Special Correspondent

It was reinstalled amid playing of nagaswaram

CHENNAI: The statue of the epic heroine, Kannagi, which was removed from the Marina during the AIADMK rule, was on Saturday reinstalled in the same place, with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi saying one should not consider it just a statue; instead one should think of the rich culture and tradition it symbolises.

Amid the playing of the nagaswaram and shouts of joy from party workers, the Chief Minister pressed a button to unveil the statue. The plaque on the statue in Tamil reads: "The symbol of Tamil culture, which was removed on December 10, 2001, reinstalled on June 3, 2006. Declared open by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi."

Going down memory lane, the Chief Minister recalled how the statue was unveiled by the late M.P. Sivagnanam on January 2, 1968, during the World Tamil Conference, in deference to the wishes of the late Chief Minister, C.N. Annadurai. He (Mr. Karunanidhi) presided over the conference. It was a coincidence that Sirkazhi Govindarajan sang at the function held 38 years ago, and on Saturday, his son, Sirkazhi Sivachidambaram, rendered the song written by Mr. Karunanidhi.

Sequence of events

He recalled the sequence of events from the removal of the statue and the protests made by Tamil organisations, individuals and political parties. But the then Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, did not pay heed.

He lashed out at a Tamil weekly, which had criticised the statue. He would only make a request to the magazine and others with the same mindset not to indulge in such activities. They could support his objective to uplift Tamils. Tamils should realise the present situation.

Symbol of women's bravery

Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan said the previous rulers had removed the statue, which stood as a symbol of chastity and women's bravery. The statue was one among the 10 unveiled in 1968. Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, Information Minister; Sri Kundrakudi Ponnambala Adigalar; poet Vairamuthu; and Avvai Natarajan, former Vice-Chancellor, Tamil University, spoke.

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy complimented the DMK Government for reinstalling the statue.