“It isn’t just enough that he alter his column, the poet must also give a written apology,” said Tamilisai.

Vairamuthu must give written apology TN BJP refuses to let Andal row die down
news Controversy Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 18:32

The BJP in Tamil Nadu is not ready to let the Vairamuthu-Andal controversy die down. On Wedneday – over 24 hours after Vairamuthu expressed regret for his comments on Alvar saint Andal – the state BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan has now demanded a written apology from the poet.  

“Kavignar Vairamuthu began by praising Andal but has actually belittled her. How did he have the heart to portray an Alvar saint as Devadasi?” Tamilisai asked in a statement.

“He started destroying Tamil language as he started earning and now he is set to destroy our heritage. His hesitation to apologise, however, is strongly condemned,” she added.

“It isn’t just enough that he alter his column, the poet must also give a written apology,” Tamilisai said in a statement, adding that his statement that he did not mean to hurt religious sentiments will not suffice.

Last week, Vairamuthu gave a speech at the Srivalliputhur Andal Temple during a discussion on Andal, an Alvar saint. The speech, titled ‘Tamizhai Aanda’, was reproduced by Dinamani. In his speech, Vairamuthu had said, "In ‘Indian movement: some aspects of dissent, protest and reform’, written by Subhash Chandra Malik from America’s Indiana University, there is a line: Andal herself is a Devadasi who lived and died in the Sri Rangam Temple."

The comment had created massive outrage among Hindu groups, and Vairamuthu later clarified that he only quoted someone else’s opinion.

However, despite the clarification, Hindu Munnani, a Hindu group in Tamil Nadu, has filed a complaint against the poet and Dinamani newspaper, which published his speech. Chennai President of the group, Elangovan Thirunavukkarasu also mentioned that the group had filed a complaint against Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, for her statements about the Thirumala deity, which according to the group, also hurts religious sentiments.

“Vairamuthu, given his background and Dravidian ideology, must have intended to belittle Andal. However, how did Dinamani, which is a national newspaper, even think that it was right to publish his statements? This is why we have slapped notices on both Dinamani and Vairamuthu. He must apologise,” he said.

He also stated that it was entirely improper of the poet to make such statements, especially in the holy month of Margazhi.

“Vairamuthu has said this because he thought no one will hear him. However, this is not true. There are thousands with hurt religious sentiments who are condemning his words. Artistes should learn to be more cautious when they speak,” added Elangovan.