Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday launched a forceful defence of his minister Udhayanidhi Stalin – who is at the centre of a storm over his “sanatana dharma must be eradicated” remark. In a lengthy statement – in Tamil and English – the Chief Minister said Mr Stalin had only spoken about “inhuman principles preached by Sanatan… that discriminate against Scheduled Castes, tribes and women” and “had no intention to offend any religion or religious beliefs”.
The Chief Minister then ripped into “some people (who) propagate caste-based discrimination (and) still denigrate women on spiritual platforms” and accused “pro-BJP forces unable to tolerate his stance against oppressive principles” of spreading misinformation about his minister’s speech.
“They Use ‘Sanatan’ To Oppress Women…”
“Even as we launch Chandrayaan to the Moon, some people continue to propagate caste discrimination… emphasising social stratification based on Varnashrama principles and citing sastras and other ancients texts to support sectarian claims… some individuals still denigrate women on spiritual platforms, arguing women should not work, widowed women should not remarry…”
“They use the term ‘Sanatan’ to perpetuate oppression of women, who make up more than half of humankind. Udhayanidhi only spoke against such oppressive ideologies and called (for the) eradication of practices based on those ideologies,” Chief Minister Stalin wrote.
Accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s “troll army” of spreading lies, the Chief Minister also criticised union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh for spreading the “lie” that Udhayanidhi Stalin – who is also his son – had “called for the genocide of people with Sanatan thoughts”.
Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark had drawn several sharp and crude comments from BJP leaders, including ex-Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who called the Tamil Nadu minister “Hitler” and declared “his mindset is as small as a mosquito and as dirty as malaria”.
A furious Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also slammed reports the chief priest of a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya, had placed a Rs 10 crore bounty on Udhayanidhi Stalin’s head.
“Did Uttar Pradesh Government take any action…? Instead, they filed cases against Udhayanidhi…”
MK Stalin Hits Out At PM Modi
The Chief Minister also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying the remark “needs a proper response” , noting he had resources to verify the real meaning of what the Tamil Nadu minister said.
“So, is the Prime Minister speaking unaware of the lies spread… or does he do so knowingly?”
“INDIA alliance by parties opposed to BJP seems to have rattled the Prime Minister. He is proposing ‘One Nation, One Election’ out of fear… BJP is not genuinely concerned about discriminatory practices in ‘Sanatan’,” he declared, dismissing attacks on Mr Stalin as a “political gimmick”.
What Did Udhayanidhi Stalin Say?
Over the weekend, Mr Stalin – the grandson of ex-Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Karunanidhi – triggered controversy with a speech at an event. “Sanatana (Dharma) ought to be eradicated like malaria, dengue and mosquito and not opposed,” he said.
He has firmly denied any suggestion he had called for a “genocide of people with Sanatan thoughts”.