Chennai: Thiruvalluvar, also known as Valluvar, was a famous Tamil poet and philosopher of Tamil Nadu. On Thursday, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore removed a portrait of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar depicting him in saffron robes after media reports sparked a controversy.
On Thursday morning, officials removed the portrait from the university’s library and replaced it with a portrait of the ancient poet in white attire approved by the State government. Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam said in a tweet that ‘as per preliminary investigations’ the saffron-clad portrait was installed in 2017-18. After speaking to the TNAU authorities, the official portrait of Thiruvalluvar was installed ‘in the same spot,’ the Minister tweeted.
K. Ramakrishnan, general secretary of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, who previously demanded the installation of Thiruvalluvar’s approved portrait at TNAU, claimed that the saffron-clad image was an attempt by ‘communal forces to identify Thiruvalluvar with a religion.’