Speaking at the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tamil newspaper Daily Thanthi at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium here on Monday, Modi said that editorial freedom should be used wisely and in public interest. Showering accolades on Daily Thanthi’s journey since its inception by Si Pa Aditanar, Modi commended the contributions of the founder Aditanar, his son Sivanthi Aditanar, and the present Director of the group, S Balasubramanian Adityan.
“Their stellar efforts over the last seven and a half decades, have made Daily Thanthi one of the biggest media brands, not just in the state of Tamil Nadu but in the entire country,” he added. The grand event was graced by dignitaries, including Union Minister for Defence Nirmala Sitharaman, Governor of Tamil Nadu, Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Union Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan. Welcoming the gathering, S Balasubramanian Adityan, Director, Daily Thanthi , highlighted the significant social contribution by the group in producing 30,000 rural graduates through educational institutions besides felicitating achievers in literature and other fields with prestigious awards every year. Prime Minister Modi who took to the dais next amid thunderous applause began his oration by assuring his government’s support for the rain-battered state. “At the outset, I express my condolences and sympathies to the families of all those who have lost their loved ones, or faced immense hardship in the recent incidents of heavy rain and floods in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu.
I assure the state of all possible support,” he said. Commending the easy to read font size, simple language and easy to understand narrative that made Daily Thanthi popular among the people, Modi said, “In those times, it brought them political awareness and information. People used to throng the tea-shops to read this newspaper. Thus began the voyage that continues till today, when its balanced coverage makes the Daily Thanthi popular, from a daily wage earner to the highest political functionary in the state.” Later, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami who was invited to address the gathering quoted former chief minister CN Annadurai and said Daily Thanthi had been acting as a warrior protecting the rights of Tamils. “From a mere daily, the newspaper emerged as the sword for Tamils whenever the rights of Tamils were deprived,” Palaniswami recalled. The event was attended by the who’s who of the state. Politicians included former minister Duraimurugan, PMK leader Ramadoss, former union minister Anbumani Ramadoss, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan, senior Congress leader KV Thangkabalu, CPM leader G Ramakrishnan and TMC leader GK Vasan among others. Top Kollywood personalities Rajinikanth, his son-in-law Dhanush, actor Sarath Kumar, industrialists N Srinivasan of India Cements, Dr Prathap Reddy of the Apollo group, media barons N Ram and N Ravi of the Hindu Group, and several diplomats, attended the event.