAs walked out, their ally Pattali Makkal Katchi welcomed the resolution. The PMK has started drifting away from the electoral alliance and is openly supporting the DMK-led government.
Additionally, another party, Thamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam has announced that his party was walking out of the AIADMK alliance stating that its leaders have done great injustice to the party.
COVID-19: CASES CROSS 1,600
COVID-19 infections in Tamil Nadu have seen a spike this week. The state reported 1,631 new Covid cases and 25 deaths on September 10. Five of the 38 districts of the state reported most of the new infections.
The Health Department alerted all the district collectors to check Covid-19 spread as the state is showing a rising trend.
Chief Minister MK Stalin on September 9 announced that the existing ban on festivals, political, social and religious gatherings in the state was being extended till October 31 stating that they could turn into “super spreaders” events.
Since schools reopened for classes 9 and above on September 1, some infection among students and teachers have been reported. Four Class 10 girls were infected in a government higher secondary school in Tiruvannamalai town this week.
Further, a policy note tabled on the Home department by MK Stalin on September 9, reveals that during the pandemic period of 2020, the number of rapes, Pocso cases, dowry deaths and molestations went up in Tamil Nadu.
VINAYAKA CHATHURTHI IN COVID TIMES
Some activists of Hindu Munnani were detained on September 10 for allegedly defying the Tamil Nadu government's ban on Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations in public places. Protesting the state government's decision, Hindu Munnani members placed Ganpati idols outside the Vellore collectorate and offered prayers.
After the state government banned public celebration of Vinayaka Chathurthi as part of the COVID-19 protocols, cash aid of Rs 5000 was announced for 3000 Vinayaka idol-makers who would lose out on their incomes. Read more
1 DEAD, 8 INJURED IN FIRECRACKER BLAST
A man was killed and seven others injured in a blast at an illegal firecracker unit near Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district on September 10. The blast occurred at the residence of Balamurugan, and the deceased has been identified as 60-year-old Shanmugaraj.
The incident took place a few days after 70 firecracker units in Virudhunagar were shut down due to safety violations.
TRANS MINOR MURDERED BY BROTHER
A 17-year-old minor was murdered by their brother in a village of Salem district on August 30. The reason for the murder later revealed that the minor’s brother was ashamed of the gender identity of his sister, who was a transgender person.
TANGEDCO CONTRACT WORKERS’ PROTEST
Contract workers of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) held a protest in Tirunelveli on September 8 demanding an assured daily minimum wage of Rs 380. They also demanded priority in appointments in the corporation as there are over 25,000 vacancies.