DMK MP A. Raja’s ‘we are enemies of Ram’ remark puts INDIA bloc in a fix

BJP reacts sharply, questions silence of INDIA leaders

A. Raja | PTI A. Raja | PTI

The opposition INDIA bloc has once again found itself on the receiving end of the controversial remarks made by the leaders of its southern ally, the DMK. After Udhayanidhi Maran’s ‘Sanatan Dharma’ remark, senior DMK MP A. Raja has sparked off a political outrage after he said he’s an "enemy of Lord Ram".

Speaking at a public event at Gobichettipalayam in Erode district, the former union minister said he doesn’t believe in Lord Ram or the Ramayana.

Raja was referring to the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants raised by the supporters of Bilkis Bano case convicts when they were released from jail in August 2022.

“If this is what the chants of Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai stand for, we will never accept it. Tamil Nadu will not accept it. If you want, you go ahead and say we are enemies of Lord Ram,’’ Raja was quoted as saying by media reports.

In another controversial statement that angered the BJP and other right-wing groups, Raja remarked in the same speech that India is not a nation but a subcontinent.

"What's the reason? Here, Tamil is one nation and one country. Malayalam is one language, one nation and one country. Oriya is one nation, one language and one country. All such national races constitute India. So, India is not a country; it is a subcontinent that has various practices, traditions and cultures.

In a sharp reaction, the BJP accused the DMK leaders of continuously making hate speeches and questioned the silence of the INDIA bloc partners.

"The hate speeches from DMK's stable continue unabated. After Udhayanidhi Stalin's call to annihilate Sanatan Dharma, it is now A Raja who calls for the balkanization of India, derides Bhagwan Ram, makes disparaging comments on Manipuris, and questions the idea of India as a nation,” BJP in-charge of IT wing Amit Malviya said in a post on X.

"Congress and other I.N.D.I. Alliance partners are quiet. Rahul Gandhi, their putative Prime Ministerial candidate's silence is eloquent,” he added.

Senior BJP leader and former union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said insulting India's ethos publicly and humiliating Hindu gods has become the hallmark of the DMK’s political agenda.

“We vehemently condemn such remarks. The DMK should not assume they can escape scrutiny for such statements. Listen Raja Saheb, this time the election results in Tamil Nadu will be very surprising,” Prasad said.

As the political storm raged, the Congress condemned Raja’s remarks and asserted that one should exercise restraint while speaking.

"I 100 per cent disagree with his remarks. From this platform, I condemn such a statement. I believe Ram belongs to everyone and is all-encompassing," Supriya Shrinate, a Congress spokesperson, said.

Interestingly, Raja’s controversial remarks came a day after the Supreme Court on Monday rebuked Udhayanidhi Stalin over his "eradicate Sanatan dharma" remark and asked why he moved the court with his plea for clubbing together the FIRs filed against him after abusing his right to freedom of speech and expression.


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