The attempt by the Tamil Nadu BJP to saffronise poet-savant Thiruvalluvar whose Thirukkural written 2000 years is hailed as a classic the world over, has drawn flak from all opposition parties in Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu unit tried to appropriate the legacy of Valluvar even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a Thai translation of Kural in Bangkok on Saturday. The Tamil unit of the BJP has quoted a Kural which says that all your scholarship will be in vain, if you don’t believe in God. It has used this couplet to attack both the Dravidar Kazhagam and its offshoot DMK which started as a non-believer and later changed under C N Annadurai to one God, community in line with Narayana Guru.
The BJP’s point is that M Karunanidhi who led the DMK for 50 years was anti-God and anti-Hindu. The tweet is also an attack on communists who swear by atheism and who are allied with the DMK.
In its twitter handle, the State unit of the BJP has portrayed Valluvar in saffron robe with sacred ash smeared across the forehead to show him as a devout Hindu.
As Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalan, a Dalit leader, has pointed out, Valluvar was a Jain and Jainism was born as an offshoot of Hinduism as practiced by Manuvadis which propagated caste discrimination. He says it was Valluvar who proclaimed in his Kural that all are born equal whereas Hindutva believed in discrimination on the basis of birth.
M K Stalin, the DMK president, has said the BJP’s attempt to paint Valluvar in saffron will not wash with the people of Tamil Nadu. Instead of giving colour to Vallur, follow his teachings, he has said.
The Tamil Nadu State secretary of Communist Party of India ( Marxist) K Balakrishnan has said Valluvar was above caste and religion and his Kurals had a universal appeal.
In a hard-hitting editorial, Dravidar Kazhagam mouthpiece Viduthalai has said it is a time tested strategy of the Sangh Parivar to appropriate a legacy and then distort to suit its ideology. It has cited how the Sangh Parivar tried to appropriate Gandhi’s legacy and then glorified his killer Godse and mentor Savarkar.
In this connection, it has referred to a simultaneous denigration of a statue of Thiruvalluvar in Pillayarpatti in Thanjavur district by miscreants by smearing it with cow dung and paint after depicting him as a Hindu saint. Thirumavalavan has also said that the miscreants should be identified and stringent action should be taken against them.