Taking a tough stand against the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu over the Thiruvalluvar row, actor Rajinikanth has said he will not be trapped. Attempts were being made to paint both himself and Thiruvalluvar with saffron, the veteran star said referring to the recent controversy surrounding the Tamil saint-poet. Talking to reporters on the probability of joining the BJP, Rajinikanth said the BJP has not invited him to join the party, but insisted efforts were being made to paint him with "saffron".
"Thiruvalluvar will not be trapped; I will not be trapped," Rajinikanth was quoted as saying by Tamil media. Speaking at a function in Chennai, the actor said Thiruvalluvar will not be painted saffron.
"Making Thiruvalluvar wear a saffron stole is BJP's agenda. I think all these issues are blown out of proportion. There are issues that are of greater importance which need to be discussed. I think this is a silly issue," Rajinikanth said.
The row over Thiruvalluvar initially erupted after the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu had posted a tweet in regional language. The tweet, when translated to English, read, "For those who blaspheme God and blame those who believe in God, what good is their education?"
"Valluvar said that today, the DMK and the Communists who depend on the DMK and their media should know," the tweet (as per the translation) further read.
The party had also posted a picture of Thiruvalluvar in saffron robes with sacred ash on his forehead.
கற்றதனால் ஆய பயனென்கொல் வாலறிவன்
நற்றாள் தொழாஅர் எனின்
கடவுளை தூற்றி, இறைநம்பிக்கை கொண்டவர்களை பழிப்பவர்களுக்கு, அவர்கள் கற்ற கல்வியினால் என்ன பயன்?
அன்றே வள்ளுவர் சொன்னதை இன்று தி.கவும், திமுகவை நம்பி வாழும் கம்யூனிஸ்டுட்களும், அவர்கள் சார்ந்த ஊடகங்களும் அறிந்து தெளிய வேண்டும் pic.twitter.com/xBeXs9aXHa— BJP Tamilnadu (@BJP4TamilNadu) November 2, 2019
In October this year, the actor was invited by Former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan to join the BJP, clearly signalling that the saffron party which is a marginal player in Tamil Nadu, has not given up on wooing the actor.
However, with his attack on the Tamil Nadu wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rajinikanth has now made it clear that the actor has no plans to join the saffron party.
A statue of Tamil Nadu’s celebrated poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar was desecrated on November 4 in Thanjavur district. The incident was reported in Pillayarpatti village where miscreants had smeared ink and cow dung on the face of the statue of Thiruvalluvar.
While the BJP condemned the incident of vandalism, the party maintained that Thiruvalluvar’s era was one where there was no other religion apart from Hinduism.
Earlier on Wednesday, DMK literary wing had held a protest in Chennai against the saffronisation of Thiruvalluvar and the vandalism of the Thiruvalluvar statue in Thanjavur.
DMK literary wing's leader R Indira Kumari, who was leading the protest, said, "As our leader MK Stalin told, we condemn this saffronisation of Thiruvalluvar. He was a great poet with his work, the Thirukkural, still being set as an example. We also want the arrest of those involved in vandalising Thiruvalluvar's statue in Thanjavur."