Monday, August 10, 2009

New chapter in State-TN ties

New chapter in State-TN ties
Bangalore, DH News Service:

It was an unprecedented display of camaraderie between the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu when Chief Minister M Karunanidhi unveiled the statue of saint-poet Tiruvalluvar near Ulsoor Lake on Sunday.


Thousands turned up to witness the event. Karunanidhi unveiled the statue by pressing a remote-controlled button from the nearby RBANMS grounds, where the public function was held. The ceremony passed off peacefully with security personnel maintaining a tight vigil.

Eminent litterateurs, authors, including Rashtra Kavi G S Shivarudrappa, as well as ministers and leaders from both states were present on the occasion. Meanwhile, the Bangalore bundh called by pro-Kannada outfits protesting the event evoked no response.

A long wait

The unveiling of the statue comes 18 years after it was first proposed. It was hailed by leaders of the two states as a breakthrough and the beginning of a new era in the often fractious relationship between the two neighbours.

The two chief ministers reaffirmed their commitment to resolve all disputes through dialogue.

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa said: “I invite the Government of Tamil Nadu to solve all disputes through dialogue. This is not just an unveiling of a statue but a ‘connecting link’ between the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.”

He added India was a land of great saints and poets such as Tiruvalluvar and Sarvajna, who were above petty differences and were the nation’s pride.

Karunanidhi referred to Yeddyurappa as ‘thambi’ (younger brother). “I am 86, and Yeddyurappa is 67. Therefore, I will take the liberty of calling him my younger brother,” he said.

He added that the relationship between the two states must be an example for other states to follow, and above all it was a bond between “human beings”.

The octogenarian leader added that not even a single Tamilian was opposed to the idea of installing the statue of Sarvajna in Chennai, and that there was no room for politics on such issues.

He said: “The contributions of Sarvajna and Tiruvalluvar transcend all barriers and is beyond the realm of politics.”

Karunanidhi also thanked Yeddyurappa for helping him break a vow of 18 years not to attend official functions in Karnataka until the statue was unveiled. Both leaders lavished praise on each other and narrated the circumstances of their recent meeting in Chennai.

Karunanidhi for his part said he would be waiting to welcome Yeddyurappa for the unveiling of the 9-foot-tall statue of Kannada poet Sarvajna at Ayanavaram park in Chennai on August 13.

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