Poet Thiruvalluvar statue found desecrated in Tamil Nadu amid ongoing controversy over alleged saffronization

A statue of celebrated Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar was found desecrated here at Pillayapatti on the wee hours of Monday. The statues was blackened with mud and cow dung, with paper pasted over the eyes. The locals who noticed this informed the Tamil University police who rushed to the spot and cleaned the statue and garlanded it. Police protection has been posted.

Later a group of people surrounded the statue and protested against the vandalism. Meanwhile, police has registered a case and a lookout notice has been issued against the culprits.

The incident comes in the backdrop of a major controversy regarding the alleged ‘saffronization’ of the poet by the BJP. The entire controversy triggered after the BJP Tamil Nadu twitter handle shared a photo depicting Thiruvalluvar in saffron, adorned in rudraksha and ash, something in which he was never portrayed before.

This immediately faced backlash from several political outfits like CPI(M) and DMK who alleged that the BJP was saffronising the poet. DMK Supremo M K Stalin tweeted that to saffronise the poet Thiruvalluvar who believed in ‘equality at birth’ for political gains is a betrayal to Tamils. He added that any attempts to saffronise the saint will fail saying, ‘All your colour will bleach away’.

The 6th-century poet and philosopher – ‘Thiuruvalluvar’ is a celebrated Tamil icon known for his couplet Thirukural. The Thirukural which is a collection of couplets on ethics, political and economic matters and love is widely acclaimed and revered among Tamil people around the world.