Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday announced that his government was planning a year-long celebration to commemorate the Vaikom Satyagraha movement that was launched to end caste discrimination in a temple in Kerala's Kottayam district.
Stalin made the announcement in the State Assembly on Thursday and said that he will participate in the Kerala government's Vaikom struggle centenary celebrations on April 1. The movement against untouchability demanded that a ban be lifted on the oppressed people to walk on roads in and around the Mahadeva Temple at Vaikom town.
"On April 1, 2023, Kerala Government under CM Pinarayi Vijayan will organize 'Vaikom Centenary Celebration'. I will also participate as a special guest. We will pay tribute at the Vaikom Memorial pillar which was set up by Tamil Nadu Government," Stalin said.
The chief minister said that a new memorial for Periyar EV Ramasamy will be set up at Aruvikutti village in Kerala where he was first imprisoned for leading the Vaikom movement.A special commemorative postage stamp will also be released.
The memorial for Periyar at Vaikom in Kerala would be renovated at a cost of Rs 8.14 crore and efforts would be taken to set up a memorial at Aruvikutti, where Periyar was held in jail for the first time, Stalin said.
CM Stalin said, the DMK government would organize a grand event on November 29 this year "Kerala CM and prominent leaders along with myself will attend the event," he said.
The chief minster said that his Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government was following Periyar's Social Development way.
"Vaikom Sathyagraha Centenary Celebration" would begin by March 30, and continue for one year," Stalin announced adding that several initiatives will be taken to make people aware of Vaikom Satyagraha among people and students in Tamil Nadu.
Stalin said that researcher Pala Adhiyamaran's 'Vaikom Satyagraha' Book written in Tamil and translated into the Malayalam language will be released very soon.
The Telugu, Kannada and English versions of this book will also be launched very soon, he said.
Stalin said that any individual or organisation who gave voice to the oppressed and brought changes in society would be felicitated with the 'Vaikom Award' award on September 17, the birth anniversary of Periyar, which will be celebrated as Social Justice Day every year.
Stalin informed that Vaikom and Periyar Memorials would be renovated on modern lines, for which Rs 8 crore and 14 lakhs would be allocated.
"Efforts would be taken to build the 'New Periyar Memorial' in, Arivukuthu Village, where Periyar was imprisoned for the first time, adding that efforts would be taken to release a special Stamp on the occasion of Vaikom Centenary Celebration.
CM Stalin said that competitions would be conducted in schools and colleges regarding the Vaikom Satyagraha.
"A 66-page book would be introduced in Tamil and English to create awareness about Vaikom Centenary Celebration, " CM Stalin said. (ANI)