Madras HC refuses to issue quo warranto on Udhayanidhi Stalin!

After Udhayanidhi, it may be the turn of former Union Minister A.Raja to face the heat for his recent remarks.

Madras High Court had refused to issue quo warranto in a writ petition filed against Udhayanidhi Stalin, Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, for his ‘blasphemous’ comments on Sanatana Dharma. In a conference organised by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Artists Association on the theme of “Eradication of Sanatana”, Udhayanidhi remarked that Sanatana should be eradicated similar to the attempts to eradicate Dengue, Malaria and HIV for being against social justice and dividing people on the basis of castes and subjugating women.

Several cases have been filed against Udhayanidhi Stalin throughout the country for his remarks and a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court to club all the FIRs into one. After hearing the petition on March 4th, the Supreme Court posted the case for next Friday (15th March) after making sharp remarks about the Minister’s remarks. The Live Law reported that Justice Dutta said “You abuse your Article 19(1)(a) right. You abuse your Article 25 right. Now you are exercising your Article 32 right? Do you not know the consequences of what you said?” and followed up by saying “You are not a layman. You are a minister. You should know the consequences.”

Now, the Madras High Court has refused to issue ‘quo warranto’ in the case filed by functionaries of the ‘Hindu Munnani’ a far-right organisation. The case was filed by T.Manohar, Kishore Kumar, and VP Jayakumar from Hindu Munnani but the case was filed on their personal capacities and it was also filed against P.Sekar Babu, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) and A.Raja, former Union Minister and DMK MP. Justice Anitha Sumanth said, “Those holding constitutional positions can propound only constitutionalism. The statements made by the Ministers is perverse and amounts to spreading misinformation”.

Meanwhile, a video of A.Raja is being shared by many from the BJP alleging that the former Telecom Minister had insulted the Hindus and Hindu sentiments.

https://twitter.com/ShivAroor/status/1765269674160443629

However, these posts have been sharing the clipped versions of his speech and some of the statements have been taken out of context. A.Raja said that the Ramayana that he learnt, spoke of harmony and brotherhood but the BJP’s version of Ramayana and their de facto ‘war cry’ of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is nothing but that. He pointed out the atrocities committed during Gujarat, particularly about Bilkis Bano’s case, and how BJP members reacted to the remissions provided to the rape and murder convicts in the said case. There were also remarks about casteism, India being a sub-continent and the Union of States and the states having their own nationalities which didn’t sit well with the BJP which have been terming the words as ‘secessionist’.

Pressure to INDIA alliance:

A.Raja’s remarks, in addition to Udhayanidhi Stalin’s earlier statements, are used to mount pressure on the North Indian allies in the opposition alliance, INDIA. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav was asked about A.Raja’s statements for which he responded that that was his personal opinion and not of the alliance’s. Lately, several speeches from DMK and its leaders have been used to project an ‘anti-Hindu’ narrative and these statements are said to be working to the BJP’s advantage.

Electoral Impact:

At this stage, it appears to be anybody’s guess of how much impact this would have in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections but the mainstream media’s view and of the BJP is that this would work in their favour. But as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, this ‘controversy’ does not have the same impact in Tamil Nadu’s politics as what is being projected in the English and Hindi Mainstream media.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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