Sanatana Dharma row | T.N. CM Stalin criticises PM Modi; accuses pro-BJP forces of false narrative


T.N. CM M.K. Stalin

T.N. CM M.K. Stalin
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Defending his son and Cabinet colleague Udhayanidhi Stalin over his statements on Sanatana Dharma, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday, September 7, 2023 said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues were using the issue to divert attention from issues such as the situation in Manipur or the irregularities to the tune of ₹7.50 lakh crore highlighted in the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

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Citing media reports of PM Modi, mentioning in a Cabinet meeting that Mr. Udhayanidhi’s remarks needed a proper response, Mr. Stalin said: “The Prime Minister has access to all resources to verify any claim or report. So, is the Prime Minister speaking, while unaware of the lies spread about Udhayanidhi, or does he do so knowingly?”

When a “self-proclaimed” seer from Uttar Pradesh burnt Mr. Udhayanidhi’s photo and even offered a bounty on his head, instead of taking action against him, the Uttar Pradesh government filed cases against Udhayanidhi, Mr. Stalin said.

While Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin had spoken out “only against such oppressive ideologies and called for the eradication of practices-based on those ideologies,” pro-BJP forces have spread a “false narrative” alleging that Mr. Udhayanidhi had called for the genocide of people with Sanatana thoughts, Mr. Stalin said. Even Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and many others, “shared the same lie and condemned Udhayanidhi. Even after Udhayanidhi’s denial, these Union Ministers did not retract their statements,” Mr. Stalin said.

Recalling Mr. Modi’s speech in the Parliament recently over a purported video by T.N. Minister E.V. Velu, “without knowing the truth”, Mr. Stalin contended: “Given these instances, it raises questions about whether the Prime Minister, who has failed to fulfil any of his promises,” is attempting to divert attention, through the Santana Dharma row.

“Neither the Prime Minister nor his Ministers have replied [in Parliament] on issues such as the [violence in] Manipur or the 7.50 lakh crore worth of irregularities highlighted in the CAG report. But they convened the Cabinet on Sanatana. Can these leaders truly protect the backward castes, Scheduled Castes, Tribal people, and uplift women?” Mr. Stalin asked.

Mr. Stalin, also the DMK president contended that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc of opposition “seemed to have rattled the Prime Minister,” who was proposing ‘One Nation – One Election’ “out of fear”. It was evident that the BJP was not genuinely concerned about the discriminatory practices in Sanatana, but was “rather desperate to create divisions within the Opposition alliance. It doesn’t take a political genius to recognise this as a political gimmick,” Mr. Stalin argued.

Quoting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who had said that we kept our own fellow human beings behind in the social system. We did not care for them, and this continued for almost 2,000 years. Until we provide them [with] equality, some special remedies have to be made. Reservations are one of them. Reservations should continue until there is no such discrimination, Mr. Stalin said: “If the BJP needs any further explanation regarding what Minister Udhayanidhi said, they should consult Mr. Mohan Bhagwat.”

Mr. Stalin’s statement can be accessed on The Hindu portal here.


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