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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Has DMK put ‘Eradicate Sanatana Dharma’ into action?


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Some time back, DMK minister and son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Udhayanidhi Stalin, spoke at the ‘eradicating Sanatana Dharma’ conference in Chennai. Comparing Sanatana Dharma to diseases like dengue and malaria, Stalin stated how it needs to be eradicated and abolished.

Now, weeks after Stalin’s statement at the conference, it seems that the DMK government in Tamil Nadu, headed by Udhayanidhi’s father, MK Stalin, ha started working on this ‘agenda’ of abolishing Sanatana Dharma, because as per Udhayanidhi, some things like Sanatana Dharma cannot simply be opposed, but need to be abolished.

As posted by Tamil Nadu BJP President, K Annamalai, on his official X account, the Tamil Nadu State administration, led by the DMK, is not only hurting the feelings of the practitioners of Sanatana Dharma, but also stopping the multiplier effect of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in the local economy.

On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, in the V Kalathur village, power was shut down in the middle of the night, and police personnel went there to remove the murti of Bhagwan Ganesh.

This year, the DMK government issued arbitrary rules regarding the celebration of the Hindu festival, related to the putting up of Ganesh Pandals, and instructed the authorities to not grant permission for new pandals and new routes.

The Hindus of the V Kalathur and the KaiKalathur villages had sought permission to install Ganesh murtis in their respective villages, in the Perambalur district. And as the concerned authorities did not grant the permission sooner, the villagers kept the murtis in the local mandirs for worship, on September 17.

In V Kalathur, the murti was kept inside the Selva Ganapathy Mandir, and when the police reached there to remove the same, Hindus of every age protested against the move. This is when the police unleashed their brutality on the protesting Hindus.

The police brutally beat the protesting Hindus, no matter whether they were dealing with men, women, old people, or children. The torment faced by the Hindus has been recorded in videos, which were shot in the dark as the power supply had already been cut in the village, as mentioned earlier. In one such video uploaded by Narathar Media, a YouTube channel, the women and children who became the victims of police brutality narrate the horrors they faced.

In the beginning of the video, an old woman can be heard saying in Tamil, ‘They tortured women and pulled their sarees. Young boys were beaten. They came at 12 am to take the murti. They took us to the station at that time. They did things that shouldn’t be done to a 15-year-old girl. What will be her future?’

Another woman too accused a policeman of pulling at her saree, while a third one stated how they were dragged to the police vehicle when they did not budge from protesting against the actions of the police personnel, and were molested by them. Similarly, children who followed their mothers to the vehicle were brutally assaulted as well. When a kid questioned a cop, he was hit with an umbrella by the latter, and a man was rammed into a truck, despite agreeing to getting into the police vehicle peacefully, and the man’s head was wounded.

The video uploaded on the channel of Narathar Media then shows another kid, who mentions how his heart could not take it when a cop removed his mother’s saree, and hit her chest. Another young girl appears on the video, without showing her face, who was manhandled by the police as well. The girl had filmed the policemen enter the mandir wearing shoes and breaking the murti of Bhagwan Ganesh before removing it forcefully. The cops snatched her phone and broke it.

Apart from allegations of brutally assaulting women, men, and children alike, serious accusations like the cops kicking at the genitals of the women while dragging them to the police vehicle have also been made.

In another video shared on the official X page of Legal Rights Observatory, it can be seen how some children staged protests at the Perambalur police station, condemning the police action of confiscating a small Ganesh murti, kept by the children for Vinayanagar Chathurthi celebrations.

Not only were devotees manhandled and assaulted, and Ganesh murtis confiscated and forcefully removed once the festivities began, earlier, reports revealed how poor artisans, who are into the business of making murtis of Bhagwan Ganesh for the festival were not spared. The Tamil Nadu government, led by MK Stalin, sealed the shops which were selling the murtis, alleging the use of chemicals in making the murtis. And while the poor artisans kept on crying, and begging the government officials for mercy, the arbitrary action was carried out anyway.

‘Please have some mercy, we have taken loans on high interest for this Ganesh murti business.’, cried the artisans, but this did not create a difference for the officials.

In a video shared by Tamil Nadu BJP President, K Annamalai, on X, it can be seen how the artisans share their ordeal about this clampdown, which took place just a few days prior to the beginning of the festivities in the state.

Looking at the actions of the state machinery in Tamil Nadu, during the auspicious Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, the question which looms large on our heads is whether this is what Udhayanidhi Stalin meant, when he talked of ‘eradicating’ Sanatana Dharma: curbing not only the freedom of the Hindus in the state to celebrate their festival at peace, but also to resort to draconian measures in order to thwart their opposition to the same, and finally, to force them to distance themselves from their own culture and traditions, by smothering the breaths of the economic benefits attached to a Hindu festival, and to instill fear in the minds of the Hindus, and therefore, to ‘abolish’ their dharma.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.


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