“Our stand is clear…”: Congress distances itself from Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Sanatan rant

3 September, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Congress National

Amit Malviya, the BJP's IT cell head, took a similar stance, characterizing Udhayanidhi's comments as a call for the genocide of a significant portion of India's population who follow Sanatan Dharma.

In an effort to distance the Congress party from DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent remarks equating Sanatan Dharma with diseases like dengue, malaria, and corona, Nana Patole, the Maharashtra chief of the Congress party, emphasized that the DMK-led ruling coalition partner in Tamil Nadu does not intend to offend any religious sentiments.

During a conference in Chennai on Saturday, Udhayanidhi, who serves as the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs in the Tamil Nadu government, made strong comments against Sanatan Dharma, suggesting that it should be eradicated rather than merely opposed. He compared it to diseases that need to be eliminated, stating, “Few things cannot be opposed, they should only be abolished. We can’t oppose Dengue, mosquitoes, Malaria, or Corona, we have to eradicate them. In the same way, we have to eradicate Sanatana (Sanatan Dharma).”

Speaking to media on Sunday, Nana Patole invoked the words of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, emphasizing the Congress party’s commitment to the principle of ‘Sarva Dharma Sama Bhava’ (all religions are the same). He clarified that the Congress neither comments on nor supports any actions that hurt religious sentiments, distancing the party from Udhayanidhi’s statements.

Patole further noted that the Congress cannot be held responsible for someone else’s statements but reiterated the party’s clearly articulated position on the matter.

It’s worth noting that the Congress and the DMK are also partners in the Opposition alliance known as the Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A).

In response to Udhayanidhi’s remarks, the BJP’s state chief K Annamalai criticized him, accusing him of being influenced by Christian missionaries and promoting malicious ideologies. Annamalai also emphasized Tamil Nadu’s spiritual heritage and suggested that Udhayanidhi should express his views in a more appropriate manner.

Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT cell head, took a similar stance, characterizing Udhayanidhi’s comments as a call for the genocide of a significant portion of India’s population who follow Sanatan Dharma. He questioned whether the remarks made by the DMK minister align with the consensus reached during the third meeting of the Opposition alliance in Mumbai, where the DMK is a prominent member and a long-standing ally of the Congress. Malviya urged the alliance partners to clarify their position on this matter.

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