DMK president M. Karunanidhi said the allegation that he called Hindus ‘thieves’ more than a decade ago, had been made at the “instigation of political adversaries.” The complaint against him was intended to harass him for opposing the ban on religious conversions imposed by the then AIADMK government, he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said this in his counter affidavit to a writ petition seeking a direction to the city police to investigate a case against him for his speech.

In the petition, B.R. Gowthaman, director, Vedic Science Research Centre, Mylapore, said that in October 2002 at a meeting here of a large gathering, consisting of Christians and Muslims, Mr. Karunanidhi had said a Hindu meant ‘thief.’

The petitioner said the statement wounded his religious feelings. He filed a complaint with the police. But no action was taken, except entering the complaint in the Community Service Register (CSR) book.

His full speech which had been reported in the party organ Murasoli and the Tamil dailies had not been read and understood. In his speech, he had said ‘Hindu’ had been defined as a ‘thief’ by a supporter of the religion itself. But the DMK leader said he did not support it.

He preferred to take the meaning as “who stole the hearts of the people or who endeared himself to the hearts of the people.” Mr. Gauthaman had purposely omitted to produce the full speech thereby giving a twisted and out-of-context meaning.

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