Why BJP’s experiments with yatras have a long way to go in Tamil Nadu

BJP Vel Yatra
The BJP's month-long Vetrivel Yatra, a pilgrimage-like rally from one shrine of Lord Murugan to another is nothing but an attempt by the party to get a foothold in the upcoming Tamil Nadu state assembly elections due in April-May next year | Image - Eunice Dhivya

On July 13 this year, YouTuber Surendra Natarajan and his team Karuppar Koottam put out a show on the online video platform that soon went viral and triggered a major controversy in Tamil Nadu. For, the video that they uploaded was said to have presented Kandha Sashti Kavasam, a devotional song dedicated to Lord Murugan, in an obscene and vulgar manner. Natarajan and his team members were arrested, and the video taken down.

But the matter didn't end there. The Hindu nationalist BJP launched a tirade against the DMK, which is known to be a rationalist and anti-Brahmin party, saying it was behind the video, a charge the DMK refuted.

But the BJP didn't give up. Its state unit leader L Murugan announced that Tamils would not let go of the insult to Lord Murugan easily, and launched a month-long Vetrivel Yatra, a pilgrimage-like rally from one shrine of the deity in Tiruttani to another in Tiruchendur.

The Yatra is nothing but an attempt by the party to get a foothold in the upcoming Tamil Nadu state assembly elections due in April-May next year. The move comes after the poor reception the party received in Tamil Nadu for its Ram Rajya Rath Yatra in 2018. Perhaps, that is when they realised that it is Murugan not Ram who rules the hearts of people in this part of the country.

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