Updated: November 4, 2019 5:55:18 pm
Amid a row between the BJP and DMK over Thiruvalluvar, a statue of the Tamil poet and philosopher was vandalised in Thanjavur district on Monday. The statue was smeared with ink and cow dung by vandals. DMK president M K Stalin condemened the act.
Last week, a tweet from the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit with a picture of Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar wearing a saffron shawl instead of the usual white has drawn criticism from Dravidian groups, who have accused the BJP of trying to “saffronise” the saint.
The tweet quoted one of Thiruvalluvar’s couplets, which translates to English as, “No fruit have men of all their studied lore, save they the purely wise one’s feet adore.” Asking what is the use of Thiruvalluvar for those who “ridicule” gods, the tweet stated that Dravida Kazhagam (DK) party, DMK and Communists should know what the saint had said in his writings.
பெரியார் சிலை அவமதிக்கப்பட்டது, திருவள்ளுவருக்கு காவிச் சாயம் பூசுவது – தஞ்சை, பிள்ளையார்பட்டியில் அவரது சிலையை அவமானப்படுத்துவது என, தமிழுக்காகப் பாடுபட்டவர்களை அவமதிப்பது தொடர்கதையாகிவிட்டது.
இதற்காக, காவல்துறையை கையில் வைத்திருக்கும் அதிமுக அரசு வெட்கித் தலைகுனிய வேண்டும்! pic.twitter.com/J2HjJOrkiv
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) November 4, 2019
DMK chief M K Stalin said BJP using the Tamil saint for their “saffronisation agenda” is a “betrayal”.
“Instead of painting saffron, try to learn Thiruvalluvar’s writings and correct yourself,” he added.
The BJP shot back, challenging Stalin to recite a stanza of Thiruvalluvar’s couplets without mistake or retire from politics.
The CPM said in a statement, “Nobody in the past had ever tried to appropriate Thiruvalluvar for their political gains.
The BJP trying to appropriate Thiruvalluvar by changing his dress should be strongly condemned.”
BJP national secretary H Raja said, “Original Thiruvalluvar had vibhuti and all Hindu symbols. Dravidian parties changed his appearance conveniently to make him fit for their political gains. One of his verses ‘Differences in jobs is not there in the birth’ was exactly the same what Krishna quoted in Bhagavad Gita too. Thiruvalluvar’s ideology was one that goes with Sanatana Dharma,” he said.
With inputs from Arun Janardhanan
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