Nadda toes PM's Tamil pitch, praises Tiruvalluvar

BJP Working President J P Nadda waves at his supporters on his arrival at Chennai airport in Chennai, Saturday, Nov. 30. 2019. PTI

BJP working president J P Nadda on Saturday toed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Tamil pitch, hailing it as an ancient language and heaped praise on saint-poet Tiruvalluvar in sync with the State unit's line of identifying with the bard, who is synonymous with Tamil pride.

Toeing Modi's Tamil pitch, Nadda said Indian culture was incomplete without Tamil culture and the State is home to maximum temples and ancient shrines as well. Tracing the legacy of Chera, Chola and Pandiya kings of Tamil Nadu, he said such great rulers gave the direction to work for the people.

Hailing saint poet Tiruvalluvar, he heaped praise on his classic "Thirukkural" as a "mahakavya," one of the greatest literary works the Tamil language has ever produced. The top BJP leader's invoking of Tiruvalluvar, an undisputed icon of the Tamil social and cultural landscape, comes close on the heels of a recent row over his party's State unit featuring Tiruvalluvar in saffron.

Repeating Modi's 'Yaadum Oorey' verses from Sangam literature, he said Tamil Nadu was also the land of great freedom fighters, including V O Chidambaram Pillai and late President, A P J Abdul Kalam.

While DMK and other Dravidian outfits cried foul, the BJP state unit was firm on its stand and maintained that Tiruvalluvar was a Hindu saint and there was nothing wrong in portraying him in saffron. The saffron party leaders had said that originally the poet had been shown in old Tamil books as sporting the attire of a saint replete with 'rudraksha,' and his shawl's colour was changed to white by the DMK.

Laying the foundation stone for party offices in 16 districts in Tamil Nadu, Nadda said Congress and its ally DMK leadership boasted of waiving farm loans. "Congress and DMK leadership boasts that for the farmers, they have waived loans and given Rs 53,000 crore," he said on his first one day visit of Tamil Nadu after taking over as BJP working chief.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, under the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, is giving Rs 6,000 per farmer and providing Rs 75,000 crore for farmers every year, he said.

"I find the Opposition sends confused signals and have nothing to offer to the people of Tamil Nadu. They are always trying to ensure how sectarianism can develop. That is how they are functioning. The BJP is devoted to work for the people of Tamil Nadu."

He also touched on issue of fishermen and the waters of the Cauvery, which are among the key concerns of Tamil Nadu, to assert that the Centre has taken steps to protect the State's interests.

"We've also taken...measures to ensure the shooting on the fishermen off the coast of Tamil Nadu ends. We've also settled the authority for Cauvery waters so that the rights of Tamil Nadu are secured..."

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