Trichy: A 920-kg Thiruvalluvar statue, sponsored by Thanjavur’s Tamilthai Arakattalai, was on Friday sent to Malaysia where it will feature in the international Thirukkural conference in February. The stone statue has been sculpted at a cost of Rs 2lakh and is set to be permanently provided to Malaysia.
The statue was sent off from Thanjavur to Chennai from Tamil University by its vice-chancellor G Balasubramanian after a function organised on Wednesday. From there, it was eventually shipped to Kuala Lumpur on Friday. According to the general secretary of Tamilthai Arakattalai, Udaiyarkoil Guna, the statue was sculpted to garner international attraction and thereby put forth the demand to Unesco to observe January 16 as “international Thiruvalluvar day” and to request the central government to announce Thirukkural as national literature.
“The second of Tamil month of Thai (January 16) shouldn’t be considered just as a Thiruvalluvar day within Tamil Nadu but by the entire world. Scholars from nine countries are participating in the international conference and hence we thought this would be the right place where we can pitch our demand,” he said. The Tamilthai Arakattalai office-bearers said that the statue, after the conference, would be gifted to the best performing Tamil medium school in Malaysia.
Apart from the statue being featured at the event, about 20 research scholars from Tamil University are also set to participate in the conference. The VC said that the forthcoming international conference would help popularize Thirukkural among the Tamil diaspora worldwide. “ This conference will serve as an ideal platform for our research scholars to share how special Thirukkural is,” he said. The conference is set to be organised in Kuala Lumpur from February 22 to 24.