Sunday, 26 July 2009


I knew it was too good to last – my wholehearted admiration for the Mayor of Chennai when he had distributed saplings at his son’s wedding.

I had read in the papers the announcement made by him much earlier that babies (born in Corporation hospitals only) who were given pure Thamizh names would be rewarded with gold rings. We had all laughed then. But the first set of rings was distributed last week.

I have nothing against Thamizh names – they are as good as any other.
First, as Juliet famously asked, ‘What is in a name?’
Second, it is not the love of Thamizh that has motivated parents to give their children Thamizh names. Only the thought of a gold ring at the end of it - which, I am sure, will be hawked, pledged or sold to meet different expenses of the family, including the father’s visit to the local Tasmac (state sponsored wine) shop.
Lastly, the babies are now reduced to being equated with films – Thamizh films with Thamizh titles/names are exempted form entertainment tax.

Anyway why make this distinction among babies?

And why gold rings, which the babies can neither enjoy nor appreciate!

Why did not the Mayor give them all a special scholarship to see them through their school days. Education may be free, but children need books and uniforms. A fund for this would have been better.

Anyway we had better prepare ourselves for a generation of youngsters who may not even pronounce their names properly. The zha sound in ‘thamizh’is difficult for many to pronounce and is often pronounced as ‘l’, (which is why I suppose the British mutilated it to 'Tamil’).
We will have hosts of Thamilselvans and Thamilselvis, and not Thamizhselvans or Selvis.


Winifred said...

Educational scholarships would have been a wonderful gift. Priceless!


A very interesting post, education is a most important part of life,


Trendsetters said...

A more constructive way of promoting the Tamil language should be considered. we are FOR educational scholarships.

raghu raman said...

more to come...legislation called NAME CHANGE ACT 2012 whereby residents of TN will be asked to shift to tamil names....

gold rings are to secure votes...these poli-tic-ians can do anything

flowergirl said...

So right, Raji!

And what about the free TVs??? Ridiculous

Kamini said...

This would be funny....if it weren't true. What next, I wonder?

Ramakrishnan said...

Hilarious to imagine a whole lot of babies carrying Tamizh names - and horribly mispronouncing them all the time !

Devika Jyothi said...

Interesting deeds or misdeeds...educational scholarships would have been a good idea,


Anonymous said...

I am ready to make babies and name
them 'PonnMozhi', 'PonnYarukku',
'PonnKoothu', 'PonnKoovum'andon.
I already started looking for surrogate mothers whom I am ready
to share my fortune from the
Ponn Tamil Nadu Arasu.

After all I need the money to make up for the loss from all my mutual fund investments!

If you know of surrogate mothers do call 1-800-PON-PENN.. If you call in the next 15 mins there will be a bonus PONN-SAVI..

Call now..this message is sponsored by Tamil Nadu Pattali Makkalgal

Meera's World said...

wow,i think 'his' idea of giving away saplings might have come from a wiser mind. What a bribing! I wish someone goes and file a case against him/govt as it looks like its unconstitutional. . i honestly hope he is not giving the gold rings from the public's money!!
the post made by anonymous made me laugh :)

Rajesh said...

The gold rings will only help the parents who have named the baby in such a way only for the ring for a short span of life. The kids will not be benefited by this act. This more looks like vote bank politics.


Winifred, Yvonne, Trendsetters, Devika - glad you also think that scholarships are a good idea.
Raghuraman, Rajesh - sadly, yes.
Flowergirl, Meeras's world - Ridiculous, of course. And where do you think the money for all the TVs and gold rings come from?
Kamini, I am waiting. Right now the Mayor has launched a drive to clean the city's walls of posters and other defacements.
Anonymous - that was really funny

Pradeep said...

Why did not the Mayor give them all a special scholarship to see them through their school days.... Very true, Raji. I find this all over... A little more thought could have gone into it.

This leads me to another point. Personally, I find spending some Rs 500 for flowers that last just one day to someone is a complete waste. The only silver lining is the poor seller who gets a handsome amount.

Vidya Sury said...

Education - or at least medical support.

Love your post on this, Raji.

Glad I came by your blog, and looking forward to being a regular visitor.

Vaazhga Tamizh! :-D


Pradeep, though I love flowers so much - I have to agree with you on this.

Vidya Sury - thanks for dropping by. would love to see you here regularly

Swarna said...

Totally with you!
We should probably be thankful that he didn't announce the scheme as girl-baby specific!

namaki said...

How I agree with you ... instead of a gold ring the mayor should have given them something for their education ....