With the unveiling of a Kannada poet’s icon in Chennai on Thursday, statue diplomacy between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka seems to have turned a full circle. And with this has paled into insignificance the two decades of bitterness between the two states over the Cauvery dispute.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday unveiled a bronze statue of Sarvajna, the 16th century Kannada poet who fought the caste system and preached oneness of humanity. Earlier, on August 9, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had unveiled the statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore.
Thiruvalluvar statue was unveiled after an 18-year-long wait due to opposition from some Kannada outfits.
Both Yeddyurappa and Karunandihi hailed the event as a new chapter in the relations between the two states.
“A new chapter in cordiality and unity among the people of both the states opens today,” the Karnataka CM said at a massive gathering, which included Tamil superstar Rajnikanth.
Karunanidhi expressed similar sentiments.
“Let us take a vow to lead the people of both states to live in unity and harmony without foregoing our rights,” he said after Yeddyurappa unveiled the statue at Jeeva Park in Ayanvaram.