Chennai: It’s dhoti versus jeans in Tamil Nadu on Pongal day Tamil Nadu on Thursday saw the presence of leaders of two national parties – BJP President J.P. Nadda and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi – on the day when the state celebrated Pongal festival with traditional fervor.
The Chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was also here to participate in the Pongal festivities.
While Nadda was in Chennai to participate in the ‘Namma Ooru Pongal Vizha’ (our city Pongal festival) organized by BJP’s state unit, Gandhi was at Madurai to witness Jallikattu-bull-taming sport.
The contrast between the two leaders was obvious.
While Gandhi was attired in a blue T-shirt and blue jeans – Nadda was in the Tamilians traditional white dhoti, shirt, and angavastram.
While Nadda began his speech in Tamil and switched over to English, Gandhi’s brief speech was in English.
Speaking at the Jallikattu venue Gandhi warned “those who run roughshod” over Tamil culture obliquely referring to BJP.
Curiously it was during Congress rule at the center that Jallikattu was banned and during the BJP’s regime it got restarted.
Gandhi said it was a lovely experience to see Tamil culture and history in action and appreciated the Jallikattu organizers for organizing the event in a systematic manner so that the bull tamers and bulls are safe.
The Congress leader said he had received tremendous love and affection from the people of Tamil Nadu. Tamil history and culture will be protected and he had come to learn about them.
On the other hand, Nadda addressing the party workers said Tamil Nadu is a unique mix of spiritualism and economic development.
Nadda said Tamil Nadu is the land of spiritualism with 63 Nayanmars and 12 Alwars hailing from this holy land.
He also said saints like Ramanuja were also from Tamil Nadu and added that the Tamil language is the oldest in the world.
Nadda said the state had famous Kings and empires like the Cholas, Cheras, Pandyas, and Pallavas who have contributed immensely to the development.
According to him, each district of the state has contributed to the nation’s freedom struggle against the British and reeled out several names.
“We are proud that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been reciting Tamil poems in different parts of the world,” Nadda said.
The Chief of RSS Bhagwat who was also here to participate in the Pongal festivities here was also attired in dhoti, shirt, and angavastram.