Justice Markandey Katju: Udhayanidhi Stalin’s rant against Sanatan Dharma

Justice Markandey Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

Udhayanidhi Stalin, a minister in the Tamil Nadu government, and son of the Chief Minister MK Stalin (of the DMK party), in a recent speech called Sanatan Dharma a disease like malaria, dengue, etc, which has to be eradicated. His speech has expectedly stoked a row.

Some DMK supporters subsequently said that Udayanidhi had meant the caste system which causes social injustice when he referred to Sanatan Dharma.

Udhayanidhi later clarified that when he spoke about Sanatan Dharma he was speaking against the caste system which discriminates against lower castes.

The fact, however, remains that most Hindus equate Sanatan Dharma with the Hindu religion, and are deeply offended by the speech (1, 2, 3, 4).

Udhayanidhi’s speech has recoiled against the INDIA alliance of opposition parties, many of whom have dissociated themselves from the speech.

In my opinion, there would have been nothing wrong if Udhayanidhi had spoken only against the caste system (to which I too am opposed) without referring to Sanatan Dharma. If he had apologized and said that he was only against the caste system the controversy would have come to an end. But perhaps that is too much to expect from a Crown Prince.

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