Tamil Nadu

VCK buoyed by response to ‘ban Manusmriti’ campaign

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) founder Thol. Thirumavalavan’s decision to organise State-wide protests demanding a ban on Hindu religious text Manusmriti may have been borne out of a necessity to respond to a social media campaign, which said he disrespected women, but senior leaders in the party say they have inadvertently walked into a “political goldmine”.

VCK general secretary Sinthanai Selvan said the party was forced to respond to and counter-attack the “smear campaign” to create a perception that Mr. Thirumavalavan disrespects Hindu women. “They took a small video clipping of his speech at an intellectual forum to portray our leader as someone who disrespects women. If you remember, PMK also created such a narrative against him [in the past]. We had to respond to ensure this doesn’t become another ‘Karuppar Koottam’ [a group accused of denigrating Kanda Shasti Kavasam]. We did not want to be on the back foot,” he told The Hindu. “We didn’t expect this kind of support for our campaign,” he said.

“Since we are in the middle of the rainy season, we want to take this issue beyond November. We want to extend it up until Pongal. The protests have attracted rationalist and secular organisations, spread across Tamil Nadu, towards VCK,” he said.

Mr. Thirumavalavan’s campaign has reinvigorated the now forgotten ideals of the Dravidian movement (anti-caste and anti-Brahminism) politics, contended J. Balasubramanian, assistant professor, journalism, Madurai Kamaraj University. According to him, Hindu right-wing forces view Mr. Thirumavalavan as an obstacle to their growth in Tamil Nadu. “The right wing wants to ensure that Mr. Thirumavalavan becomes a political orphan and is dropped from the DMK alliance. The reason being that he has become such a strong critic of Hindutva, despite being part of electoral politics, and his [anticipated] success in the 2021 Assembly elections, and a strong presence of the VCK, will be an obstacle for the growth of BJP in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Punitha Pandian, editor, Dalit Murasu, said: “Going back to the roots, and speaking the politics of Ambedkar and Periyar should be welcome.” It will only strengthen VCK’s position in the DMK alliance, Mr. Pandian said. “No matter what agenda they have, a political party calling for a ban on the Manusmriti is unprecedented. Last year, he organised a conference against Sanatana Dharma. VCK has also demanded reservations for OBCs; it is also trying to reach out to them. They are trying to unite OBCs and Dalits against a common enemy which is Manusmriti. This will strengthen the DMK alliance,” he said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 9:01:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vck-buoyed-by-response-to-ban-manusmriti-campaign/article32967715.ece

Next Story