Chennai

TPDK cadres arrested in Chennai for burning effigy of Lord Ram

Police personnel in front of Sanskrit College in Mylapore on Wednesday.— Photo: M. Vedhan

Police personnel in front of Sanskrit College in Mylapore on Wednesday.— Photo: M. Vedhan  

Members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam were taken into preventive custody by police after they burnt the effigy of Lord Ram in Chennai on Wednesday.

While 11 of them were remanded under Section 285 of Indian Penal Code, 12 members of a Hindu group were detained near Sanskrit college in Mylapore.

Speaking to The Hindu , G. Ramakrishnan, general secretary, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, said that the act was a reaction to the celebration of Ram Leela as a part of Dusshera celebrations across North India, a festival in which the effigy of mythological character Ravanan is set on fire symbolically to represent victory of Lord Ram over Ravanan.

“To us, Ramayana, though a mythological story, was a Aryan-Dravidian conflict where Lord Ram was shown to have won against Ravanan, who we consider as a Dravidian. The epic represents Ram as a God and Ravanan as a monster. This is the basis of our opposition,” he said.

Criticising the recent celebrations at the Red Fort lawns, which was attended by several high-profile dignitaries including President Pranab Mukherjee, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Ramakrishnan wondered if India really was a secular country. “Why is the President participating in such a programme? He is the president to whole of India,” he said.

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