Terming it “disheartening”, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy has taken objection to Tamil Thai Vazhthu (State Invocation Song) not being played at the 58th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).
In a letter to IIT-M Director Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Ponmudy reminded him that the invocation song written by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai is sung in all events organised by the state and Central governments including in those attended by the President and Prime Minister.
“…it is disheartening to learn that in the recently concluded convocation, the state invocation song ‘Tamil Thai Vaazhthu’ was not sung in the event, a deviation of well-established protocol,” Ponmudy said in the letter.
Tamil Thai Vaazhthu was not played at the 58th annual convocation of the IIT-M on November 20 which led to a controversy. Political parties took exception to IIT-M skipping the song at its convocation ceremony and sought the state’s government intervention in the issue. The invocation song is generally sung at the beginning of an event and the national anthem is played at the close.
Ponmudy asked the IIT-M Director to ensure that the invocation song is sung in all functions of the institution, including the convocation in the future. The minister also reminded Prof. Ramamurthi that IIT-M was established in the year 1959 in an area of 250 hectares of land provided by the state government.
“From that time onwards, the Government of Tamil Nadu has been contributing through various means for the growth and development of the institution and the present government is also very keen in continuing the same support,” Ponmudy said in the letter.
He also said it was pertinent to note that the IIT-M director has written to the Higher Education Department seeking Rs 1 crore support for establishment of a national facility for Cryo-Electron Microscopy which is “under examination.”
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