Support for Tiruvalluvar statue unveiling

Litterateurs, political parties for Aug 9 opening; pro-Kannada outfits unhappy with the decision

 At the meeting chaired by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, representatives of pro-Kannada organisations staged a walkout as the government decided to go ahead with the programme to unveil Tiruvalluvar’s statue in the vicinity of Ulsoor Lake on August 9 at 11 am.

However, all political parties and litterateurs unanimously supported the government’s decision. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi, who is in Bangalore, will be unveiling the statue, Yeddyurappa said.

Yeddyurappa said he will unveil the statue of revolutionary Kannada poet Sarvajna at Aynavaram Park in Chennai on August 13.

At the three-hour meeting on Monday, writers and leaders of Congress, JD(S), JD(U) and Left parties pledged their support to the event stating that Tiruvalluvar and Sarvajna in their endeavour for human values were above regional boundaries and languages, he added.

Rashtrakavi G S Shivarudrappa, litterateurs Hampa Nagarajaiah, Siddalingaiah and others appreciated the State government’s efforts for resolving the decades-old stalemate in unveiling the statues.

The story goes back to 1991, when the then government had planned to unveil the statue of Tiruvalluvar.

However, the row between the states on sharing of Cauvery water and the Hogennakal project came in the way of the event. Unveiling the statue was also one condition of forest brigand Veerappan when he had kidnapped Kannada actor Rajkumar.
The statue has been lying covered for the last 18 years.

All-party meeting

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the government should have convened an all party meeting before announcing its decision.

The decision to unveil both the statues came recently after a meeting of Yeddyurappa with Karunanidhi at Chennai, he added.

KPCC President R V Deshpande said the government should convince the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw the petition filed in Madras High Court challenging the award of classical status to Kannada language.

Interest sidelined

However, Kannada Rakshana Vedike President Narayana Gowda, Rajkumar Abhimanigala Sangha chief Sa Ra Govindu and former legislator Vatal Nagaraj opposed the move stating the government was sidelining the State’s interest.

Sa Ra Govindu suggested that both statues be unveiled on the same day.

They staged a walkout from the meeting and staged a dharna outside Vidhana Soudha, the venue of the meet, to mark their protest.

In his reply, Yeddyurappa said the state’s interest on land, water rights and language issues will be protected.

He said the government will make arrangements for leaders and litterateurs to attend the Sarvajna idol unveiling function at Chennai on August 13.

Grant benefits

Yeddyurappa said he was willing to take a delegation of writers and other prominent personalities to Delhi to mount pressure on the Centre to grant the relevant benefits following its decision to grant classical language status to Kannada.

Bundh call

Pro-Kannada outfits on Monday gave a dawn to dusk Bangalore bundh call on August 9 in protest against the government’s decision to go ahead with unveiling the statue of saint poet Tiruvalluvar in Bangalore.

Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj told reporters that all pro-Kannada organisations will come together to support the bundh call on August 9 between 6 am and 6 pm. He said the government had betrayed the people of the State by allowing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Karunanidhi to unveil the statue in Bangalore.

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