Udhayanidhi Stalin, Tamil Nadu's Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, has sparked controversy with his remarks about "Sanatana Dharma" and is prepared to face any legal challenges that arise from his comments.
Speaking at a conference in Chennai organized by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Artists Association on the theme of ‘eradication of Sanatana‘, Udhayanidhi Stalin argued that Sanatana Dharma was opposed to the idea of social justice and needed to be eliminated. He made statements such as “Rather than opposing Sanatana, it should be eradicated“, and he asserted that the name “Sanatana” was against social justice and equality.
In response to a post on X (formally Twitter) by Amit Malviya, the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell, Udhayanidhi clarified that he did not call for the genocide of people following Sanatan Dharma. He explained that he believes Sanatan Dharma divides people based on caste and religion, and he stands by his comments, saying he spoke on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized who suffer due to Sanatan Dharma.
I never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality.
I stand firmly by every word I have spoken. I spoke… https://t.co/Q31uVNdZVb
— Udhay (@Udhaystalin) September 2, 2023
He also expressed his readiness to present the extensive writings of Periyar and Ambedkar, who conducted research on Sanatan Dharma’s impact on society, in any forum. He compared Sanatan Dharma to the spread of diseases like COVID-19, Dengue, and Malaria, suggesting that it is responsible for many social ills.
In response to criticism, Udhayanidhi declared that he was prepared to face any legal challenges and affirmed his commitment to upholding social justice.
Tamil Nadu BJP Chief K Annamalai criticized Udhayanidhi’s comments, alleging that his family had an agenda to accumulate wealth beyond the state GDP and accused him of echoing the ideas of Christian missionaries.
Udhayanidhi also praised the “Dravidian model” during a sports event where he met athletes from Manipur, highlighting the contrast between the “Aryan and Dravidian models” in providing facilities and safety for athletes in Tamil Nadu.