Changing the Tamil New Year from Chitirai to Thai was done in good faith.
Anna too would have done if he were alive.
It is a shame for a party using Anna's name indulging in an act contrary to his ideals!
Chitirai New Year is more on the religious background. It may be called Hindu New Year.
Not all Tamils are Hindus.
Thai 1st day namely Pongal is being celebrated as Tamils Festival by all Tamils irrespective of their religious background.Hence it has been an unifying force for all Tamils throught the world.
This was the original idea of Periyar and Anna. This has also been endorsed by 500 prominent Tamil scholars under the leadership of Maraimalai Adigal in the year 1921.
It should be kept in mind that Tamils comprise of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and even Atheists.
Celebrating a new year on Hindu ceremonial ways amounts to calling the non-Hindu Tamils as not Tamils. This is absurd!
In Malaysia and Singapore Thai 1st is being celebrated as Tamils Festival. The late Thamizhavel Ko. Sarangapani was responsible for propagating this change. People here rejoiced when that day was declared as the Tamil New Year by the former Chief Minister Kalaignar. But alas! The joy was short-lived with the new announcement by the present CM.
Let us not forget one thing. Tamil is older than any religion! Tamils have lived before the origin of any religion! This is the fact!
Hence the Tamil New Year should have no religious tags attached to it. Hence it is only proper to celebrate the Tamil New Year on Thai 1st.
( My letter in Deccan Chronicle on 25.8.2011 )