On a two-day visit to Chennai, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat participated in Pongal celebrations on Thursday and visited the house of a functionary of the organisation where he recited a couplet from the Tamil classic Tirukkural, authored by Tamil savant Tiruvalluvar. Bhagwat also performed a 'gau puja' (cow worship).
Pongal is one of the most important festivals in the Tamil calendar and ushers in the auspicious month of 'Thai', during which marriages are held and new business ventures initiated. Bhagwat's two-day visit to Tamil Nadu concludes on Friday. He will later review the organisation's work with local functionaries.
Bhagwat taught a Tirukkural couplet, on the possession of self-restraint, to a girl from the RSS functionary's family, whom he paid a surprise visit. The RSS chief recited a Kural meaning "the wound burnt by fire may heal but not the one by the tongue". The girl responded by quoting a couplet on gratitude from the Tamil classic. Videos posted by a senior RSS functionary in this regard went viral on social media.
Earlier, clad in a dhoti and sacred ash (vibuthi) and vermilion (kumkum) smeared on his forehead in line with the Tamil tradition, Bhagwat offered prayers at the Sri Kadumbadi Chinnamman Temple in Ponniammanmedu and participated in community Pongal celebrations. He performed a gau puja before kickstarting the Pongal celebrations.
BJP national president JP Nadda is also expected to visit Tamil Nadu during Pongal celebrations. Earlier Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to visit Chennai, especially to have talks regarding the state Assembly polls and to attend the annual day celebrations of Thuglak magazine. However, Amit Shah cancelled the trip and appointed Nadda to carry out the works in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also flew down from Delhi to participate in the Avaniyapuram jallikattu event in Madurai. During the event, Rahul Gandhi and DMK youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin shared the stage and discussed about the event.