Sanatana Dharma row: Udhayanidhi cites example of President Murmu to justify remark
The Tamil Nadu minister also said that he would continue to speak out against caste discrimination in all religions
Despite the controversy generated by his statement over the weekend that “Sanatana Dharma must be eradicated”, Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin refused to back down. Rather, he gave a couple of examples to strengthen his argument that certain elements in the principle are responsible for many social evils and social discrimination.
Udhayanidhi gave the example of President Droupadi Murmu not being invited for the inauguration of the new Parliament on May 28 this year. The BJP has denied the allegation.
President Murmu hails from a tribal community in Odisha.
On Teachers’ Day celebrated on Tuesday (September 5), Udhayanidhi posted on X, "Teachers are incomparable people who always think only about the future generations. The bond between our Dravidian movement and teachers who preach virtue without asking for thumbs! It will continue forever. Happy Teacher's Day."
His mention of teachers asking for “thumbs” is a reference to the incident in the epic Mahabharat when Dronacharya, the teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas, asked Ekalavya, a boy from a tribal community, to give his right thumb as “guru dakshina” if he wanted to learn archery from Drona.
The son of the Tamil Nadu chief minister said he would repeat his remark again. “I will again and again talk on the issue that I spoke about at the event on Saturday. I will speak more. I said on that day itself that I am going to talk about the issue which is going to irritate many and that is what has happened.”
He also repeated that he was prepared to face any legal action for his remarks.
Subramanian Swamy, the politician and economist, said on X that he had written to the Tamil Nadu Governor seeking his sanction to prosecute Udhayanidhi if he “repeats deprecating Sanatana Dharma”.
Udhayanidhi on September 2 had said at a conference that Sanatana Dharma was like coronavirus, malaria, and dengue, and had to be eradicated.
The DMK has had a history of opposing the discriminatory principles of Sanatana Dharma and has been rewarded with political success. It has fought against large sections of people being denied equality, education, entry into religious places, and against the discrimination of women.
Udhayanidhi also said that he would continue to speak out against caste discrimination in all religions.
Meanwhile, local media reports said the Tamil Nadu police filed an FIR against BJP IT wing chief Amit Malviya for "distorting UdhayanidhiStalin speech" on Sanathana Dharma and spreading misinformation.