Tamil Nadu a shelter for anti-nationals? Political vexation behind Nadda's remarks, says Opposition

While addressing the party cadre on Monday, Nadda said the State has become a shelter for anti-national elements and urged the administration and political parties to look into it.

Published: 25th August 2020 09:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 09:12 PM   |  A+A-

DMK president M K Stalin (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: After facing the huge backlash from both AIADMK and DMK over the three-languages policy proposed in National Education Policy, the BJP on Monday alleged that Tamil Nadu has become a shelter for anti-national elements.

Earlier, the State BJP leaders had repeatedly said on similar lines referring to the pro-Jallikattu and anti-Sterlite protests which happened between 2017 and 2019. But the BJP leaders refrained from making such comments on Tamil Nadu just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which it faced in alliance with the ruling AIADMK. BJP president J P Nadda's statements on Monday during the party’s state executive committee meeting indicate that the BJP appears to have gone back to its earlier narrative on Tamil Nadu yet again.

While addressing the party cadre through video conferencing, Nadda said the State has become a shelter for anti-national elements and urged the administration and political parties to look into it. He also called up the parties to work together on the issues of national interest, while claiming that DMK is inciting feelings against the national spirit.

The statement coming from the BJP's top brass is not received well even by its ally AIADMK, although the BJP has primarily targeted the opposition DMK.

AIADMK spokesperson Vaigai Chelvan said Nadda’s remarks that Tamil Nadu has become a shelter for ‘anti-national’ elements was not acceptable for the party. “The law and order has been maintained well.

The government never sheltered anyone who engages in anti-national activities,” said Chelvan, while maintaining that Nadda was right when he called the DMK anti-development party.

Earlier, DMK president M K Stalin hit out at Nadda saying that it had become a habit of a few BJP leaders to paint anyone who questions BJP's narrative as 'anti-national' and Nadda was no exception. Stalin charged that the BJP was engaging in divisive politics through communalism and linguistic hegemony.

The CPM rubbished the charges as baseless and claimed that statement was a result of BJP’s frustration over the resistance it has been facing on NEET, NEP, and three-language policy.

ALSO READ | Those working against national interest being sheltered in Tamil Nadu: JP Nadda

Professor Arunan Kathiresan of CPM said the BJP has made the phrase ‘anti-national’ redundant, tagging it to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who opposed the BJP. “It’s become evident that not only the State-level leaders, even the national leader, can stoop to any low calling people ‘anti-national’ without any rhyme or reason."

Noting that BJP high command was unhappy over the State since parties together have prevented the imposition of Hindi through NEP and standing steadfastly against NEET, Kathiresan said the recent Hindi row at Chennai airport and AYUSH Ministry’s meeting may have disturbed it since it had been pushing for one language across the Country. “BJP trying to discredit the State to cover-up its failure and inability."

The BJP State general secretary Karu Nagarajan said Nadda was referring to the protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and abrogation of Article 370 which gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir.

“It’s wrong to say that Jadda was making random allegations. A few parties including DMK protested against CAA and article 370, which had been implemented in the interest of the country. About 32 persons who have links with terrorist organisations have been arrested in the State and Kerala."


