Minister for Tamil Language and Culture, Mafoi Pandiarajan on Sunday claimed that a controversial video that was posted from his Twitter handle earlier in the day, was not shared by him. The problematic video manipulated interviews of deceased NEET aspirant Anitha with a mimicked voiceover that blamed the DMK for her death, while praising the AIADMK. Mafoi Pandiarajan, who did not mention Anitha or the specifics of the video in his statement, claimed he did not know how the video was posted from his account and that he will file a complaint with the cyber crime police.
"Dear friends, this morning a video about NEET and its origins has been tweeted from my handle. I am not connected to this in any manner. This tweet was posted without my permission. I will get to the bottom of this and action will be taken against those responsible. I will also be filing a complaint with cyber crime. I never have the intention to defame anyone," the Minister said in his video.
The controversial video which was a compilation of news snippets from various Tamil channels, had been deleted after criticism online. A voice over Anitha's visuals was used to say that over 400 students from underprivileged families are studying medicine and that it is Jayalalithaa's government that has ensured this. The voice â€” mimicking Anithaâ€™s voice â€” claims that the DMK is killing students for its own political motives. Taking objection to this, her brother Maniratnam has issued a complaint with the Ariyalur district Superintendent of Police. He has alleged that the minister's post was insulting to his sister's image, memories and her cause.
â€” Pandiarajan K (@mafoikprajan) April 4, 2021
"He has used her pictures and videos for his political gains without the family's permission. Action must be taken against Pandiarajan, for trying to manipulate voters under the Information technology 2000 Act," reads the complaint. "I have also submitted a complaint to the election commission for his disqualification," it adds.
Speaking to TNM, following the minister's statement, Maniratnam says he is not convinced. "It has become a practice for leaders to post such content and then claim they were not involved," he says. "The complaint will remain as such."
There have been multiple instances of politicians posting distasteful content online, and then retracting them to claim that it was done without their knowledge. Notoriously, BJPâ€™s H Raja in 2018 claimed that his Facebook admin posted a controversial post about bringing down Periyar statues, and that he had no knowledge of it.