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Sanatan Dharma row: 262 signatories including 14 ex-judges write to CJI Chandrachud on Udhayanidhi’s remarks


Image Source : PTI Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud

Eminent citizens including 14 former judges and 262 total signatories on Tuesday wrote to Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud asking him to take note of Udhayanidhi Stalin hate speech against Sanatan dharm. Udhayanidhi Stalin, the Tamil Nadu youth welfare minister, stirred a hornet’s nest after he alleged that ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is against equality and social justice, and that it should be eradicated. He also likened ‘Sanatan Dharma’ to coronavirus, malaria, and dengue fever and said such things should not be opposed but destroyed.

‘Few things cannot be opposed, they should be abolished’

The letter read: 

We, the undersigned, are writing to draw your notice to a recent development which has caused much anguish in the hearts and minds of common citizens of India and specially those who believe in Sanatan Dharma. A few days ago, Shri Udhayanidhi Stalin, a serving Minister in the Tamil Nadu State Government, while addressing a press conference in Chennai stated: “Few things cannot be opposed, they should be abolished. We can’t oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or corona, we have to eradicate them. In the same way, we have to eradicate the Sanatana (Sanatan Dharma), rather than opposing it”. He further deliberately remarked that Sanatana Dharma enslaved women and did not allow them to step out of their homes.

In the case of Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors., [Writ Petition(s) (Civil) No. 940/2022)], the Supreme Court of India observed that there cannot be fraternity unless different religious communities are amenable to live in harmony. The Supreme Court has expressed concern over the growing incidents of hate speeches in the Country and has directed the governments and police authorities to take suo motu action in such cases without waiting for, the lodging of formal complaints. Such action is needed in order to preserve the secular character of the country. Any delay on the part of the administration in taking action on “very serious issues” will invite the court’s contempt.

Your lordship is aware of the importance of ‘Santana Dharma’ and the same cannot be understated. It is a set of duties incumbent upon all Hindus and has often been defined as an “eternal” that will always be relevant and gives the people of the Hindu faith, the freedom to choose mode of worship of the Almighty of their choice. Not only did he make a hate speech but Udhayanidhi Stalin refused to apologize for his remarks. Rather he justified himself by stating: “I will say this continuously” with reference to his remark that Santana Dharma should be eradicated. He reiterated that he stands by his remarks and offered ambiguities and nuances that did little to address the concerns raised by people.

We the undersigned are deeply concerned with these remarks made by Udhayanidhi Stalin. These remarks undeniably amount to hate speech against a large population of India and strikes at the very core of the Constitution of India which envisages Bharat as a secular nation. Moreover, the rule of law was further undermined when the State Government of Tamil Nadu refused to take any action against Udhayanidhi Stalin and rather chose to justify his remarks.

The State Government of Tamil Nadu’s actions run in the face of the Supreme Court of India’s judgments in the case of Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors. and Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India.

Bounty for DMK leader

Reacting strongly to the statement, Ayodhya seer Paramhans Acharya announced a reward of Rs 10 crore for beheading DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin over his alleged remarks against ‘Sanatan Dharma’. “I will pay Rs 10 crore cash reward to anyone who beheads Stalin and brings his head to me. If no one dares to kill Stalin, I will myself find him and kill him,” Paramhans Acharya, the chief priest of the Tapaswi Chawni temple of Ayodhya, said.

However, unfazed by the widespread opposition, Udhayanidhi Stalin reteirated that he spoke about “eradicating” certain practices in the faith and that he would continue to raise his voice against them.

 

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