The remark on Sanatana Dharma by DMK chief MK Stalin’s minister son shows that the Opposition bloc INDIA “hates Hinduism” and is “an attack on our heritage”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today.
Mr Shah was speaking at Dungarpur in poll-bound Rajasthan at the launch of BJP’s Parivartan Yatra. The BJP is pushing hard to defeat the ruling Congress and return to power in the upcoming state polls.
The Home Minister alleged that the remarks by Udhayanidhi Stalin are part of INDIA bloc’s “vote bank politics” and “appeasement” tactic.
The Home Minister’s remarks come amid a huge row over remarks by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi. Addressing a writers’ conference in Chennai, Udhayanidhi Stalin said the idea of “Sanatana Dharma is against the idea of social justice and must be eradicated”. He also drew a parallel between Sanatana Dharma and diseases such as dengue and malaria.
As the remarks went viral, BJP leaders termed them a call for genocide and slammed Udhayanidhi Stalin and questioned if all members of INDIA agree with the DMK leader’s remarks.
Responding to the criticism, Mr Stalin has said Sanatana Dharma “is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion”.
“I never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatana Dharma. Uprooting Sanatana Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality. I stand firmly by every word I have spoken. I spoke on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized, who suffer due to the Sanatana Dharma,” he said.
Karti Chidambaram, Congress leader and former Home Minister P Chidambaram’s son, has backed the remarks by Udhayanidhi Stalin, saying that Sanatana Dharma “is nothing but code for a Caste Hierarchical Society”. “All those batting for it are hankering for the Good Ole Days! Caste is the curse of India,” he has said.
Slamming DMK and the Congress over remarks by the two leaders, Mr Shah said, “Over the past two days, they (INDIA) are insulting this country’s heritage and Sanatana Dharma. Sons of top leaders of Congress and DMK are talking about finishing Sanatana Dharma for the politics of vote bank and appeasement.”
The Home Minister also referred to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s 2010 remark, in which he had said radical Hindu outfits are a bigger threat than terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“Rahul Baba had said that Hindu organisations are more dangerous than Lashkar-e-Taiba. Rahul Baba, you compared Hindu organisations to Lashkar-e-Taiba and your Home Minister said there is ‘Hindu terror’ in the country,” Mr Shah said.
He was referring to former Home Minister and Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde’s remark on Hindu terror. Mr Shinde has said he had used the expression at a Jaipur party meeting, but withdrew it immediately.
At the Rajasthan rally, Mr Shah said Sanatana Dharma is ruling the hearts of people. “They say Sanatana rule will come if Modi wins. Sanatana is ruling people’s heart,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that India will run as per the Constitution.
Accusing the Congress of blocking the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the Union Home Minister said, “The Grand Ram temple will be ready in January at Lord Ram’s birthplace. INDIA alliance cannot stop it. Congress had blocked it for years.”
The Home Minister said that the yatra launched today will cover 2,500 km over 19 days. “It will reach 52 Assembly constituencies and hold 156 small meetings and 54 large meetings. By the time it is completed, the fate of Ashok Gehlot government will be sealed,” he said.
Mr Shah said the Ashok Gehlot government was corrupt and had also failed to protect women. “Ashok Gehlot’s government is neck-deep in corruption and has failed to protect women. Every day, as many as 19 cases of sexual harassment are being reported in the state,” he said.