A viral social media post that is doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook claims that January 2022 has been declared Tamil Heritage Month worldwide. The post also carries the image of a postal stamp, claiming to have been released by Australia ‘in honor of this Heritage.’ However, A fact check by Newschecker has revealed that the claim is false, and that the image of the postal stamp attached with the post was not issued by the Australian government.
Several social media users including cinematographer PC Sreeram shared the viral post claiming that coming January will be celebrated as Tamil Heritage Month across the world along with the stamp allegedly issued by Australia. He wrote, ”I am proud to be part of a rich Culture. Indias beauty lies in its secularism which makes it special to world. Love for mother tongue and values of social justice makes it unique.”
Former Cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan also tweeted an image of the stamp with the caption “Australia releases Tamil Heritage Stamp.”
The post claiming that January 2022 has been declared as Tamil Heritage Month across the world is being shared widely on Twitter with an image of a stamp allegedly issued by Australia to ‘honor this Heritage.’
The post is being shared widely on Facebook too.
Newschecker also received the same post on our WhatsApp tip line (+91 9999499044), requesting a fact check on it.
Tamil Heritage Month Celebrations: Canada & London
Canada passed a motion in 2016 to designate January as Tamil Heritage Month. According to a report by The News Minute, dated October 8, 2016, “Passing Motion M-24, the Canadian Parliament voted to designate January as Tamil Heritage Month, to recognise the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of Tamil language and culture, and the importance of educating and reflecting upon Tamil heritage for future generations by declaring January, every year, Tamil Heritage Month.”
More recently, the London Assembly unanimously supported the call for designating January as Tamil Heritage Month, reported Tamil Guardian. According to the press release by the Mayor Of London, dated December 2, 2021 “Today the London Assembly unanimously called on the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to ensure Tamil Heritage Month and celebrations such as Pongal (harvest festival) are marked and the much-valued Tamil community is supported across the city.”
To verify the veracity of the viral claim, Newschecker conducted a keyword search on Google. We looked up the words ‘Tamil Heritage Month’ and ‘Tamil Heritage Month Across World’, ‘Tamil Heritage Month January 2022’. However, we came across reports related to Canada designating of January as Tamil Heritage Month in 2016 and the recent unanimous call by the London Assembly for the same. We couldn’t find any other country which has officially declared January as Tamil Heritage Month.
Speaking to Newschecker, the Australian Consulate-General in Chennai confirmed that Australian government has taken no such decision. ”Given the large number of Indian and Tamil-origin Australia’s, it is possible that some organisations, local councils and state governments may be celebrating Tamil Heritage month next year. However, the Australian federal government has not yet made such an announcement,” the Consulate -General informed Newschecker over mail.
Speaking to Newschecker, K. Sivasuthan of the Tamil Festival Australia, that coordinates and celebrates the various Tamil festivals among the diaspora community in Australia, confirmed that the claim was false. “In Australia, the month January is NOT yet proclaimed as ‘Tamil Heritage Month (THM)’ by any local/state/federal government,” he wrote, adding that many Tamil community organizations (in many states) declare the month January as THM (unofficially) and conduct month-long activities to mark that.
Sivasuthan added that there is a “wide-spread effort” across Australia to get January proclaimed as the Tamil Heritage Month. “In summary, Tamil Australians declare THM and celebrate, but not yet officially declared by any local/state/federal government,” he clarified.
To ascertain the authenticity of the viral stamp that is being claimed to have been issued by Australia, we searched for words ‘Tamil’, ‘Tamil Heritage’ and ‘Tamil Heritage Month’ on the official website of Australia Post, however we couldn’t find any such stamp.
To further verify the claim, we contacted the Australia Post, the postal department of Australia, who clarified that no such celebration of Tamil Heritage has been announced by the Australian government and that no such stamp has been issued either. “I’ve checked and as far as I can ascertain, we’re not celebrating January as Tamil Heritage Month or released a stamp,” they replied to Newschecker’s query.
While investigating the origin of the stamp, we came across a facility offered by the Australia Post on its website called ‘MyStamps’ that allows users to create custom stamps and download them easily. It is likely that the viral stamp was created using this facility.
The viral social media post claiming that January 2022 has been declared as Tamil Heritage Month is false and Australia has not issued any stamp in ‘honour of Tamil Heritage.’
Result: Fabricated Content/False
The News Minute: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/canada-officially-declares-pride-its-tamils-passes-bill-calling-tamil-heritage-month-51059
Press Release By Mayor Of London: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/canada-officially-declares-pride-its-tamils-passes-bill-calling-tamil-heritage-month-51059
Tamil Guardian: https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/london-assembly-calls-january-be-declared-tamil-heritage-month
Australia Post: https://auspost.com.au/
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Thanks for the news check and clarification