Actor turned politician Rajnikanth has refused to apologize for his remarks about Periyar insulting Hindu Gods and Goddesses in 1971. Speaking about its coverage at a function organized by the famous Tamil news magazine Thughlak, the film star had referred to the infamous incident of parading naked pictures of Lord Rama and Devi Sita, and then beating them with slippers. This incident however is not in isolation.
E V Ramaswamy Naicker, or Periyar as he was called by his followers, was the ideological fountainhead of the extremist Dravidian movement, which openly denigrated Hindu deities and rituals. There have been several incidents in the past where his followers indulged in disrespecting Hindu deities and traditions. Here are a few incidents from recent times to refresh your memory.
Lyricist Vairamuthu Insults Devi Andal
In 2018, lyricist Vairamuthu, known to be a close confidante of erstwhile Chief Minister M K Karunanidhi, courted controversy and protests when he passed objectionable remarks about the Azhvar saint Devi Andal. Speaking at a public event, Vairamuthu had ended a speech on Devi Andal by saying that she was a Devadasi. He later apologized, but the damage had already been done, as it stoked protests across the state of Tamil Nadu.
Periyarist Group Insult Lord Rama – Hit His Image with Slippers
A group of people from the organization named Periyarist Group desecrated and disrespected the pictures of Lord Rama by slapping them with slippers in Mayiladudurai district, Tamil Nadu on March 23, 2018. This was done in response to the breaking of Periyar statue in Pudhukottai. This group also condemned the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra, which was conducted peacefully in Tamil Nadu with the aim of constructing a Lord Rama temple in Ayodhya.
Dravidian Extremists Mock Avani Avittam – Put Sacred Thread on a Pig
In 2017, the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (TPDK) organized an event to where pigs were adorned with the poonool, or the sacred thread in a ‘symbol of protest against Brahminism’. This was not an isolated incident – the group had in 2016 also burnt effigies of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana during Ram Leela to symbolically show opposition to ‘Aryan invasion’.
M K Stalin calls Vaidika Marriage Rituals Disgusting
At a 2017 public function, M K Stalin had called Vaidika marriage rituals disgusting. Speaking in full flow, Stalin mocked the rituals, saying that smoke from the holy fire is only meant to assault the eyes of the marrying couple and the guests. Further he said that the inner meaning of the mantras are so disgusting that “if you think about the inner meaning – our whole body will shake.”
Veeramani insults Lord Krishna
Dravida Kazhagam president K.Veeramani insulted Lord Krishna by calling him an eve teaser and thief. At an event held on 27 August 2013, DK president had questioned the need to celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna by stating that ““From stealing butter at small age, to stealing women’s clothes at adolescence and further asking them to come out, Krishna was the instigator of Eve teasing.”.
He had also insulted the Srimad Bhagavad Gita by saying that it stoked a fight among brothers and also alleged that Lord Krishna instigated the caste system in the sacred book.
DMK Chief Questioned Existence of Lord Rama
Erstwhile DMK Chief and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late M K Karunanidhi, had publicly questioned the existence of Lord Rama, after the Centre was forced to stall its disastrous Sethusamudram Project in 2007. Speaking to the media at Erode, Mr. Karunanidhi had openly mocked Lord Rama. “Who is this Raman (as Lord Ram is referred to in Tamil)? In which engineering college did he study and become a civil engineer? When did he build this so-called bridge? Is there any evidence for this?” he asked reporters.