A political row erupted over the weekend over comments made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin’s son and State Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin calling for eradication of Sanatan Dharma. "Certain things should not be opposed, they need to be eradicated. Like mosquitoes, malaria, dengue and COVID19, the Sanatan Dharma also needs to be eradicated,” Udhayanidhi Stalin, a film actor producer turned politician, said on Saturday at a conference hosted by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association in Chennai.
Dravidianism Vs Sanatan Dharma
Referring to the theme of the conference ‘Eradication of Sanatan Dharma’, he said the title was apt. Udhayanidhi went on to distinguish between what Dravidianism stood for as opposed to Sanatan Dharma. In his view, while the former promoted the concept of egalitarianism, the latter sought to divide people.
Soon after a short video clip of a part of his speech was shared, many BJP and right wing functionaries began attacking him. BJP IT cell Chief Amit Malviya, took to ‘X’ and charged that, Udhayanidhi, in short, is calling for “genocide of 80% population of Bharat, who follow Sanatan Dharma.” He added, “DMK is a prominent member of the Opposition block and a long standing ally of the Congress. Is this what was agreed in the Mumbai meet?”
"I stand firmly by every word I have spoken"
Responding to Malviya, Udhayanidhi remained firm in his views. He pointed out, “I never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and equality. I stand firmly by every word I have spoken. I spoke on behalf of the oppressed & marginalized, who suffer due to the Sanatan Dharma.”
The DMK youth wing leader said he was prepared to present the extensive writings of Periyar and Ambedkar, who conducted in-depth research on Sanatan Dharma and its negative impact on society in any forum. “Let me reiterate the crucial aspect of my speech: I believe that like diseases like COVID-19, Dengue and Malaria, Sanatan Dharma is responsible for many social evils. I am prepared to confront any challenges that come my way, whether in a court of law or the people's court. Stop spreading fake news,” he said.
Defending him Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram said, “Sanathana Dharma is nothing but code for a Caste Hierarchical Society. All those batting for it are hankering for the Good Old Days! Caste is the Curse of India.” “Why is it that everyone who is batting for “SD” comes from the privileged segment who are beneficiaries of the “hierarchy.” There was no call for “genocide” against anyone, this is a mischievous spin,” he said on ‘X’