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Signs Of The Times
Last week, leaders of the Tamil Protection Movement (TPM), PMK’s S. Ramadoss and Dalit Panthers of India chief Thol Thirumavalavan led their cadre in painting Chennai black. Apparently, they were out to erase shop signboards not in Tamil. Thirumavalavan urged the state government to implement in "letter and spirit" orders issued in 1983, 1984 and 1990 directing commercial establishments to have signboards in Tamil. TPM also wants the administration to appoint people to teach ‘Scientific Tamil’ in schools. Though 50 years have gone by since the state adopted Tamil as the official language, most government orders are still issued in English. The ruling party has refused to capitulate till now. Indeed, the AIADMK mouthpiece Namadhu MGR responded by featuring a photo of the PMK Political Training Centre, where the English signboard is in prominent place.