Tamil Nadu’s proposed Pen Monument to Karunanidhi’s memory — the plan and the criticism

Source: The post is based on the article Tamil Nadu’s proposed Pen Monument to Karunanidhi’s memory — the plan and the criticismpublished in Indian Express on 3rd February 2023.

What is the News?

A public hearing for the proposed ‘Pen Monument’ in memory of late Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi ran into a controversy.

What is a Pen Monument?

The Pen Monument is a memorial being proposed to be built off Marina beach standing in the Bay of Bengal.

The memorial pays tribute to Karunanidhi, one of the most influential figures in Tamil Nadu and Dravidian politics. Apart from being president of the DMK from 1969 to 2018, he was also the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for five terms between 1969 and 2011. He also made significant contributions to Tamil literature as an orator, poet, and writer of non-fiction and fiction, plays, and films.

The memorial is in the shape of a pen representing his many contributions to Iyal (poetry and literature), Isai (music), and Naadagam (theatre), the three fundamental pillars of both ancient and contemporary Thamizh or Tamil.

The design of the monument is based on the Veena, a traditional Carnatic musical instrument that is handmade in Tamil Nadu with extreme precision.

What are the environmental concerns related to the proposed Pen Monument?

An environmental impact assessment done by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board(TNPCB) has said there are no sensitive marine flora and fauna species such as coral reefs, sea grass, or Olive Ridley turtles in the vicinity of the proposed monument.

However, critics of the project are slamming the proposal as a waste of taxpayers’ money and one that can potentially damage marine life close to the proposed site.

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