11,797.90-31.5
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

'I won't apologise': Rajinikanth steps up standoff with Periyar supporters

Rajinikanth said the magazine had highlighted on cover page the procession by Periyar and that Thuglaq made brisk sales because of attempts by the then DMK Government to curtail its access. "No other journal covered it but Cho ran it on the cover of the magazine and delivered a severe condemnation," Rajinikanth had said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2020, 06.31 PM IST
0Comments
Rajini-bccl
The controversy had started in a recent speech by the 69-year-old actor at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Tamil magazine Thuglaq, started by playwright-turned-journalist Cho. Ramasamy and currently run by right-wing ideologue S Gurumurthy.
Tax Calculator
CHENNAI: Actor Rajinikanth stepped up the standoff with supporters of rationalist ideologue EV Ramasamy on Tuesday with an "I won't apologise" response to mounting ire from Dravidian groups incensed by his references to an anti-Hindu procession by the Periyar (monicker for Ramasamy) nearly five decades ago.

The controversy had started in a recent speech by the 69-year-old actor at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Tamil magazine Thuglaq, started by playwright-turned-journalist Cho. Ramasamy and currently run by right-wing ideologue S Gurumurthy.

In the context of delivering a praise to Thuglaq for its reportage, Rajinikanth said the magazine had highlighted on cover page the procession by Periyar and that Thuglaq made brisk sales because of attempts by the then DMK Government to curtail its access. "No other journal covered it but Cho ran it on the cover of the magazine and delivered a severe condemnation," Rajinikanth had said.

Supporters of Periyar EV Ramaswamy Naicker took exception to the narrative advanced by Rajinikanth, pointing out differences in the details of how it had happened in an attempt to "contextualise it right," while support emerged from the state BJP unit, and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, who offered to "back" Rajinikanth "in the courts if he wants."

With the reiteration of his stance, Rajinikanth has unequivocally communicated where he stands in the political spectrum. His statements earlier had betrayed a spiritual affinity, but with broadsides against Periyar EV Ramasamy now place him against the DMK; statements had already emerged against him, particularly from Dalit outfit Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Analysts say Rajinikanth's strategy, becoming apparent by the day, needs fine-tuning: "Since 2017, he has also been hinting at 'Dharmic politics' as his own brand of politics, and this lends itself to interpretations of (Hindu) religious kind. His strategists however need to remember that in electoral terms pro-god / pro-Hindu planks alone have not worked in 'Dravidian' Tamil Nadu over a hundred years, including the twin-polls of 1971," said political observer N Sathiya Moorthy, adding that the electorate in Tamil Nadu have always been swayed by socio-political and politco-administrative issues and concerns.

Also Read

Rajinikanth not to support anyone in local polls

IIT’s AI course as hot as Rajinikanth movies

Rajinikanth backs CAA, but says will protest if Indian Muslims face trouble

Rajinikanth thrilled after shooting with Bear Grylls, thanks him for an 'unforgettable experience'

Periyar row: Madras HC dismisses plea against Rajinikanth

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service