In a recent development, Kerala Congress (B), an allied party with the ruling CPI(M) in the state, has unequivocally criticized the recent remarks made by Udhayanidhi Stalin, the DMK Youth Wing Secretary and Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare Minister, regarding ‘Sanatan Dharma.’ K.B. Ganesh Kumar, the Chairman of Kerala Congress (B) and its sole MLA, deemed these comments as a significant “blunder” and “unacceptable.”
Ganesh Kumar, a renowned Malayalam actor and politician, emphasized that individuals, particularly ministers and public representatives, should refrain from questioning or criticizing the beliefs, religions, and customs of others, recognizing their profound significance. The controversy arose from Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent statement that ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is incompatible with equality and social justice, urging its eradication, which has ignited a nationwide political storm.
Lamenting such comments, Kumar stressed their futility and questioned the political acumen of the Tamil Nadu minister. He highlighted that Udhayanidhi’s political journey was largely facilitated by his grandfather, M. Karunanidhi, and his father, TN Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. In contrast, Ganesh Kumar’s own political career was built on merit, and he served as a cabinet minister in the A.K. Antony government, responsible for the transport department, previously overseen by his father.
Ganesh Kumar delivered a strong message, stating, “We should not question or criticise others’ beliefs, religion, or rituals. We should avoid commenting on them. The recent statements (on ‘Sanatan Dharma’) by a Tamil Nadu minister are in no way acceptable. Such blunders should not be made by ministers and people’s representatives, that would be for the best.”
Furthermore, Udhayanidhi’s remarks likening ‘Sanatan Dharma’ to infectious diseases such as coronavirus, malaria, and dengue fever have triggered controversy. The BJP seized this opportunity to accuse the INDIA bloc parties of “insulting” ‘Sanatan Dharma’ for the sake of vote bank politics and appeasement.
The BJP equated ‘Sanatan Dharma’ with Hinduism and alleged that the opposition alliance’s “primary agenda” was the ‘complete eradication’ of Hindu dharma, branding the DMK leader’s remarks as ‘hate speech.’
This contentious issue continues to dominate political discourse, raising questions about religious tolerance and political rhetoric in the country.