CHENNAI: In the eye of a storm over his alleged remarks against a Hindu Goddess Andal, Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu today denied it saying he only paid a tribute while senior Congress leader P Chidambaram endorsed him.
"Thamizhai Aandaal" (Andal ruled over Tamil) was my tribute to Poet Aandal, celebrating her contribution to Tamil," the lyricist said.
Andal, the only woman among the 12 revered Vaishnavite saints hailed as 'Alwars' in Tamil, is also venerated as a Goddess and a gifted poet in view of her classic Tamil work 'Thiruppavai,' in praise of Lord Krishna.
According to spiritual texts, she lived in the eighth century AD.
Thiruppavai is a celebrated work in spiritual Tamil literature and is also part of the Vaishnavite "Divya Prabhantham (a collection of verses respected as sacred and in praise of Lord Narayana)." In his address at a literary event at Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu, Vairamuthu recently spoke about Andal and it was also published in a Tamil daily.
It led to outrage among devotees, who alleged that the lyricist had offended the Goddess and them conversely by making inappropriate and objectionable references to her.
Devotees staged protest demonstrations in several places and police complaints were also filed against the lyricist, following which FIRs were registered against him, including at Coimbatore and Chennai.
The name of the editor of the daily was also mentioned in the complaints with police.
Vairamuthu, in a statement, said he used the reference to Andal only in a positive connotation as that of the original authors of research work from which he had quoted.
"I kindly request you to appeal to your intellect,setting aside raw emotions. Having lived and worked for Tamil in the past 46 years, I will never hurt the sentiments of Tamil society. I sincerely believe that the purpose of writing is to spread love and joy," he said.
He invited those who had objections to "read and reflect deeply," on his address, which was published in the Tamil daily.
In a tweet, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said "Andal Tamizhai Aandal," was a tribute to both Tamil language and Andal Nachiar (a respectful reference to Andal).
'ஆண்டாள் தமிழை ஆண்டாள்' என்பது தமிழ் மொழிக்கும் ஆண்டாள் நாச்சியாருக்கும் பெருமை சேர்க்கும் உரை - ப சிதம்பரம்— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 14, 2018