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Manusmriti row: BJP demo against VCK, Kushboo arrested

Chennai: Popular actress Kushboo Sundar, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP, was today arrested at ECR on the city outskirts while she was proceeding to Chidambaram to take part in a protest  demonstration organised by the party against VCK Founder and Lok Sabha member Thol Thirumavalavan.

The BJP has called for a state-wide protest by its women’s wing cadres against the dalit leader for his remarks demeaning women citing Manusmriti.

Kushboo was proceeding to Chidambaram, when she was stopped near Muttukadu on the ECR and detained as police had not given permission for the agitation.

Later, in a series of tweets Kushboo said the fight for the dignity of women would continue till the last breadth.

“Cowards #VCK. Dont rejoice. It’s your failure. Arrested bcoz they know we are a force to reckon with. We will not bow down”, she said.

“Arrested.. been taken in police van. We will fight till our last breath for the dignity of women. H’ble PM @narendra modi ji has always spoken about the safety of women and we walk on his path. We will never bow down to the atrocities of few elements out there. BHARAT MATA KI JAI!” she added.

“When your journey is cut short by force, you know you are on right track. I question @AIADMKOfficial n #CM ofTN @EPSTamilNadu avl, why we are denied of our democratic right for a peaceful protest when other parties are given the permission to do the same? Why this partiality?” Khushbu tweeted.

“Or is @AIADMKOfficial govt aware that #VCK is capable of riots and goondaism and they fear the same?” she asked.

Senior BJP leaders, including National Secretary C T Ravi, condemned the arrest of Kushboo.

Party spokesman K T Raghavan said ‘When no action is taken against Thirumavalavan for his derogatory utterances on Hinduism inspite of many complaints lodged with police, myself and @khushsundar arrested on the way to Chidambaram to take part in the democratic protest…what kind of govt is this ?

Party leader C P Radhakrishnan said, “My very strong condemnation of the arrest of Smt.@khushsundar Ji and other members of @BJP4TamilNadu today who had planned a peaceful protest against #Thirumavalavan who is facing a huge public backlash for his speech. The entire TN women are angry with him. #ArrestThirumalavan.”

After courting a controversy over his remarks, Thol Thirumavalavan, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chidarambaran seat, staged a State-wide protest urging the Central and State governments to ban the Hindu religious text, Manusmriti, on the grounds that it demeans women, the backward castes and indigenous groups, and spreads hatred against them.

Thirumavalavan said the Manusmriti, believed to have been written almost 2,000 years ago, speaks ill of the working class, as a whole, instigates violence against them and justifies their murder. “It portrays women in a bad light. It states that a particular ‘varna’ or caste does not have the right to live. This is why Ambedkar burnt the Manusmriti in 1927 and exposed its inhumanity in many of his books”, he said.

Thirumavalavan said the Manusmriti lost its place as law of the land after the British took over India and created a law that considered everyone equal.

“The Sanatana forces that are in power today are again trying to reorganise power structures according to the Manusmriti. This is why violence against women is growing in India. This is why the question on whether India is being governed according to the Constitution… or the Manusmriti is being raised”, he said.

The row erupted after a video of the speech made by Thirumavalavan, at a web-based conference organised last month by the European Union Periyar Ambedkar Comrades’ Federation, on the topic “Periyar and Indian Politics”, went viral.

In the clip, he states, “As per Hindu Dharma, all women are created by God as prostitutes. They are prostitutes as per Hindu Dharma…Manu Dharma. The status of all women is less than that of a man.”

Kushboo, in fact was the first one to react and condemned Thirumavalavan’s statement and demanded that he prove his claim that the Manusmriti says “women are prostitutes”.

Asked whether she had read the Manusmriti, Kushboo said, there was “not a single word that demeans women”.

On a spate of complaints from BJP cadres, the Cyber Crime Wing of the CCB police registered cases against the VCK leader.

However, opposition parties, and VCK’s allies including the DMK, condemned filing of cases against him and said his speech was twisted and quoted out of context.

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