• Friday, July 19, 2024

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Modi reacts to Tamil Nadu minister’s ‘Sanatan Dharma’ remarks: ‘Needs proper response’

The PM’s remark came a day after Udhayanidhi Stalin said the government’s decision to not invite president Droupadi Murmu for the inauguration of the country’s new parliament building is an example of discrimination of the practitioners of “Sanatan Dharma”.

 

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addresses the media on the first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 20, 2023. (ANI Photo/Rahul Singh)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (6) spoke on the ongoing controversy over the remarks made by a minister from the southern state of Tamil Nadu who said that “Sanatan Dharma” (eternal religion by which Hinduism is also meant) should be eradicated.

Speaking at a meeting of the council of ministers in New Delhi ahead of the G20 summit this weekend, Modi advised the members not to go into history and stick to the facts as per the Indian Constitution. He also asked them to speak about the contemporary situation related to the matter.

Tamil Nadu youth welfare and sports development minister Udhayanidhi Stalin
Tamil Nadu youth welfare and sports development minister Udhayanidhi Stalin. (ANI Photo)

Modi’s reaction also came a day after Udhayanidhi Stalin, the youth welfare and sports development minister of the state and also the son of its chief minister MK Stalin, spoke more on the matter saying the Narendra Modi government’s decision to not invite Indian president Droupadi Murmu for the inauguration of the country’s new parliament building in May is an example of discrimination of the practitioners of “Sanatan Dharma”.

Also on Tuesday, which was celebrated as Teacher’s Day, Stalin made a veiled reference to the epic Mahabharata while posting a message on X, formerly Twitter.

He said in Tamil, “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.”

It was considered an apparent dig at Dronacharya, the teacher of the Kaurava and Pandava warriors who asked Eklavya, a tribal boy who could challenge Arjuna in archery, to sacrifice his thumb as an honorarium.

he said in Tamil, in an apparent reference to Dronacharya, the teacher in Mahabharat who asked Eklavya, a tribal boy, for his thumb as an honorarium.

Last weekend, the 45-year-old compared “Sanatan Dharma” with diseases such as dengue and malaria and added that it must be eradicated. Stalin, who belongs to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu which has its roots in the Self-Respect Movement started by EV Ramasamy ‘Periyar’ who had rebelled against Brahminical dominance.

While Stalin’s remarks put the opposition bloc INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) parties in a dilemma, he also received support from some leaders, mainly from southern India.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) condemned the remarks and slammed the Indian National Congress, the country’s only other national party, to condemn them as well.

The BJP also accused Stalin of calling for genocide but the latter denied it, saying he had not done so.

On Tuesday, more than 200 former judges, bureaucrats and officers of the armed forces requested the Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud to take suo motu cognisance of the matter, saying the minister’s statement amounted to hate speech, which “could incite communal disharmony and sectarian violence”.

Meanwhile, Stalin was booked under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different religious groups) of the Indian Penal Code in Rampur in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by the BJP.

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