Chennai: Mosaic tiles sporting the Tamil Nadu government’s official emblem, which is the Srivilliputhur temple gopuram, and some other tiles with the picture of Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, were found to have been used in public toilets in a small town of Uttar Pradesh, causing a furore.
The district administration in Bulandsar quickly had those tiles removed and explained that the concerned builder had procured the tiles from the local mundi. The administration constructed 13 toilets in Ichhawari village under Swatch Bharath Scheme recently. People noticed the tiles with the Tamil Nadu Government’s emblem were fixed in the public toilets.
They also noticed tiles with images of Mahatma Gandhi fixed in the toilets. On information these tiles were removed from the toilet by the authorities.
While a minor official there has been placed under suspension, this incident raises the question if there is illegal diversion of government building materials from Tamil Nadu to other states. Social activists have raised questions whether the tiles meant for use by the state government in Tamil Nadu were sold to traders in Uttar Pradesh and whether authorities have committed irregularities in diversion of tiles from Tamil Nadu.
They have sought of the authorities the conduct of a probe as to how these tiles, most of them with the official state emblem of Tamil Nadu, reached UP. In any case, private individuals cannot use such images. Suspecting irregularities in the incident, Ramaswamy, a social activist, has demanded that the government conduct an enquiry into the incident. He also suspected involvement of individuals and officials in sending the tiles from the Tamil Nadu to UP. Probe also must be conducted into whether such material sent to other states as well.
The Tamil Nadu emblem consists of the Lion Capital of Ashoka without the bell lotus foundation and flanked on either side by an Indian flag. Behind the capital, is the image of a gopuram or temple tower based on the West Tower of Srivilliputhur temple gopuram. Artist R. Krishna Rao of Madurai designed the emblem in 1949. TN is the only state that has the Indian Flag on its seal. Around the rim of the seal runs an inscription in Tamil, one at the top saying "Tamil Nadu Arasu" and the other at the bottom which reads "Vaimaye Vellum" - "Truth Alone Triumphs".