KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — MIC Deputy President Datuk Seri M. Saravanan today called on all Indian-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country to unite in the interest of future generations.
He said NGO leaders should discuss and resolve issues, including those concerning languages and the Hindu religion.
“We (Indian community) number about two million in Malaysia. NGOs need to think about unity among the Indian community and to avoid enmity,” he told Bernama after attending the Tamil Puthandu Kondatam event at the Kalamandabam Hall here today.
He was commenting on the issue of several Indian NGOs debating whether the “Thai” month or “Chittrai”, according to the Tamil Calendar, should be celebrated as the Tamil New Year.
Saravanan, who is also human resources minister, promised to establish a platform for all parties to discuss and resolve the issue.
The Tamil Puthandu Kondatam event is the first of its kind organised by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) with 30 Indian-based NGOs.
Earlier, Indian cultural events, including a Urume Meelam (traditional Indian musical instrument) performance, Poi-ka Kuthirai (dance using a dummy horse), Bharathanatyam dance, Silambam (martial arts originating from Tamil Nadu) performances, enlivened the celebration.
The six-hour hour celebration also saw several traditional competitions such as the “Kolam Ranggoli” drawing competition and the tying of jasmine flowers.
Saravanan also launched a book on the Tamil New Year and “Thai” month celebrations titled Tamil Puthandum, Thai Thirunalum authored by Dr Jeyabalan Valliyan.
Meanwhile, MHS president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said a total of 300 people as set by the National Security Council (MKN) had participated in the celebration with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) adhered to.
Also present was the secretary of the cultural division of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Tan Awang Besar.
The beginning of the Tamil month of Chittirai marks the first day in the Tamil calendar and this year it is known as the Year of Pilava. — Bernama