CHENNAI: The BJP-affiliated Hindu organisations' bid to appropriate classical Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar and portray him in 'saffron robes' in social media memes has evoked strong protests from several opposition parties in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
In a hard-hitting statement, the CPI(M) Tamil Nadu committee secretary, K Balakrishnan, pointing to the BJP's reactions to November 1 being celebrated as 'Tamil Nadu Day', said the RSS and the 'Sangh Parivar' had never approved of the reorganistion of States on linguistic basis in 1956, nor do they believe in state's rights and federalism.
Yet, the 'Sangh Parivar' groups want to claim credit for it now - with the Edappadi K Palaniswami led AIADMK government announcing celebration of November 1, every year as 'Tamil Nadu Day'-, Balakirhsnan pointed out. On top of it, they have “insulted the memory of Thiruvalluvar by portraying him (in social media posts) in saffron attire and with smeared ashes on his forehead,” Balakrishnan said.
Stating that Thiruvalluvar was beyond caste, class, religions and that his poetic legacy and wisdom belonged to the entire humanity, the CPI(M) leader said his party strongly condemned the attempts to recast the saint-poet in a Hindutva mode. People will not accept this “insult” to Thiruvalluvar and the BJP should rein in its saffron affiliates from distorting history, Balakrishnan urged.
The DMK president, M K Stalin, in a tweet said the BJP, instead of “saffronising” Thiruvalluvar, would do better to study his great poetic contributions and try to change over a new leaf. “To drag the Tamil saint-poet to the BJP's aid is to hoodwink the Tamils,” Stalin said, adding, any amount of trying to paint Thiruvalluvar with various colours will be washed away....