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Government General Hospital in Chennai to be named after Rajiv Gandhi

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Government General Hospital in Chennai will be named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced in the Assembly on Thursday.

He made the announcement in response to a request by Congress whip Peter Alphonse, who wanted the government to name the hospital after Rajiv Gandhi because his body was brought there following his assassination in May 1991. On another point made by Mr. Alphonse that the Devendrakula Vellalars would like to be recognised as among the scheduled castes (‘Pattiyal Ina Makkal') instead of Adi Dravidars, the Chief Minister hinted that the committee constituted to look into these issues would come out with a decision that would please the community.

Mr. Alphonse said the youths of the Devendrakula Vellalars had been stressing on this demand on the ground that they were basically an agrarian community. It was in 1923 the Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted a resolution for usage of the term “Adi Dravidars”

Mr. Karunanidhi said the committee was constituted in the wake of a controversy whether the Adi Dravidars should be called by the same name or by another name.

The Chief Minister said the question for consideration was whether they could be called ‘Scheduled Castes' or they could be listed under the title Scheduled Castes along with their specific names.

He said he already held discussions with some friends and what he was considering was that instead of calling them Adi Dravidars or Dalits, they could be referred to as Scheduled Castes. The name of the specific communities could be mentioned in brackets. “We have been exchanging these views with the committee and the report will be submitted soon. Its decision will be very much to the liking of the community,” he further said.

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