On January 14, speaking at Tamil weekly magazine Thuglak’s golden jubilee celebration in Chennai, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth threw light on an event the anti-Hindu and pseudo secular organisation, Dravidar Kazhagam (DK), had conducted way back in 1971.
Mr. Rajinikanth, who was a good friend of Thuglak’s founder Cho Ramaswamy, had made the statement more than anything else to highlight how upright and bold Ramaswamy was.
The actor said when no newspaper or journal came forward to print how perverted were the DK’s actions during its ‘Superstition eradication rally’ in January 1971, it was only Mr. Ramaswamy who did so.
During the rally, the DK men slippered images of Sri Ram, Sri Murugan (Kartikeya) and carried placards that had perverse images on the birth of Sri Ayyappa, Sri Murugan among others. There were also portraits of Sri Ram and Devi Sita without clothes and garlanded with slippers.
Mr. Rajinikanth’s speech had two consequences – one expected and another unexpected. The first was the backlash from political parties that followed DK leader E.V. Ramaswami Naicker, aka Periyar – the DMK and several others.
Many from the Dravidian parties and even those who venerate Naicker denied that the Gods were slippered. Their argument was that it was a rally and a few who were opposed to the DK ideology flung slippers on those who marched.
They also demanded an apology from Mr. Rajinikanth saying that he had distorted history. But as is his wont, the actor came out in the open with proofs saying he had only reiterated what was already written in Thuglak and very few papers.
He also clearly said he would neither apologise nor express remorse.
The unintended consequence of the whole episode was that tweeple and actor Rajinikanth’s fans dug up archival material to prove the actor right.
BJP National Secretary H. Raja posed images from the pages of The Illustrated Weekly which had carried a report on the rally in 1971. Tamil tweeple dug up an old news article in the Tamil daily Dinamani to show how thuggish had been the DK’s actions back then.
The screen shot of the page that carried the report also had a Dinamani report on a demand that Naicker made at the 1971 rally, which was held in Salem in Tamil Nadu: he had demanded that eloping with another man’s wife be decriminalised by removal of the provision from the Indian Penal Code.
BJP leader Mr. Raja also posted another image – that of a court case filed by a Chennai resident, Chinna Annamalai, in the Madras High Court. The case was against the then Tamil Nadu government headed by Naicker’s follower M. Karunanidhi.
The government had seized bills with images from the conference that Annamalai had planned to stick across Madras, now Chennai. The images showed DK men insulting Hindu gods.
Karunanidhi, who did not act against those who insulted Hindu gods and had in fact helped in the conduct of the conference, had seized Annamalai’s posters saying they would promote social enmity and create disharmony.
Mr. Annamalai subsequently won the case.
Further, the tweeple also demolished the DK’s argument that no such insult to Hindu gods happened by posting an old video of the current head of the organisation, K. Veeramani, who is seen talking in Tamil.
In the video, Mr. Veeramani says how the DK slippering Hindu gods had helped its off-shoot the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam get more seats. “Before slippering, DMK had 138 or so seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly; after the act, the number of seats rose up to 183.”
The tweeple did not stop with that. They countered the DMK and organisations’ demand for an apology from Rajinikanth by asking if Rajinikanth should apologise so should all the Dravidian leaders who had spoken ill of Hindu gods.
On the ground, the Tamil Nadu Police had posted its men in front of the actor’s house as a little-known outfit had planned to hold a protest there. A few organisations had also issued a threat – to disrupt the screening of the latest Rajinikanth movie ‘Durbar’.
Did you find this article useful? We’re a non-profit. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.