From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kongu Nadu
Mains level : Regionalism issue in India
A list of new Union Cabinet ministers issued has triggered a debate in political circles in Tamil Nadu, as well as on social media, by referring to ‘Kongu Nadu’, the informal name for a region in the western part of the state.
Where is Kongu Nadu?
- ‘Kongu Nadu’ is neither a place with a PIN code nor a name given formally to any region.
- It is a commonly used name for part of western Tamil Nadu.
- In Tamil literature, it was referred to as one of the five regions of ancient Tamil Nadu.
- There were mentions of ‘Kongu Nadu’ in Sangam literature as a separate territory.
- The name derives from Kongu Vellala Gounder, an OBC community with a significant presence in these districts.
- The region includes prominent businesses and industrial hubs at Namakkal, Salem, Tirupur and Coimbatore.
Is there any ground for the allegations about a planned bifurcation?
- Unlike Telangana or Uttarakhand, there has never been demand or discussions about a separate Kongu Nadu in the modern political history of Tamil Nadu.
- The debate, therefore, lacks any political or social context.
Back2Basics: Sangam Age
- The ‘Sangam’ describes a period from the sixth century BC to the third century AD encompassing today’s Tamil Nadu, Kerala, the southern parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and northern Sri Lanka.
- The Tamil Sangams or Cankams were assemblies of Tamil scholars and poets that, according to traditional Tamil accounts, occurred in the remote past.
- It is named for scholarly congregations in and around the city of Madurai, located about 400 km southwest of Chennai.
- It generally refers to a collection of poems, composed by Tamil poets, both men and women developed in the ancient Southern state of India.
- It mostly deals with emotional and material topics such as love, war, governance, trade and bereavement.