Tamil Nadu

Dravidian majors locked in wordy duel over atheism

Stalin counters Minister’s ‘double standards’ jibe; says DMK’s stand is clear

Legislators of the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK – both tracing their roots to the Dravidian movement – were engaged in an interesting debate in the Assembly on Wednesday, as they questioned each other’s stand on atheism, and whether there had been a departure from their respective stances over the years.

Participating in the debate on the demand for grants for the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department, DMK MLA and former HR&CE Minister K.R. Periakaruppan (Tirupattur) said though their party leader and DMK president M. Karunanidhi never visited temples, he was keen on the efficient functioning of the department.

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar intervened to ask whether the DMK, which was questioning the government on the HR&CE Department’s activities, would come forward to clarify if it had abandoned its ideology of atheism. Mr. Periyakaruppan, in a lighter vein, asked why the Fisheries Minister was raising queries, that too on a Amavasai day (non-vegetarian food is avoided on new moon days [Amavasai in Tamil], by a section of believers).

Mr. Jayakumar shot back, asking whether the DMK was adopting double standards. DMK working president M.K. Stalin rose and countered it, saying the general public was aware as to which party practised double standards.

“Our leader has made our stand quite clear. Ondre Kulam, Oruvane Devan (One community, one God),” Mr. Jayakumar said.

Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju said his party was named after former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai by its founder M.G. Ramachandran and the party followed Anna’s principles.

However, Mr. Stalin rose again to clarify that the DMK president had made clear the party’s stand (on atheism) in the Tamil film Parasakthi. (Mr. Karunanidhi wrote the screenplay and dialogues for Parasakthi).

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:21:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dravidian-majors-locked-in-wordy-duel-over-atheism/article24157662.ece

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