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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Yediyurappa opens Kannada poet's statue in Chennai

From S Murari, Chennai

Chennai, 13 August,( Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday unveiled a statue of 16th century Kannada poet and wandering monk Sarvajna in Chennai in the presence of his Tamil Nadu counterpart M Karunanidhi.

At a function,attended by a retinue of Ministers from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well as political leaders belonging to the DMK, the BJP and other parties, besides film stars such as Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan, Mr Yediyurappa unveiled the statue, installed at Jeeva Park in Ayanavaram, from a nearby Integral Coach Factory grounds through video-conferencing.

This decision was taken as the park was considered not secure or spacious enough to accommodate so many VIPs.

The opening of the Sarvajna statue here and of Tiruvalluvar statue in Bangalore four days ago by Mr Karunanidhi, both the Chief Ministers emphasised, marked a new chapter in amicable relations between the people of the two States.

They also drew a comparison between Tiruvalluvar, whose couplets dates back to over 2,000 years, and Sarvajna whose triplets were equally nuggets of wisdom, covering all aspects of life, like Tirukkural.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Karunanidhi denied that the opening of Sarvajna statue was a quid pro quo for the unveiling of the statue of Tiruvalluvar in Bangalore which was held back for 18 years because of opposition from Kannada fanatics. He said the decision was born out of a friendly understanding between him and Mr Yediyurappa.

Sarvajna, which means someone who is omniscient or embodiment of all knowledge, was a poet-philosopher who renounced life at an early age, He had a streak of rebellion in him in that he made no secret of his unknown parentage. He enlightened the people through three-liners in simple Kannada. The tripadis set a new trend in Kannada literature. He is believed to have left behind some 2,000 tripadis against Saint Tiruvalluvar's 1,330 couplets.

Mr Yediyurappa said the two statues symbolised the start of a new, long journey of amicable relations between the people of the two States. Echoing this, Mr Karunanidhi welcomed Mr Yediyurappa's statement at a press conference earlier that all disputes between the two States would be settled bilaterally in a spirit of amity.

Their comments assume significance as relations between the two States, bedevilled by the yet-to-be-resolved Cauvery dispute, touched a new low in the wake of anti-Tamil riots in Karnataka in 1991 after the interim award of the Cauvery Tribunal. Now the tribunal has given its final award and the two States are still fighting it out in the Supreme Court.

Mr Karunanidhi noted that Sarvajna, like Periyar, fought against superstitions and caste discriminations. Quoting the savant's sarcastic comment, Mr Karunanidhi asked if Brahma was the creator, how come he could not restore his fifth head that was severed by Lord Shiva.

In the same breath, he also noted that Sarvajna made no distinction between a theist and an atheist.

- Asian Tribune -

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