Pillayarpatti: Unidentified persons had desecrated a statue of Thiruvalluvar, the poet who authored Tamil classical ethical treatise Tirukkural, in Thanjavur’s Pillayarpatti in the early hours of Monday morning. 

The statue located near a building owned by the Pillayarpatti Panchayat was on Monday, found blackened with mud and a tape covering the eyes.
Passersby who noticed the desecrated statue informed the police who rushed to the spot. They then cleaned the statue and garlanded it. 

Meanwhile, a group of Tamil enthusiasts gathered near the statue and raised slogans condemning the desecration. They also demanded the arrest of those who vandalised the statue. 

The police have registered a case and are on the lookout for the culprits. They were probing in various angles whether this was a reaction to the depicting Thiruvalluvar with a saffron robe in the Twitter page of Tamil Nadu BJP.

It might be noted that the three and a half feet tall statue made of concrete and installed on a pedestal was erected on behalf of Thenninthiya Valluvar Kula Sangam and the residents of Thiruvalluvar street in Pillayarpatti and was declared open by the then District collector Shanmugha Veeramoni on August 15, 2005.

Earlier the DMK and BJP in Tamil Nadu were at loggerheads after DMK chief MK Stalin had accused the BJP of saffronising Thiruvalluvar. 

The BJP Tamil Nadu’s official Twitter handle put out a  tweet on Tamil Nadu Day with a picture of Thiruvalluvar in saffron robes, as opposed to the usual white-robed depiction of the saint. 

The post received backlash from several political outfits like CPI(M) and the DMK who alleged that the BJP was saffronising the poet. 

DMK Supremo M K Stalin tweeted that to saffronise the poet Thiruvalluvar who believed in 'equality at birth' for political gains is a betrayal to Tamils. He added that any attempts to saffronise the saint will fail saying, 'All your colour will bleach away'.