Home News On DMK Leader’s “Sanatana” Remark, Congress Says “Freedom To Express”

On DMK Leader’s “Sanatana” Remark, Congress Says “Freedom To Express”


Udhayanidhi Stalin is a DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s son (File).

New Delhi:

As the Bharatiya Janata Party continues its onslaught on Udhayanidhi Stalin for his “sanatana dharma must be eradicated” remark, the Congress on Monday morning offered a measure of support for the embattled Tamil Nadu politician, stating “every political party has the freedom to (express) their views”.

Senior leader KC Venugopal underlined his party’s respect for all religions and said, “We respect everybody’s beliefs… our view is clear… ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ is the Congress ideology.”

The response – seen as tepid by some – was backed by a more forceful comment from Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge, who is party boss Mallikarjun Kharge’s son, and said a religion that does not give equal rights is “as good as disease…”

“Any religion that does not promote equality, or does not ensure you have dignity of being human, is not religion, according to me. Any religion that does not give equal rights… is as good as disease…”

Shiv Sena UBT leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also offered support. She posted on X defending “sanatan dharma (as) the country’s bedrock… linked… to inclusiveness of all faiths and identities”.

Sanatan Dharm stands for eternal truth – way to live life, conscience & being. Sanatanis have long withstood attacks by invaders to end their identity yet have not just survived but thrived. Country’s bedrock, linked to sanatan dharm, has been of inclusiveness of all faiths and identities,” she said.

“Anyone making derogatory comments it is ignorant of what it stands for.”

Ms Chaturvedi also hit out at the BJP over “fake concern” that “exposes their sick hypocrisy” and pointed to violence during protests in BJP and Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena-ruled Maharashtra.

The defence of Mr Stalin – who is Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s son and whose party is a key member of the INDIA alliance that held its third meet Mumbai last week – comes as the BJP and several Hindu religious groups ramp up their attack on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader.

READ | “Will Contest Together As Far As Possible”: INDIA Bloc Amid Differences

Other members of the alliance, including the Aam Aadmi Party and the Trinamool, have yet to speak on this subject, while Mr Stalin’s party colleagues, and smaller Tamil Nadu parties, have been strident in their defence.

“We want to do away with ‘sanatan dharma‘ which perpetuates caste rigidity. They want this caste hierarchy to continue. DMK is a progressive party which wants to do away with these regressive attitudes,” party leader Saravanan Annadurai was quoted by news agency ANI.

BJP Attacks Stalin For “Eradicate Sanatana Dharma” Remark

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday led the BJP’s criticism of Udhayanidhi Stalin as the party targets the INDIA alliance ahead of multiple state elections this year, including Rajasthan (where he was speaking) and Madhya Pradesh, and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Mr Shah declared INDIA “hates Hinduism” and is “an attack on our heritage” and that Mr Stalin’s remarks were part of the INDIA bloc’s “vote bank politics” and “appeasement” tactic.

READ | INDIA Bloc “Hates Hinduism”: Amit Shah On Row Over DMK Leader’s Remark

The union minister wasn’t the only one to slam the INDIA grouping for Mr Stalin’s comment. BJP boss JP Nadda wanted to know if “Udhayanidhi’s statement (is) part of the INDIA alliance’s strategy”. “Are you going to use this anti-Hindu strategy in elections…” he asked in Madhya Pradesh. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, wants INDIA members to apologise “or country won’t forgive them”.

READ | “Test For Rahul Gandhi”: Himanta Sarma On DMK Leader’s “Sanatana” Remark

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai slammed Mr Stalin as “Hitler” and INDIA as a “group of parties who are joining hands to come to power at the cost of social fabric of country”.

“Udhayanidhi Hitler is the right word for him,” he said.

What Did Udhayanidhi Stalin Say?

Addressing a writers’ conference in Chennai last week, Mr Stalin had said the idea of “sanatana dharma is against the idea of social justice and must be eradicated“. 

READ | “Ready To Face Any Case”: MK Stalin’s Son Defends Sanatana Dharma Remark

Mr Stalin later accused the BJP of “twisting” his statement and spreading incorrect information, and that he is ready to face any cases filed against him, including one filed with Delhi Police on Sunday.

With input from agencies

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