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Last Updated : Mar 06, 2018 05:39 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

BJP leader under fire for hinting Periyar's effigy could face Lenin's Tripura statue fate

Erode Venkata Ramasamy, who is commonly known as Periyar or Thanthai Periyar, was a social activist and politician, who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam

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Senior BJP leader H Raja on Tuesday drew a lot of backlash after he said that the statue of social reformer Periyar (EVR Ramasamy) in Tamil Nadu may meet the same fate as the one of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin which was pulled down in Tripura.

Leaders of political parties in Tamil Nadu have demanded action against the senior BJP leader, according to a report by Times of India. 

“Who is Lenin? What is the relevance he holds in India? What is the link between communism and India? Lenin’s statues were destroyed in Tripura, tomorrow, in Tamil Nadu, casteist Periyar’s statues will be destroyed,” Raja has posted on his Facebook account.

Erode Venkata Ramasamy, who is commonly known as Periyar or Thanthai Periyar, was a social activist and politician, who started the Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam. Periyar, also known as the Father of Dravidian politics, started the Dravidian Movement in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar is nown for opposing the exploitation and marginalisation of the non-Brahmin Dravidian people of south India and the imposition of what he considered Indo-Aryan India.

Raja's comment drew reactions from several politicians across the state. “No one dare touch EVR’s (Periyar) statue. H Raja made those comments to incite violence. He has been repeatedly doing this. He should be arrest and the Goondas Act slapped on him,” said DMK Working President, MK Stalin.

MDMK leader Vaiko also said, “Whoever touches Periyar’s statues, will have their hands chopped off.”

DMK spokesperson A Saravanan told The News Minute, "This is pure hate and Talibanisation of India. Such things happen only happen in Taliban. In a democracy we don't indulge in political vandalism or threaten to do it."

BJP spokersperson Narayanan Tirupathi supported Raja's statement by saying, “More than 99.9 percent of the people in Tamil Nadu are spiritual. EVR’s statue carries the message that whoever worships God are barbarians, whoever preaches God are rascals and whosoever keep faith in God are fools. Hindu outfits have for long demanded the removal of these statues but this has not been done till date. Hence, H Raja’s outburst. The words may have been harsh but the intention is keeping in mind the majority of the population.”

Raja's comment came after a statue of communist icon Lenin was pulled down by some people with an excavator machine at Belonia in South Tripura district. The CPI(M) has been holding BJP workers responsible for it.

Tripura CPI(M) district secretary Tapas Datta said the five-feet-tall fibre glass statue, which was unveiled by the party's politburo member Prakash Karat a few months back, was allegedly pulled down by BJP workers yesterday at College Square in Belonia.

"After pulling down the statue, 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogan was raised," Datta said.
First Published on Mar 6, 2018 05:17 pm
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