The Madras High Court on Friday passed an interim order staying all criminal proceedings against the lyricist and restraining the police from acting on complaints against poet Vairamuthu regarding the Andal controversy. Passing the interim order on Friday, Madras High Court Justice Ramesh observed that the remarks leading to the controversy were not Vairamuthu's personal opinions and that he had merely quoted an American researcher. The judge said that prima facie no case has been made out against Vairamuthu.
Vairamuthu found himself in the middle of a controversy when the Tamil daily Dhinamani reproduced his speech at the Srivilliputhur Andal temple titled 'Thamizhai Andal'. The national award winning poet in his speech had quoted a researcher, who in turn had said, â€śAndal herself is a Devadasi who lived and died in the Sri Rangam Temple.
The Kolathur police station had a filed an FIR against the poet on a report by Muruganantham, a functionary of the Tamil Nadu organ of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The complaint alleged criminality on the part of Vairamuthu for stating that Andal, the only female Alwar saint, was a devadasi. The complaint registered devadasi as an averment and blamed Vairamuthu for the same.
Vairamuthu had expressed his regret to those whom he had caused hurt to as soon as the controversy broke out. However, subsequently, the controversy had caused a furore across Tamil Nadu with the saint of the Andal mutt even going on a fast unto death. The saint, along with other groups, demanded that Vairamuthu issue a written apology, retracting what he had quoted in his speech.
On Friday, Vairamuthu filed a petition to quash the criminal case against him calling the case an abuse of law and having wrongly projected the research article that he was referring to. Vairamuthu also alleged that the â€śpolice had not even perused the research articleâ€ť.
Pronouncing the order, the Madras High Court also asked the Kolathur police station to respond to the matter. The hearing has been postponed to February 16.