The DMK has filed a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner against 'social commentator and author' Maridhas for posting a video with 'false statements about the party'. The party has requested the police to book the YouTuber for content which 'promote enmity between classes' after he alleged that the DMK supported terrorist organizations in a video he posted in August.
The video titled 'Should DMK be banned?', was uploaded on August 19 and came after a statement made by DMK spokesperson A Saravanan on Republic TV
In a debate hosted by Republic TVâ€™s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir on August 12, the spokesperson stated that â€śKashmir was never an integral part of Indiaâ€ť. His comments were made after Arnab accused DMKâ€™s ally Congress of communalisation of the Kashmir issue. Responding to Arnabâ€™s comments, Saravanan accused the BJP government of being fascists, and not taking the opinion of the people. Saravanan was then interrupted by BJPâ€™s Aman Sinha, who stated that Kashmir has been united with India and has not been divided and there has been a reorganization. Reacting to Aman, the DMK spokesperson stated, â€śThat is your dream. Kashmir was never an integral part of India.â€ť Later in the show, Saravanan clarified that his comments were personal and not the partyâ€™s stand.
However, Maridhas in his video alleged that the DMK is a separatist and anti-national party that was promoting Pakistan's agenda. He claims in his video that that there is a nationwide call for a ban on DMK. In the twenty minute video, he makes sweeping allegations, "DMK has always been in touch with Pakistan and is a separatist party." "A voice has now grown in India for the ban of DMK. If you are patriotic you can stay here, if not, leave," Maridhas says.
The DMK has openly condemned the Centre's move to abrogate Article 370 and termed it undemocratic.
Amongst the statements in Maridhasâ€™ video that the DMK has called out as offensive are:
â€śDMKâ€™s stand on Article 370 is in support of the terrorist organizationsâ€ť,
â€śDMK commuted the sentence of convicts and has supported terroristsâ€ť,
â€śHas DMK taken money from Pakistan or does DMK have an understanding with terrorist organizations to issue statements?â€ť
DMK Rajya Sabha MP and organisation secretary RS Bharathi who has filed the complaint says, "The publication of statements which are baseless, false and untrue is directly covered under Section 505(2) of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and is a cognizable offence. The intent of this section is to put onus on the state and its police agencies to take effective steps to prevent such public mischief and to ensure no untoward disturbance to public tranquility transpires."
Section 505(2) refers to 'statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes'.
He further added that, "The mere action against persons like Mr. Maridhas will not be sufficient as social media is completely different medium. Therefore, it is necessary and important to also initiate action under the Information Technology Act, 2000 to take down the offending content on YouTube and Facebook and any other social media forum.
Reacting to DMKâ€™s complaint, Maridhas took to Facebook to say, â€śDMK should stop spreading false information on me and oppose me in an upright manner. They should stop lying that I am creating enmity and answer all the questions that I have asked. If people think that Iâ€™m inciting them in the name of religion, I am ready to leave this country. At the same time, I will also voice my support for the Hindus. I donâ€™t have to fake secularism.â€ť
Who is Maridhas?
A post-graduate in engineering, Maridhas is a native of Madurai, who has taken to social media to counter the oppositionâ€™s campaigns against the Centre.
The 'about' section of his YouTube channel 'Maridhas Answers' states that it is his first YouTube channel and that it was started to protect students from politicians with a separatist agenda, who stoked emotions to suit their political agenda. He has taken on the DMK and the Congress in several videos in the past. His latest video posted on August 24 is titled 'Is DMK influenced by Pakistan?' and four weeks ago he uploaded a video titled 'Is DMK the enemy of Hindus'. In addition to this, he has also posted videos on the state of the India economy, road accidents and education. Maridhas posted his first video on his YouTube channel in April last year. It was on the protests by Tamil groups in Chennai against IPL matches. The YouTube channel has 1.63 lakh subscribers as of Tuesday.