Actor-politician Rajinikanth had praised Cho for publishing photographs of a rally against superstition where he alleged that images of Hindu deities had been paraded naked.

news Politics Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 13:29

The AIADMK has condemned actor-politician Rajinikanth’s remarks at the 50th anniversary function of Tamil weekly magazine Thuglak. The actor had praised late Thuglak editor Cho Ramaswamy and said that he had dared to publish photographs of Hindu gods being paraded naked at a rally by social reformer EVR Periyar. He had said that Hindu gods Ram and Sita’s effigies were paraded without clothes and garlanded with footwear. His remarks have led to multiple versions of the event from publications that reported the incident at the time as well as a police complaint from the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar condemned the actor’s statement when asked about the remarks. “It's a 50-year-old issue. None of what Rajinikanth said had happened that day. Cho had told the court that he wrote the report based on information from a few organisations. He said he didn't know anything (directly) about it.”

Jayakumar also pointed out that the Outlook report, which Rajinikanth had presented as proof of his claims, mentioned the alleged 1971 incident in passing on an article about cartoonist Bala.

The Minister further said, “When we consider all this, it becomes clear. Why should Rajinikanth indulge in efforts to misguide the people based on something that didn't happen? As far as we are concerned, the leaders we have accepted are Periyar, Anna, MGR and Amma. Even if a small insult takes place, AIADMK will give voice.”

“We condemned Rajinikanth already and said that it was an unnecessary comment. We advised that he can shut his mouth and keep quiet,” he added.

Soon after the controversy erupted, Rajinikanth refused to apologise, stating that he was speaking based on what he knew. “I have clarified that what I know is based on reports that exist. I have not imagined it,” he said adding, “This incident cannot be denied but is one that needs to be forgotten.”

Read: What happened at Periyar's Salem rally in 1971: The many versions