Tarun Vijay, who took oath in Sanskrit when he became the Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Uttarakhand in 2010, suddenly developed a fascination for Tamil language with a particularly overwhelming love and admiration for ‘Thirukkural’.

He first drew attention on him about two year ago by speaking in Parliament in favour of Tamil language, for which he was duly honoured at a specially organised function in Chennai, and he then started a mini-campaign to promote Thirukkural as a classic literary work.

When a Tamil TV journalist asked him about his new found love for Tamil, he quipped, “Maybe in the past birth, I was a Tamil.” In another interview to the website The News Minute, Tarun said “I think it was divine intervention which has led me to this campaign for Tamil.” Well, these statements themselves agitate against the basic principles of ‘Thirukkural’, which does not speak about god or religion or caste or moksha or previous birth.

So, that exposed Tarun, proving that all his love and admiration for Thirukkural were fake. One, he is not an admirer or an adherent of the lofty principles enunciated through the verses of Thirukkural and two, he does not read or write or speak or understand even fundamental Tamil. Then why should he take up the cause of Tamil or Thiurkkural?

As a proud and ardent RSS man, who once edited the RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya, Tarun Vijay is only trying to appropriate Thirukkural as RSS supreme leader M S Golwalkar tried in the past. In his book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ Golwalkar opined, “Tirukkural is undoubtedly a great scriptural text more than two thousands year old. Saint Tiruvalluvar is its great author… What is the theme propounded therein, after all?

The same old Hindu concept of chaturvidha-purushartha is put forth as the ideal. Only the chapter on Moksha comes in the beginning. It does not advocate any particular mode of worship or name of God but enunciates the pure idea of Moksha. Thus it is not even a sectarian book.

Mahabharata also eulogises the same picture of social life as Tirukkural presents. Except with the Hindu, this unique vision of social life is not found anywhere else. It is thus purely a Hindu text propounding great Hindu thoughts in a chaste Hindu language.”

But Periyar strongly refuted the claim of this kind, about 65 years ago in his writing in ‘Kudiyarasu’, saying that Thiruvalluvar divided his work into three, Aram, Porul and Inbam, each defining an aspect of human life, while Chaturvidha-purushartha refers to the four aspects of human life – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Both the classifications are not the same and the Tamil ‘Inbam’ and the Sanskrit ‘Kama’ are not one and the same.  Then, where does Thirukkural talk about ‘Moksha’?

In fact, Periyar saw ‘Thirukkural’ as a book condemning Aryan practices. Periyar quoted, as an example to prove his point, the Thirukkural couplet number 134, which could be translated into ‘Though a Parppan(Brahmin) forgets what he read, he could have read it again. But if he fails in propriety of conduct that is greatness of birth, he deteriorates to low level.’ He also cited contradiction this Thirukkural from Manu Dharma, which says Aryans are of high level by birth itself.

Periyar said, “Thiruvalluvar emphasized on ‘conduct’ for human life and indicated that Birth and Caste were not important.” Periyar citied another couplet (972) from Thirukkural that says ‘Pirappokkum Yella Uyirkkum’, which means ‘All lives are equal by birth’.

Periyar had also pointed out that when Manu emphasizes on Varna Dharma, which divides people into Brahmana, Shathriya, Vaisya and Suthra and Thirukkural was written to divert people from Aryan principles and also to refute those principles.

So, Tarun only makes a fool of himself when he says “India is incomplete without Thiruvalluvar, Tamil culture and Tamil language.” and “I feel like I am working for Mother India when I work for Mother Tamil.” He is only trying to do what Gowalkar did decades ago.

Now that we are in a time when people fall prey to the fake love express by Tarun, he seems to escape scrutiny and get away with whatever he professes. But we can be sure of one thing. Tarun has no intention of spreading humanity and equality by invoking the principles of Thirukkural. It is just trying to send across a false message that the RSS and BJP are not against Tamil language. Or to tell the people of Tamil Nadu that the BJP want their votes.

It is high time someone tells Tarun that he had picked the wrong book as Thirukkural speaks against everything that he, as a Sanskrit lover and Hindutva ideologue, believes in. 

Tamil intellectuals should point out the discrepancies in Tarun’s discourse and his original beliefs and ideology. Let the BJP and RSS find another route and identify another man to approach Tamil people to win over their hearts and votes, if it is possible. Now, please tear Tarun’s mask and not organize felicitation meetings for him. 

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