TN Ministers inspect Periyar memorial at Vaikom, to submit report

Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports Minister E V Velu, accompanied by Information Minister M P Saminathan, said with the centenary of Vaikom sathyagraha coming up next year, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin is likely to unveil plans to commemorate the event.
(L-R): E V Velu ; Periyar memorial
(L-R): E V Velu ; Periyar memorial

CHENNAI: A Ministerial delegation from Tamil Nadu visited Kottayam in Kerala on Monday and inspected the Periyar memorial at Vaikom that reminiscences the historic struggle and its connection with the Dravidian movement.

Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports Minister E V Velu, accompanied by Information Minister M P Saminathan, said with the centenary of Vaikom sathyagraha coming up next year, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin is likely to unveil plans to commemorate the event.

"The year 2024 marks the centenary of the Vaikom sathyagraha. Keeping this in mind, the Chief Minister ordered us to inspect the Thanthai Periyar Memorial and ascertain its condition. Accordingly, we have inspected it and will submit a report to the Chief Minister," Velu told reporters in Kottayam.

Stalin would make an announcement on whether to renovate the structure or build a new one. "The Chief Minister will take a good decision and announce it," Velu told reporters.

Recalling the 1924 sathyagraha for entry into temples, Velu said K P Kesava Menon (Congress activist) then conveyed to Mahatma Gandhi that there was no leader to spearhead the agitation.

"Then, Gandhi said Periyar (E V Ramasamy, social reformer and rationalist) would be more appropriate to lead the agitation and got in touch with him," Velu said and described the sathyagraha as a major struggle in Kerala and Tamil Nadu for social justice.

Periyar, who was imprisoned twice, earned the name "the hero of Vaikom."

On the memorial, the Minister said a decision to erect a monument was taken in 1974. Ten years later, it was inaugurated. "Senior officials from the PWD, too, accompanied us during the inspection. We will submit a report to the Chief Minister soon," he said.

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