Tamil Nadu political groups took offence to rendition of a Sanskrit invocation song and not the traditional Tamil one at an event in IIT Madras on Monday, alleging that it was done to snub the state’s language and people.
A teacher however said that conventionally, some events at the institute kicked off with Tamil prayers while others, especially the convocations, featured Sanskrit prayers but nobody had protested ever before.
The event saw the participation of Union minister Nitin Gadkari, during which he laid foundation stone for the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts on the IIT campus.
Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan and IIT-M director Baskar Ramamurthy were among those present.A group of students sang Maha Ganapathim at the beginning of the event.
DMK working president M K Stalin demanded apology from the Centre. PMK founder S. Ramadoss, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and others too slamemed the Centre.
However, the IIT-Madras does not have the tradition of singing the Tamil invocation song. “We don’t train students for the invocation. All the students who volunteer to sing cannot sing in Tamil. They sing what they know – sometimes, it is a Marathi song; sometimes it is Bengali, sometimes Hindi,” IIT-M Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said.