Tamil Thai Vaazhthu Song

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    • The Tamil Nadu government has declared Tamil Thai Vaazhthu, a prayer song sung in praise of Mother Tamil, as the State Song.

    Background

    • The decision came after the Madras High Court ruled that “there is no statutory or executive order requiring the attendees to stand up when Tamil Thai Vaazhthu is sung.
    • The High Court referred to Bijoe Emmanuel vs. State of Kerala case (1986), in which the Supreme Court ordered the readmission to school of three children of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had been expelled for refusing to sing the national anthem. 
      • As per the SC, there is no provision of law which obliges anyone to sing the National Anthem.
    • Again, while the Supreme Court had, in Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India (2017), directed that all cinema halls shall play the national anthem before the film and all present are obliged to stand, it had modified the original directions and made it “optional and not mandatory”.

    Tamil Thai Vaazhthu

    • A part of the verses under the title ‘Tamil Dheiva Vanakkam’ from Manonmaniam, penned by Manonmaniam Sundaranar and published in 1891, eventually came to be known as the Tamil Thai Vaazhthu.
    • In 1913, the annual report of the Karanthai Tamil Sangam made the demand for singing the song at all functions.
    • The Tamil Thai Vaazhthu is being sung at Karanthai Tamil Sangam since 1914.
    • It is also being sung at all Tamil Sangams associated with the Karanthai Tamil Sangam.
    • The Karanthai Tamil Sangam had appealed to the then Chief Minister, C.N. Annadurai, to declare Tamil Thai Vaazhthu the State song.

    Source: IE