AIADMK MP bats for unity among Hindus, party says it’s his personal view

Chennai: Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for working towards making ‘India a superpower,’ AIADMK Lok Sabha MP, P Raveendranath Kumar has batted for unity among Hindus for the growth of the nation as a superpower.

While the AIADMK distanced itself from his unity remark, the DMK said it was meant to curry favour with the BJP. Addressing a Ganesh Chaturthi event, Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son, said “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working to make India a superpower and all of us should unitedly work for a strong, secure nation.”

The event, organised by Hindu Munnani – an RSS affiliate – at Chinnamanur in his native Theni district, was held on 3 September and a video of his address was widely circulated in the social media on Friday. “For the growth of India as a superpower in the world,we have to foster unity. All of us are Hindus first and other identities come later. Such an emotive feeling should be nurtured among us,” he said.

The AIADMK, however, distanced itself from the MP’s remark, saying the party is for all sections of people and went beyond the confines of caste, creed, religion, race and language. “This may be his personal opinion. We don’t see which caste or religion one belongs to and this is our stand,” senior party leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters.

DMK leader and Rajya Sabha MP R S Barathi told PTI that Kumar, by voicing such sentiments, was trying to endear himself to the BJP and bag a ministerial berth at the Centre. Kumar had also recently spoken in the Lok Sabha in support of the triple talaq Bill, while the party opposed it in the Rajya Sabha.

Hindu Munnani founder organiser Rama Gopalan condemned some Dravidian outfits and individuals for “twisting” Kumar’s speech in the social media. He claimed that the term “Hindu” is the cultural identity of the nation and the MP had only spoken of societal unity.

Gopalan demanded to know why the MP was being singled out for his view when leaders expressing similar opinions in events held by other communities are not criticised. M Saravanan, a long-time Hindu activist, said the MP’s unity call is “very logical and a welcome appeal” if the background of discord between some caste groups in pockets of Tamil Nadu is considered.

“While groups with vested interests want discord between Hindu castes, Hindu outfits are for unity as it holds the key to peace and growth and the MP’s remark should be seen in this context,” he said.