Udhayanidhi Stalin's ‘Sanatan Dharma’ remark sparks row, says ‘ready’ for legal challenge

Sep 03, 2023 08:21 AM IST

Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of MK Stalin, contended that ‘Sanatan Dharma’ was against the idea of social justice and that it had to be eradicated.

Udhayanidhi Stalin, Tamil Nadu minister for youth welfare and sports development, said he stands by his words and is “ready to face any legal challenge” after his comments on “Sanatana” sparked a political row.

Tamil Nadu minister for youth welfare and sports development Udhayanidhi Stalin.(PTI file)
Tamil Nadu minister for youth welfare and sports development Udhayanidhi Stalin.(PTI file)

Addressing a conference organised in Chennai by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Artists Association on the theme of ‘eradication of Sanatana’ on Saturday, Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of chief minister MK Stalin, contended that Sanatana was against the idea of social justice and that it had to be eradicated.

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"I thank the organisers of this conference for giving me the opportunity to deliver a special address. You have kept the name of the conference as 'Sanatana Abolition Conference' rather than 'Anti-Sanatana Conference', I appreciate that," news agency ANI quoted Udhayanidhi as saying.

“A few things cannot be opposed, that should be abolished only. We can't oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or corona. We have to eradicate this, that's how we have to eradicate Sanatana. Rather opposing Sanatana it should be eradicated,” Udhayanidhi was quoted as saying.

"The name Sanatana is from Sanskrit. It is against Social Justice and equality," he added.

Later, responding to a post on X (formally Twitter) by Bharatiya Janata Party IT cell head Amit Malviya, Udhayanidhi clarified that he never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatan Dharma.

“Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality. I stand firmly by every word I have spoken. I spoke on behalf of the oppressed & marginalized, who suffer due to the Sanatan Dharma,” the DMK leader wrote on X.

“I am ready to present the extensive writings of Periyar and Ambedkar, who conducted in-depth research on Sanatan Dharma and its negative impact on society in any forum. Let me reiterate the crucial aspect of my speech: I believe, like the spread of diseases like COVID-19, Dengue, and Malaria by mosquitoes, that Sanatan Dharma is responsible for many social evils,” he added.

“I am prepared to confront any challenges that come my way, whether in a court of law or the people's court. Stop spreading fake news,” he replied to Malviya.

In another X post, Udhayanidhi said he was ready to face any legal challenge.

"Bring it on. I am ready to face any legal challenge. We will not be cowed down by such usual saffron threats. We, the followers of Periyar, Anna, and Kalaignar, would fight forever to uphold social justice and establish an egalitarian society under the able guidance of our CM MK Stalin. I will say it today, tomorrow, and forever: Our resolve to stop Sanathana Dharma from the Dravidian land would not reduce even a bit," Udhayanidhi wrote.

Hitting back, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai alleged that the only resolve that the Gopalapuram family has is to accumulate wealth beyond the state GDP.

“You, your father, or his or your idealogue have a bought-out idea from Christian missionaries & the idea of those missionaries was to cultivate dimwits like you to parrot their malicious ideology. Tamil Nadu is a land of spiritualism. The best you can do is to hold a Mic in an event like this & rant out your frustration,” Annamalai wrote on X.

Udhayanidhi Stalin praises 'Dravidian model'

On Friday, Udhayanidhi attended a sports event where he met athletes from violence-hit Manipur. Praising his father, Udhayanidhi said the best difference between the “Aryan and Dravidian models can be seen here”.

Speaking to ANI, Udhayanidhi said, "We are providing all facilities to Manipur’s fencers in Tamil Nadu. They feel safe here and are practising to get ready for the Khelo India games. This is the difference between Manipur’s Aryan model and Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian model."

(With inputs from agencies)

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    Have 11 years' experience in print and digital media. Write on politics, defence and world affairs, and have a keen eye for human-interest stories.

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