‘Thirukkural inspired Gandhi to adopt non-violence’

Updated - February 14, 2015 06:31 pm IST

Published - February 14, 2015 12:00 am IST - VELLORE:

Poet T.M. Abdul Khader speaks at the Thirukkural festival in Vellore on Friday. Era. Sezhiyan,former MP (right) and G. Viswanathan VIT Chancellor are also seen.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Poet T.M. Abdul Khader speaks at the Thirukkural festival in Vellore on Friday. Era. Sezhiyan,former MP (right) and G. Viswanathan VIT Chancellor are also seen.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

`Thirukkural’, the famous Tamil literary masterpiece comprising 1330 couplets written by Thiruvalluvar had inspired Mahatma Gandhi to take to the path of non-violence in India’s freedom struggle, according to Era. Sezhiyan, former MP.

Thiruvalluvar Festival

Inaugurating the Thiruvalluvar Festival and the 31st anniversary celebration of Vellore Tamil Sangam here on Friday, Mr. Sezhiyan said that Gandhi learnt the concept of non-violence from a letter written to him by famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy who quoted from a German translation of Thirukkural. The Father of the Nation had said that he came to know about Thirukkural only from Tolstoy.

T.M. Abdul Khader, a professor of Tamil and noted Tamil poet who presided over a seminar on Thirukkural said that `Inna Seidharai Oruthal, Avar Naana Nannayam Seidhuvidal’ (doing good to a person who troubled you is the way to punish the person) is the couplet which inspired Tolstoy and through him Gandhi, to take to the path of non-violence.

Thirukkural which has been translated into many languages is a literary work which has been translated into the second highest number of languages, next only to the Bible, he said.

G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University and president of the Vellore Tamil Sangam who presided over the festival said that Thiruvalluvar alone takes the credit for having produced a literary work covering all aspects of life and human behaviour, the traits and qualities expected of people in different walks of life, and the duties of the family members towards their parents and children. Most of the couplets in Thirukkural stress on virtues and discipline.

Mr. Viswanathan appealed to the students to learn Thirukkural in order to learn the virtues expected of them and to lead a disciplined life.

Given that 50 per cent of the population of India was below the age of 25, this trend portends a tremendous growth for India.

But this growth is possible only through education, he said.

V. Padhumanar, Treasurer and M. Sukumar, Secretary of Vellore Tamil Sangam, K. Mohan, founder of Desiya Matriculation Higher Secondary School (MHSS) and A. Thirunavukkarasu, Correspondent, Shanthi Nikethan MHSS participated.

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