Udhayanidhis tweet sparks row among cadre; leader issues clarification

Udhayanidhi's tweet sparks row among cadre; leader issues clarification

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A photo of a girl holding a Ganesha idol posted by DMK youth-wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin in the wee hours of Monday (August 24) has drawn criticism from many, including party members. However, Udhayanidhi later clarified that he was an atheist and the photo was posted as per his daughter’s wishes.

While people who supported Udhayanidhi said that the tweet was in response to those who demanded that DMK wished Hindus on Ganesh Chathurthi, some others alleged that it was a move to appease Hindu voters.

The DMK, which was an offshoot of social reformer Periyar’s Dravidar Kazhagam, espoused atheism and condemned superstitious beliefs in religions. Though is perceived by a section of people as an anti-Hindu party, its senior leaders like A Raja keep reiterating that the party had never acted against the interests of Hindus in the state.

Recently, the party was surrounded by controversy after Karuppar Koottam, a YouTube channel allegedly showed Kandha Sashti Kavasam, a hymn in praise of Lord Muruga, in a bad light. Some right-wingers alleged that while DMK sent out wishes for every other religious festival, it remained silent during a Hindu festival.

Well-known political analyst Sumanth C Raman too, in a tweet, had said the party always greeted people only on occasions of Christian and Islamic festivals. “This is not about waiting for someone’s wish. It is about respect for a faith,” he had tweeted.

Though a few people said Udhayanidhi’s tweet was a response to Sumanth’s tweet, the political analyst denied it. “But I am happy that he has put out the tweet. I welcome it,” Sumanth told The Federal. “Even earlier, during elections, the DMK had not come out openly displaying pictures of God. To that extent, I welcome this,” said Sumanth.

Meanwhile, Udhayanidhi issued a statement saying that the photo was clicked and tweeted as per his daughter’s wishes.

“My wife and I don’t have faith in God. But everyone knows my mother is a believer. We have a pooja room in our house with photos of our forefathers and some pictures of Gods, whom my mother believes. Whenever we take important decisions, we think of our forefathers,” he said.

“It is in this backdrop, my mother bought a Ganesha idol on the occasion of Ganesh Chathurthi. My daughter liked it so much and asked me to click a photograph of her along with the idol before it got immersed in water. After clicking the photo, I shared it on Twitter to fulfil my daughter’s wish” he said.

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