Dehradun | After outrage in Tamil Nadu over the statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar lying in a state of neglect in a Haridwar park, Uttarakhand government today decided to install it inside a government building in the temple town.
The Chief Minister wants the process of the statue’s installation to be expedited. I am going to Haridwar today to identify a suitable site where the statue could be installed at the earliest, senior IAS officer and Vice Chairman of the Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority R Meenakshi Sundaram said. When asked how much time will be required for the process, he said a suitable spot will be finalised after taking Ganga Sabha and Akhil Bahratiya Akahara Parishad representatives into confidence and a pedestal will be built for placing the statue there.
A function will be held at the site to unveil the statue jointly by Chief Minister Harish Rawat and Governor K K Paul, he said. Sundaram said the decision to install the statue in Mela Bhawan is final. However, a spot inside the Bhawan needs to be decided for installation. The Bhawan is a government building located on the banks of the Ganga which works as the administrative control room for the Kumbh mela.
Sundaram, who himself hails from Tamil Nadu, denied there was any opposition from seers to the installation. They were never opposed to installation of Thiruvalluvar’s statue. They were opposed to its location on Har Ki Pairi ghat where only statues of Hindu deities have been installed so far, he said. Their apprehension was that installing Thiruvalluvar’s statue on the ghat might give rise to similar demands from different groups following different icons, the official said.
The statue is now unwrapped and standing on the Mela Bhawan grounds. A newspaper picture of the statue wrapped in black plastic sheet had triggered outrage in Tamil Nadu from where the poet hailed. Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to expedite the process of the statue’s installation.
In an initiative to introduce Northern India to the great literary legacy of the Tamil poet, former BJP MP Tarun Vijay had decided to bring his 12-foot statue to Haridwar and install it in the city. Vijay didn’t take the local priests and saints into confidence before his decision to bring the statue. Nonetheless, we have now decided that the statue will be installed at Mela Bhawan, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said, adding, he wanted thestatue to be installed within this week.
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