Sanatana remark: Case filed against Udhayanidhi

Thane: The Mira Road police here have registered an FIR against Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin following a complaint over his remarks on Sanatan Dharma, an official said today.

DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin recently blamed Sanatan Dharma for promoting division and discrimination among people and said it should be eradicated. Based on the complaint by a local resident, the Mira Road police on Tuesday night registered the FIR against Stalin under Indian Penal Code Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), the official said. The complainant claimed that Stalin’s remarks have hurt the sentiments and religious feelings of those follow the Sanatan Dharma, as per the FIR.

Meanwhile, a BJP delegation in Tamil Nadu handed over a memorandum to the state police demanding registration of an FIR against DMK leader and minister Udhayanidhi Stalin for his remarks against ‘Sanatana Dharma’.

Speaking at a conference earlier in Chennai, Udhayanidhi, the minister for Sports and Youth Affairs in the Tamil Nadu government, railed against Sanatan Dharma, equating it with “dengue, malaria, fever, and corona”.

He added that Sanatan Dharma shouldn’t be merely opposed but eradicated. After meeting the additional director general of police (ADGP), the BJP delegation said there has been a flood of complaints against the DMK leader from across the state but the government was yet to file an FIR. The BJP also cited a recent Supreme Court order directing the police and the state government to register suo-motu complaints in cases of hate speech. The delegation also claimed that non-registration of FIR in the matter tantamounts to contempt of court. Amid the persisting war of words over Udhayanidhi’s remarks, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said that the Opposition alliance — INDIA — was formed to “oppose” and “finish” Sanatan Dharma.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in the national capital, the BJP leader accused the Opposition alliance of vote bank politics.

“Their hidden agenda is to indulge in vote bank politics by opposing Sanatana Dharma. I ask the Congress party and this alliance — Do they have the right to criticise deities of some other faith? Do they have the courage? Can they do it? They are silent on other religions but openly oppose Sanatana,” Prasad said.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chairing a meeting of the Council of Ministers, weighed in on the furore around Udhayanidhi’s remarks, and, according to sources, asked his ministers to aggressively counter the attack on Sanatan Dharma. He advised his ministers to counter the Opposition’s narrative on the Sanatan Dharma with facts.