Chennai, June 3 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, known for being an atheist, attempted to appease theists here late Monday by offering to rename the controversial Sethusamudram project after Hindu god Ram.
'I have no issues with the Sethusamudram project being renamed after Ram if it helps the realisation of a dream of our late leaders Kamraj and Anna besides result in ending the state's isolation in the south through its fructification,' Karunanidhi said while addressing a huge gathering at the release of the compact disc of 'Uliyin Osai' (Chisel's Sounds), a movie based on his short story written decades ago.
The Sethusamudram project, presently stayed by the Supreme Court, involves the partial destruction of a causeway believed to have been built across the narrow expanse of water separating India and Sri Lanka by Hindu God Ram with the help of an army of monkeys. Karunanidhi had poked fun at Hindu believers of Lord Ram earlier.
In an obvious reference to his detractors who faulted him for attending a plethora of film functions instead of striving for reduction of prices, Karunanidhi quipped: 'As a creator, I have a responsibility of entertaining even those who deride me. The faults, if any, lies with those who invite me for such functions. While issues of inflation are inappropriate at these times, to my critics chagrin, I have also helped the reduction of prices at eateries today.'
Giving details about his work on which the film was based, Karunanidhi revealed that the short story penned at the Brihadeswarar temple at Thanjavur, some 300 km south of capital Chennai was a fictional account of the real reason for historical records that omitted 27 Bharatnatyam dance poses of the original 108 found in the sculptures.
The temple, built in the 11th century has a 215 feet high tower that does not cast a shadow.
'Uliyin Osai' features actors Vineet as the sculptor and Sarath Babu as the most famous Chola king Rajarajan.
While veteran director and chief guest K. Balchander admitted ruing the opportunity of making the movie by turning down an offer to do it over a decade back, fellow-megaphone wielder Bharati Raja went gaga over the chance of sharing platform space with the Tamil scholar chief minister comparing him to a mythical flower that stays fresh till infinity.
Actresses Keerthi Chawla, Manorama and Jayachitra also shared the dais with Karunanidhi's daughter, poet and MP Kanimozhi.
Three picturised songs shown to the audience during the fete had a vintage look.
The film's music is scored by Illayaraja.