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Happy Birthday Chennai: Read This – An Open Letter to Tamil Nadu

(Tamil Nadu eneku mikavum pidhchadu)

எனக்கு தமிழ்நாட்டை பிடிக்கும் or I love Tamil Nadu.

Dear Tamil Nadu,

If it were not Tamil Nadu, I wouldn’t have written such a long letter to any state. For someone, who has spent his entire life in the Northern and eastern hinterlands of India, my letter might sound unwanted for but I am trying to put my honest views forward on one of my favorite states.

Tamil Nadu as one of India’s most urbanized states, and Chennai as one of India’s premiere metropolitan cities, have always beckoned me to this great land since my childhood days.

Must Read: An Open Letter to Dear Zindagi

The last couple of years has been really troubling for the state. Be it the devastating Chennai floods of 2015, followed by Amma or Jayalalitha’s indictment in the disproportionate asset case by the honorable Supreme Court, then the 2016 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections in which Amma emerged victorious and then her shocking demise last year- left Tamil Nadu in a complete state of shock and mourning. But what happened in the last few days was totally unexpected.

The Jallikattu protest of this year was bigger than the anti-Hindi agitation of 1965. But, the matter somehow came to rest once an ordinance was passed giving legal status to Jallikattu again in the state.

An Open Letter to Chennai

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Political Instability of Tamil Nadu Can’t Overshadow Its Legacy

However, what shattered my heart into pieces were the events that followed in the political arena earlier this month. I never imagined that anything of this magnitude could ever happen. Tamil Nadu was known for its political stability. Since 1967, either DMK or AIADMK alternatively managed the government every 5 years – which was healthy and fine for any democratic form of government.

Now, two factions of AIADMK – one supporting Sasikala and the other supporting OPS (O Panneerselvam) are really making headlines. But it’s not good. Being the third largest party of India, the Party members could have avoided this ugly battle for the throne.

For a person who has seen the “massive underdevelopment” in some of India’s over populous states in the North and eastern regions — multiplied with unemployment, migration to other states, crimes and law and order crisis — the development, employment generation and good governance of Tamil Nadu always acted as a whiff of fresh air to me.

An Open Letter to Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu: Heart-Warming Facts That You Don’t Know

The unfortunate Political instability in Tamil Nadu might have brought a lot of unwarranted attentions to the state, but still, it can’t take away the goodness and beauty for which this Indian state and its cities are famous for.

1) The HDI (Human Development Index 2015) rank of the state is third – only behind Kerala and Himachal Pradesh.

2) The state is a home to some of the finest medical practitioners from across the world. There are a lot of famous hospitals and medical research centers too.

3) Tamil Nadu comes second when it comes to GSDP ranking. Only Maharashtra ranks number 1 and is ahead than this state.

4) Tamil is one of the longest surviving Classical languages in the world. This is the official language widely spoken here.

5) It is the first Indian state to have all women police stations to specifically tackle the cases relating to atrocities against women.

6) The state has successfully installed CCTVs across streets and in public buildings at several sensitive places to prevent crimes against women.

7) Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is still rated as one of the safest city for women in India.

8) Chennai is often referred to as the “Detroit of the East” for being the manufacturing hub of some of the world’s prestigious automobile vehicle brands.

9) Chennai has rightfully got the sobriquet “Cultural Capital of India”. This vibrant state hosts a lot of regional, national and international cultural events round the year.

10) Be it Tamil films, Temples and monuments, Bharatnatyam dance, Tamil literature or ancient painting, sculpture, costumes and cuisine – Tamil Nadu presents a wonderful synthesis of modernity and tradition.

An Open Letter to Tamil Nadu

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Let’s Make Tamil Nadu Great Again

Definitely, employment and good governance with proper law and order are always a big concern for any state. I am glad to say I feel safest at Chennai or any other part of Tamil Nadu.

This state is indeed a safer city for everyone as compared to other Indian states. Police personnel in Chennai work round the clock and even do bike patrolling late at nights to secure the city from anti-social elements.

Apart from it, I am also indebted to law enforcement agencies of Tamil Nadu for preventing communal clashes in the state for the last few decades together. People of all communities and various walks of life live a pleasant and dignified life here having an invisible umbilical cord of Indianness attached to them.

An Open Letter to Tamil Nadu

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It’s apt time to unite all well-wishers of Tamil Nadu towards making the state richer, prosperous and more developed. We love Tamil Nadu.

Thank You

A rational and Patriotic Indian

(By: Atish Home Chowdhury)

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