Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on 19 December 2016 unveiled the statue of renowned Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar on the premises of Mela Bhawan in Haridwar.
Thiruvalluvar is a renowned poet believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC.
- Thiruvalluvar is a celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher.
- His contribution to Tamil literature is the Thirukkural, a work on ethics. It is one of the most revered ancient works in the Tamil language.
- It is believed that he was born either in Thiru Mylai (Mylapore) Chennai in Tamil Nadu or in ThirunainarKuruchi, a village in Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu.
- The Tamil poet Mamulanar of the Sangam period mentioned that Thiruvalluvar was the greatest Tamil scholar.
- The first mention of the name Thiruvalluvar was found in the 10th century in a text called Thiruvalluvarmaalai.
- It is believed that he was a weaver and the supposed house he lived is now converted to a temple.
- There is a 133-foot tall statue of the celebrated erected at Kanyakumari at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. There is also a statue of Thiruvalluvar outside the School of Oriental and African Studies in Russell Square, London.
- The statue of the celebrated poet was set to be unveiled in June 2016. However, it was deferred by agitating local ascetics who had earlier prevented it from being installed near Har ki Pauri on the banks of River Ganges.
- The idea to install the statue of Thiruvalluvar on the banks of River Ganges near Har Ki Pauri was mooted before the Ganga Sabha by the then BJP Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay. He also offered to pay for the expenses from his MPLAD fund.
- However, the project was opposed by the Ganga Sabha and Akhil Bharatiya Teerth Purohit Mahasabha.
- Following the opposition, it was decided in consultation with the district administration to install the statue near Shankaracharya Chowk, which also has a statue of Adi Shankaracharya.