CHENNAI: Dravida Kazhagam (DK) leader K. Veeramani on Monday urged DMK leaders and cadres not to pray to God for their leader M. Karunanidhi's speedy recovery, saying he would get better only due to medicines.
A known atheist, DMK President Karunanidhi, one of India's longest-serving politicians, has been admitted to Kauvery Hospital here since Saturday due to health issues.
Veeramani said in a statement here that Karunanidhi, 94, was recovering from his ailment with the help of medicine and called upon DMK leaders and activists not to resort to superstitious activities like religious prayers.
There have been reports of DMK members holding prayers for Karunanidhi's better health. Students of the school at Tiruvarur where Karunanidhi had studied held a prayer for the well being of their illustrious alumni.
A DMK member tonsured his head for Karunanidhi's betterment -- like it is done in some Hindu temples.
Veeramani, also a diehard atheist, said those who consider Karunanidhi their leader have to respect his beliefs and principles.
Karunanidhi had once called the ritual of fire walking by a party leader as barbaric and urged other party members not to emulate him.
The DMK President also objected to a party member sporting a 'tilak' on his forehead saying that this amounted to going against the basic ideology of E.V. Ramasamy or Periyar, the founder of Dravida Kazhagam as a rationalist party.
The DMK was born following a split in the DK but remained ideologically on the same path.
Meanwhile, a large number of DMK supporters continued to mass outside the Kauvery Hospital. Some kept appealing to Karunanidhi vocally: "Come out, Come out."
DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS: "Party cadres have a special affection for Karunanidhi. They would disperse silently if they hear his unique voice."