Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, M K Stalin, has responded to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) attacks by emphasizing that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is against ‘Aryan hegemony’ and not spiritualism. In a recent interaction with party supporters, he made it clear that the DMK supports the freedom of individuals to worship in temples and practice devotion according to their wishes.
Stalin commended the party’s volunteers, highlighting their strength in conveying messages that the DMK might hesitate to express directly. He noted the BJP’s focus on sharing images of his wife, Durga Stalin’s temple visits, and clarified that she had the freedom to do so, emphasizing that the DMK is not against spiritual practices.
“We are enemies of only the Aryan hegemony, we are not against spiritualism; (worshipping in) temples and devotion are the right and wish of individuals,” Stalin stated. He also referenced the Dravidian movement’s historical struggle to secure temple entry rights for oppressed communities, emphasizing the importance of social justice.
In Tamil Nadu’s political context, the term ‘Aryan’ is frequently used to advocate for social justice and oppose the suppression of backward classes, Scheduled Castes (SCs), and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Stalin invoked a popular dialogue from the 1952 Tamil film ‘Parasakthi,’ which was scripted by his late father and DMK patriarch, M. Karunanidhi. The dialogue underscored that there is no opposition to temples, but it is crucial that temples do not become tools of oppression.
Stalin accused the BJP of attempting to exploit temple visits and devotion for political gains and expressed confidence that the people of Tamil Nadu can distinguish between spirituality and politics.
Addressing rumors circulating on social media about temple destruction in the state, the Chief Minister clarified that his government had consecrated 1,000 temples, reflecting the Dravidian model of governance. Furthermore, the DMK government reclaimed temple properties worth Rs 5,000 crore, with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department publishing a detailed account of these reclaimed properties.
Stalin pointed out that some groups do not support the proper administration of temples, as it doesn’t serve their political agendas. He called for truthfulness in informing the public about temple management and accused the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and BJP of being anti-people and promoting fascism.
Regarding the AIADMK’s recent departure from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Stalin suggested that they might collaborate again in the future, emphasizing the close ties between the two parties. He concluded by branding the BJP and AIADMK as “two sides of the same coin” and criticized the BJP’s tendency to rely on “WhatsApp university” to spread misinformation and rumors.