Rajat Sharma


AKB Senior DMK leader A. Raja was embroiled in a big controversy when he spewed venom at Lord Ram, saying, “I spit on BJP leaders who say Jai Shri Ram”. He said this on March 3 while addressing a meeting to celebrate the 71st birthday of chief minister M. K. Stalin in Coimbatore. Raja said, ‘if this is your Jai Shri Ram, if this is your Bharat Mata Ki Jai, we will never accept Jai Shri Ram and Bharat Mata. Tamil Nadu will not accept. You go and tell, we are enemies of Ram.” The DMK leader went on to say, “I don’t have faith in Ramayana and Lord Ram. If you say that Ramayana means human harmony, where four brother are born as siblings, one Kuravar as brother, one Hunter as brother, another money as another brother, another money as the sixth brother, then I don’t accept Jai Shri Ram.” Raja’s tirade was not confined to Ram and Sanatan Dharma alone. He also questioned India’s sovereignty. Raja said, “Understand this well. India is not a nation. One nation means one language, one tradition and one culture. Then only we can say it is one nation. India is not a nation, it is a subcontinent. Tamil is one language, one nation, Malayalam is one language, one nation. Oriya is a language, another nation. All these nations make to become India. There are so many traditions and cultures. ..If you force people to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, the people of Tamil Nadu will never accept this.” One is astonished to find a former Union Minister saying all this. A. Raja has a peculiar double character. If he does not consider India a nation, why is he sitting in Indian Parliament after contesting elections? Why did he take oath as per the Indian Constitution? Why did he become a Union Minister at the Centre? A. Raja was the Telecom Minister in Dr Manmohan Singh’s government. His name figured in 2G scam, he was removed from cabinet, he remained in jail, he was elected to Parliament five times, he became a minister at the Centre four times, and yet, this same person is saying, India is a nation. So long as he was the minister at the Centre, India was fine as a nation, and when he is sitting in the opposition benches, he refuses to accept India as a nation. Such an attitude is surprising. On Tuesday, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad asked whether DMK has read the Constitution or not. DMK’s alliance partner Congress was careful in reacting to this. Congress did not hesitate in rejecting A. Raja’s remarks. Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, Congress worshipped Lord Ram as its ideal, it has faith in Ram, and it condemns A. Raja’s remark. She also said, alliance partners should be careful while speaking on such subjects. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav described A. Raja’s comments as his personal opinion, but added that RJD does not agree with his opinion. Later in the day, DMK spokesperson T K S Elangovan distanced his party from Raja’s remarks saying it was only Raja who can explain why he made such comments. Let us recollect: it was A. Raja, who, in the presence of CM M K Stalin, on July 3, 2022, raised the demand for a separate country. As the Chief Minister, Stalin did not stop his leader from making such a comment. Later, DMK said, it was Raja’s personal opinion. But now that the Lok Sabha elections are near, not only Stalin, but his alliance partners will also have to explain to the people. On Raja’s remarks, I want to make two points: One, we cannot allow people to say whatever they want in the name of freedom of speech and expression. A day before, on Monday, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta told the lawyer of Udhayanaidhi Stalin, son of M K Stalin and a minister in DMK government, that the minister is not a layman and he should know the consequences of his remarks on Sanatan Dharma. Udhayanidhi Stalin had compared Hindutva with diseases like malaria and dengue and had said that his party would uproot Hindutva. When cases were filed against him, he went to the Supreme Court seeking relief in the name of freedom of speech. The SC bench told his lawyer,”You abuse your rights under freedom of speech and right to freedom of religion, and then come to the Supreme Court for protection under Article 32? Do you not know the consequences of what you said?” The Supreme Court clearly said that freedom of expression does not mean that anybody has the right to vitiate the atmosphere. Secondly, DMK leaders like A. Raja and Udhayanidhi Stalin, do not make such comments carelessly. This is part of their political strategy. The reality is DMK has started realizing that the BJP is trying to prepare its base in Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Rameswaram, he sat in Ranganathaswamy temple and heard the recital of Kamban Ramayana, before performing the consecration of Ram Lala idol in Ayodhya on January 22. This is the reason why DMK leaders have started spewing venom against Hindus, Hindutva and Lord Ram.

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