The Chennai Press Club has issued a strong statement against BJP leader H Raja, for using a derogatory term for mediapersons in Tamil Nadu. At a press meet in Chennai on Monday, Raja referred to media persons as 'presstitutes', and asked them to not 'become addicted to conversion'.
"Who told you that Hindu is different and Tamil is different? What are you guys talking about? All you media people? Presstitutes. Don't go to the point of encouraging conversion because you think Tamil is not the same as Hindu. Don't become addicted to conversion," he said as several members of the audience clapped.
The Chennai Press Club issued a strong statement condemning Raja's words. "The Chennai Press Club strongly condemns Rajaâ€™s indecent speech. Not just Raja, a few others have also been passing such remarks against journalists and the media. This should not be just condemned but stopped,â€ť it read.
The statement also hoped that the BJP, where Raja was a former party national secretary, would take action against the leader for his words. It also raised concerns against BJP leaders' silence on the issue and asked whether the party endorsed such statements.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Chennai Press Club Joint Secretary Bharati Thamizhan said that journalists were becoming easy targets for politicians and others. He said that all those who believe in democracy should condemn H Rajaâ€™s words.
The press meet took place on Monday when Puthiya Thamizhagam leader K Krishnaswamy, Arjun Sampath (Hindu Makkal Katchi founder), BJP member Radha Ravi and others addressed the media after watching the preview of a movie titled Radhrathandavam, directed by Mohan G and starring Gautham Vasudev Menon.
Raja also took a dig at director Pa Ranjith and said that those who criticised the Chola emperor Raja Raja Chola still existed in the Tamil Film industry and those people were â€śanti-Tamilâ€ť. Pa Ranjithâ€™s speech in Thanjavur where he said that the great Chola emperorâ€™s reign was a dark period for dalits sparked a controversy in Tamil Nadu with several outfits such as Hindu Makkal Katchi outraging against the statement.
Chennai Union of Working Journalists, another organisation too has condemned the derogatory language used by H Raja.