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    The former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and former Tamilnadu CM M.Karunanidhi, was reported to be a Brahmin hater. That is what he projected in public. He also talked about Brahmins being Aryans and having suppressed the Dravidians, who were the non Brahmin communities of the State, for thousands of years. This myth was originated in the colonial 'Aryan Dravidian' theory and is now exposed as a myth by reputed western historians like Dr David Frawley of USA. Many DMK members in private, did notice pitfalls in this theory and never believed in it in depth. Many DMK members were and are upper caste Hindus with a feudal outlook. Dalits and weaker sections have little place in that party. But abusing Brahmins come in handy for diverting attention. Karunanidhi was no exception. Karunanidhi also gave an impression of harbouring deep hatred for Hinduism. He publicly called himself an atheist. But what was the reality of his personal life? His wives used to perform pujas regularly. For these pujas, Karunanidhi used to insist on the presence of only senior qualified Brahmins, who had a more than average knowledge of Sanskrit. Any run on the mill Brahmin Purohit will not do. The concerned pujaris will have to recite the mantras loudly, so that Karunanidhi can hear it, as he apparently loved to hear the sound of Vedic chants. Karunanidhi also insisted on seeing the Krishna idol at a temple close to his residence, before going anywhere on official or political jaunts. So, Karunanidhi's personal life was far removed from the public facade he liked to project of himself. So why this charade? Well, abusing Hinduism was a profitable proposition at that time, not only in Tamilnadu, but also to an extent at the pan India level. Despite partition, 1000 years of hostile foreign rule, had numbed the Hindus to a great extent. When the British left India, they handed over power to an Indian elite, significant sections of whom were ashamed of their heritage. The 'silent majority' of the elite never mustered the guts to assert themselves in any meaningful manner at that time. So, selective abuse of Hinduism coupled with lavish praise for Christianity and Islam, was an accepted facet of the dominant narrative. Those who did not fit in this line of thinking, were branded as 'primitive'. The Cold War also had an impact on cultural renaissance not blossoming in the country to its fullest potential. Even devout Hindus in the helm had to indulge in 'tight rope walking' so as to not attract attention from any of the then superpowers. And despite the Second Vatican Council decisions taken by 1965, sections of groups affiliated to all the mainstream Christian churches were engaged in evangelisation. People like Karunanidhi who were engaged in de-Hinduisation programmes, profited significantly from these groups. Karunanidhi came to Chennai a pauper and died a triillionaire.
    1 year ago reply

    Archbishop Anthony Arulappa was head of the Madras Catholic Archdiocese from 1966 till 1987. Arulappa was keen on spreading Christianity, particularly the Catholic faith in the State and as nearly 90% of Tamilnadu population comprised (and even now comprises) Hindus, this was a daunting task. Arulappa felt that Hinduism was deeply ingrained in the Tamil psyche and this has to be uprooted first before any evangelisation can take roots. State support was necessary in this regard. Prior to independence, the British created a positive environment for evangelisation, though their success rate was very limited. The British created an Indian elite which took over the Government after independence. This elite comprised a large battalion of persons who were ashamed of their past. Despite this segment being a minority, the majority of the elite were conditioned to not protesting much against such denigration by fellow Indians, who were also referred to as “Brown skinned sahibs”. Fortunately however, post independence and more particularly after the promulgation of the Indian Republic, the silent majority, began to slowly assert themselves. This was done in various ways including the manner of dress. Unlike in some other countries, Indian politicians wear traditional Indian dress. At local level, several Old Congress personnel tried to bring Indian culture at the official level. Most Old Congress personnel were also devout Hindus, who , while fighting for the causes of the weaker sections of society and women, also ensured that latent Hinduism reassert itself in a positive way. This was a threat to people like Arulappa. In 1967, when Dravidian parties came to power, Arulappa felt elated. But he got practically no support from the first Dravidian CM, C.N.Anandurai. When Annadurai died in 1969, contrary to expectations, M.Karunanidhi came to power. Karunanidhi’s coming to power was due to various factors and had no bearing on his perceived abilities. Karunanidhi was willing to play ball. Then came another hurdle. Most Catholic clergymen of that period, were staunch nationalists who were unwilling to countenance abuse of Hinduism, as they considered Hindu deities as worshipped by their forefathers with great respect. Arulappa was an exception and as some Catholic clergymen later commented, he was a black sheep among'st them. But Arulappa felt that if de-Hinduisation succeeds to an extent, then many sections of Hindu society will then be vulnerable to conversion. He therefore tried to take support from Protestant groups and he achieved greater success here. During the first spell of Karunanidhi’s rule from 1969 to 1976, was the golden period for Arulappa and his cohorts. Hindu deities were abused and insulted. Selectively, incidents in Hinduism was quoted to justify abuse of the religion. Non Brahmins were told that Hinduism was a religion only for Brahmins. Many other efforts took place and poison was injected slowly.
    1 year ago reply

