A statue of Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur was vandalised amidst the ongoing battle between BJP and the Dravidian parties over the acclaimed writer's religion.
The act shocked many politicians and activists who called out the unidentified miscreants for throwing cow dung at the statue's face and demanded action against them
Thiruvalluvar's religion has been a point of contention in Tamil Nadu with many Tamil political parties accusing BJP of 'saffronising' the poet.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Stalin took to Twitter to ask the Bharatiya Janata Party to read Thiruvalluvar's texts instead of saffronising it and trying to change it.
"Calling Valluvar, 'Birthday and All Life', to be a party to his party, is treachery! No matter how many paints you paint, your paint will bleed. Repeat the painting and read Tirukkural!" he wrote. Saying that any amount of paint can be washed off the poet, Stalin said, "To drag the Tamil saint-poet to the BJP's aid is to hoodwink the Tamils."
General Secretary of the Tamil National Archives, P Manirasan, said, "Thiruvalluvar is common to humanity. Not against anyone. This act is highly condemned. He said police should take appropriate action against those who damaged his statue."
Leaders like Mutharasan of the Communist Party of India, Dravidar Liberation Corporation President Ravi Kumar and the General Secretary of the Liberation Panthers Party have strongly condemned the incident.
Prime Minister quoting Thiruvalluvar
Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted Thiruvalluvar's Thirukkural during his speech in Thailand. While translating a saying in Thai, Modi showed an image of the Tamil poet in an all-white attire without the sacred ash or vibhuthi on his forehead. This is the portrayal of Thiruvalluvar by the Dravidian Tamil parties.
BJP National Secretary H Raja clarified on the issue and 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,"