The ruling AIADMK slammed DMK president M K Stalin Tuesday accusing him of trying to divide people into religious lines after a two-year-old video clip surfaced on social media purportedly showing him criticising Vedic ceremonies of weddings. Hitting out at Stalin, without naming him, the ruling party said he has "offended Hindu rituals, and in particular, Brahmins reciting Vedas," while taking part in a function held by a minority community.
In the 1.28-minute video that appeared on social media last weekend, Stalin purportedly takes potshots at "Vaidika," Hindu marriages presided over by a Brahmin priest. The smoke from the yagna (havan) makes not only the bride and groom "cry a little," but also those around to witness the ceremony and creates a sombre ambience, he is seen saying in the video.
The Sanskrit 'shlokas' cannot be comprehended by anyone including the priest and its "inner meaning," is "disgustful," Stalin allegedly says in the video clip. Also, the bride and groom would not be comfortably seated on chairs and they have to sit on the floor, he says.
The video clip triggered outrage on the social media with several users attacking the leader. However, Stalin got some support also from a few quarters for speaking out the Dravidian ideology. AIADMK's mouthpiece 'Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma', in a write up titled "Arrogant speech," alongside a caricature of Stalin, wondered why Hindu beliefs should be derided.
The ruling party said such "derision" stemmed from a "miscalculation that minority community people will vote for them and it is an attempt to divide people into religious lines." Quoting verses of renowned Tamil poet and freedom fighter 'Namakkal Kavignar' V Ramalingam Pillai that unthoughtful barbs will only harbour hate, the AIADMK advocated vigil against it.
Hindu Munnani founder organiser Rama Gopalan demanded Stalin apologise for his comments, saying a political party should be for all people and respect every community. "No one can interfere and say that only a particular kind of (weddings sans rituals) marriages should be performed," the Sangh Parivar outfit leader said.
Rejecting claims that Stalin's speech was offensive, a DMK spokesperson told PTI that marriages sans ceremonies have all along been the cornerstone of the party's ideology. "It is a two-year-old video clip and it has now been released seeking to gain political mileage by right-wing supporters," he said and added that the video features only a portion of his speech.
(With inputs from agencies.)