    One myth being propagated is that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government in Tamilnadu, then headed by M.Karunanidhi, opposed the Internal Emergency imposed by late PM Indira Gandhi from June 1975 to March 1977. Though an opposition party then, DMK never opposed the Emergency. In fact, post declaration of Emergency, Karunanidhi toned down his criticism of the Central Government and Indira. In fact, for his son M.K.Stalin's marriage, the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed personally attended and graced the occasion. The real climax occurred on January 31, 1976. That day was known as Thai Amavasya in Tamilnadu, also known as Mouni Amavasya in North India and an important day all over the country for honouring one's departed ancestors. That day, Karunanidhi sent his police to the famous Tiruttani Murugan (Lord Skanda) temple, located about 60 kms from Chennai. There was a famous ratham (chariot) in that temple, where idol of Lord Muruga used to be taken on procession on important festival days. A couple of days post Thai Amavasya was to be the festival of Ratha Saptami, an extremely important day for Hindus all over India. Karunanidhi ordered the police force to bring the ratham at the temple to Chennai the next day. That day happened to be Saturday. Karunanidhi wanted the ratham at the Valluvar Kottom in Chennai by Sunday evening, so that he could showcase it at Valluvar Kottam on the ensuing Monday, i.e., two days after that year's Thai Amavasya. The temple authorities were aghast and initially refused. The police warned them that the temple was the property of the Government. The temple authorities pointed out that this was not the case as the Government was merely the custodian in lieu of a private trust and that was all. But the police were adamant and the temple authorities had no choice. Anger and despair filled people who were working in the temple right upto the security personnel. That night however, the police left abruptly without intimating the temple staff. The temple staff were puzzled. Later, they got to hear the radio news, repeated in Doordarshan, that Karunanidhi Government had been dismissed and the State Assembly dissolved. Everyone heaved a sign of relief. In the subsequent Lok Sabha elections held in March 1977, while Indira lost the elections and suffered reverses in many states, she won in Tamilnadu because of the deep hatred people had developed for the DMK. Karunanidhi could not lift his head for the next 13 years.
    1 year ago reply

    Bharatiya Janata Party President J P Nadda is right on mark. He should not retract his statement or modify it. It does not matter if BJP does not make any inroad in present day Tamilnadu. Tamilnadu is not South India, leave alone India. Present day Tamilnadu post 1967 is a significant disconnect with what it was earlier. Anyway, Nadda has only talked about Dravidian parties, not Tamilians. If some Tamilians feel angered by reference to Dravidian icons, others don’t have to care for it. The founder of Dravida Kazhagam E V Ramaswamy Naicker garlanded Lord Rama’s photo with chappals in 1971 in Salem. He justified it on the alleged grounds that non Brahmins in the South are Dravidians and are branded as ‘Shudras’ in Hindu texts. He further alleged that the term ‘Shudra’ meant a person born to an impure women. Practically no non Brahmin Telugu, Kannadiga or Malayalee, who also qualify to be Dravidians, endorsed the above statement of EVR. Post 1967, systematic efforts were taken by EVR and his cohorts, in conjunction with the then Tamilnadu CM, M.Karunanidhi , the then Archbishop of Madras Archdiocese Anthony Arulappa and a few other Catholic and Protestant pastors, to de Hinduise the State. This exercise was started in 1969. Subsequent CMs of the State, did not endorse Karunanidhi’s actions, but made no effort at correcting the wrongs done by him. Temple management was literally in party hands and temple funds are looted every year and proceeds financed for Haj pilgrimage and building new churches. No new temple was built during Dravidian era with temple funds. Dravidian parties have opposed restoration of the original Tamil script, which had been modified in the medieval ages to the present abridged script. During Karunanidhi’s time, Mahabharata characters were deliberately pronounced wrongly. The eldest Pandava was no longer referred to as ‘Yudhishthira’ but as ‘Dharma’ or ‘Tharma’. The Dravidian protoganists stated that it was difficult for a Tamilian to pronounce difficult names like Yudhishthira. Nakula was deliberately pronounced as ‘Nagulan’ and Sahadeva pronounced as either ‘Sahaadevan’ or’ Sagaadevan’. Krishna’s father’s name was mis pronounced as ‘Vaasudeva’, instead of ‘Vasudeva’, which is what it actually is. ‘Vaasudeva’ is another name for Lord Krishna, as he was Vasudeva’s son. ‘Ravana Leela’ was encouraged and on Dushehra day, effigies of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Devi Sita used to be burnt near Rama temple in Mylapore. The above are only illustrative of anti Hindu actions of the Dravidian parties and not exhaustive. Other actions which directly qualify as being anti national shall be indicated in due course separately.
    1 year ago reply
  • AP

    Well, it may be painful to some, but Nadda is absolutely correct. Many people from TN are radicalised to such an extent that it is impossible to have a civilised conversation with them on any issue whatsoever.
    1 year ago reply
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