Tamil Nadu

Ready to take battle to court: VCK chief

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader and Chidambaram MP Thol. Thirumavalavan on Saturday said he was ready to take the battle to the court to decide whether it was his party or the Hindu religious text, Manusmriti, which was demeaning women.

He alleged that his remarks had been twisted and this was done intentionally to break the DMK-led alliance and gain political mileage.

“I spoke for 40 minutes at the web-based conference organised last month by the European Union Periyar Ambedkar Comrades’ Federation. Only 40 seconds of that speech has been taken and twisted by communal forces. I request women to listen to the entire speech. It has been nearly a month since I gave the speech and a controversy has been stirred up now,” he told reporters, after leading the party’s protest at Valluvar Kottam here, demanding a ban on Manusmriti.

The fight against Manusmriti was started by Periyar, M.C. Rajah and Dr. Ambedkar, and the VCK is taking it forward, he said.

Mr. Thirumavalavan said the AIADMK government had directed the police to book a case against him just to please the BJP government at the Centre. “The BJP has no right to celebrate Dr. Ambedkar. I thank leaders of all our alliance parties for voicing their support for me,” he added.

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Saturday asserted that communal forces would not succeed in driving a wedge into the DMK-led alliance by targeting Mr. Thirumavalavan for his comments against Manusmriti.

In a statement in Chennai, he demanded the withdrawal of the case against Mr. Thirumavalavan, saying that he had expressed only what was preached by Dr. Ambedkar and Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. The Cyber Crime Wing had booked a case against him for his comments against the Manusmriti.

‘Vengeance of police’

“A case has been filed under six sections and it shows the vengeance and partial approach of the police under the control of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami,” he said. “Mr. Thirumavalavan has only reiterated the ideas propagated by Dr. Ambedkar and Periyar. He cited Manu Dharma to explain how women were denied their rights in the country,” Mr. Stalin said.

He said communal forces had posted a distorted version of Mr. Thirumavalavan’s speech. “Instead of taking action against the communal forces that are keen on inciting violence, the police have filed a case against Mr. Thirumavalavan,” he said.

The MDMK and the CPI(M) State unit too, on Saturday, urged the police to withdraw the case booked against Mr. Thirumavalavan.

Talking about the issue, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram questioned how Mr. Thirumavalavan could be booked in a criminal case for his statements on the Manusmriti. “There can be two opinions on a speech, whether it is right or wrong. How can it become a criminal case? Should we keep reminding that there is freedom of speech, on a daily basis?” Mr. Chidambaram tweeted. He wondered if rationalist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy, who too held similar views that Mr Thirumavalavan spoke about, would be booked by the police if he had made such comments now?

CPI(M) politburo member G. Ramakrishnan contended that Manusmriti had a lot of aspects that demeaned women, the Backward Castes and indigenous groups, and urged the police to withdraw the case. He also said the State police, of late, had been acting under the instructions of the Sangh Parivar, and was not abiding by the legal framework.

“The police have ignored complaints against those who have made insulting comments against working women as well as women journalists and have not come forward to take action,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko said Mr. Thirumavalavan had high regard for women and had pointed out the demeaning ways in which Manusmriti talked about women. The Sangh Parivar has twisted facts and filed a complaint against him, he said, condemning the filing of the case. MMK president M.H. Jawahirullah also called for withdrawal of the case.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 8:50:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ready-to-take-battle-to-court-vck-chief/article32938331.ece

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