Stalin announces celebrations for V.O.C’s 150th birth anniversary

The celebrations will include a bust of the freedom fighter at Gandhi Mandapam, an annual award, the naming of a street, a statue and all his writings to be published, among other events

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday made 14 announcements in the State Legislative Assembly in line with his Independence Day speech that the 150th birth anniversary of freedom fighter V.O. Chidambaranar would be celebrated as a government function.

Responding to legislator E.R. Eswaran’s (Tiruchengodu) query on whether the government would celebrate the freedom fighter’s 150th birth anniversary, Mr. Stalin said a bust of V.O.C. would be unveiled at Gandhi Mandapam in Chennai. Mela Periya Cotton Salai, an arterial road in Thoothukudi city would be renamed V.O.C. Road, he said.

An annual Kappalottiya Thamizhan V.O.C. Award would be awarded to a Tamil, who has excelled in ship-building and related technology. A cash prize of ₹5 lakh and a citation would be part of the award, the CM said. V.O.C.’s death anniversary on November 18 would be observed as a ‘Day of Sacrifice.’

All government buildings to be constructed in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli between September 5 this year and September 5 next year would be named after V.O.C., he said. A bus with a photo exhibition portraying the life of V.O.C. would be arranged so that students could learn about the life of the freedom fighter.

A full-size statue of V.O.C. would be installed in V.O. Chidambaranar Park in Coimbatore, where he had spent several days in prison, Mr. Stalin said. An audio-visual display would be arranged at V.O.C.’s house in Ottapidaram and his manimandapam would be renovated.

A Research Chair would be set up at the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli district, the CM said. All the books of the late freedom fighter would be published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation and sold at a nominal cost. A virtual seminar would be organised by the Tamil University about V.O.C.

Books and pamphlets by V.O.C. would be digitised by the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University and made available in the public domain, he said.

Additional classrooms, an auditorium and a memorial arch would be constructed in the school in Tirunelveli that was attended by V.O.C. and freedom fighter C. Subramania Bharathi at a cost of ₹1.05 crore. A documentary on the late freedom fighter’s life would be screened for the benefit of youngsters.

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