In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court has taken notice of controversial remarks made by Udhayanidhi Stalin, a cabinet minister in Tamil Nadu and the son of the state’s Chief Minister, MK Stalin. Udhayanidhi’s comments regarding the eradication of Sanatan Dharma have raised concerns and led to calls for legal action against him.
This story delves into the Supreme Court’s involvement, the reasons behind it, and the broader implications for Udhayanidhi and the political landscape in Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court Takes Action on Udhayanidhi’s Controversial Remarks
In a significant development, the Supreme Court has issued notices to the Tamil Nadu government, cabinet minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, and DMK MP A Raja, among others, regarding Udhayanidhi’s comments about the eradication of Sanatan Dharma.
This move comes in response to a petition seeking the filing of an FIR against Udhayanidhi for his statements:
‘Context is different’: SC issues notice to Udhayanidhi Stalin for anti-Sanatana remark, refuses to tag it with Haridwar ‘Dharm Sansad’ casehttps://t.co/iLpisFbpO9
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) September 22, 2023
The Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi, also made an observation that the petitioner could have initially approached the jurisdictional high court.
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Why Is This Story Important?
This development could intensify the challenges faced by Udhayanidhi and the opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). Udhayanidhi, the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and a member of the DMK, which is part of the INDIA bloc, is facing increased scrutiny.
The opposition bloc is currently contending with allegations of being “anti-Hindu” that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has levelled against it in the lead-up to the state assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls.
Udhayanidhi’s Controversial Statement
The petition against Udhayanidhi was filed by lawyer B Jagannath, who practices at the Madras High Court, through Advocate-on-Record Gopalan Balaji. The petition alleges that the conference named “Sanatan Abolition Conference,” where Udhayanidhi delivered his contentious speech, was unconstitutional.
During the conference, Udhayanidhi stated:
“We cannot oppose dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or coronavirus. We have to eradicate this; that is how we have to eradicate Sanatana. Rather than opposing Sanatana, it should be eradicated.”
#StalinHinduphobiaWar | In the era where Tamil pride is being celebrated nationally, Tamil Nadu Minister and son of Chief Minister MK Stalin, Udhayanidhi Stalin made a controversial statement related to ‘Santana Dharma.’ made a controversial statement related to ‘Santana Dharma,… pic.twitter.com/eRvUZbHJNA
— NewsX (@NewsX) September 3, 2023
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State Government’s Alleged Involvement
During the court hearing, the SC bench questioned the petitioner’s choice of approaching the Supreme Court, suggesting that the high court might have been a more suitable venue. However, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the state government had initiated a campaign against a particular religion and had forced children to speak against it.
Therefore, the Supreme Court was viewed as the necessary recourse. The petitioner asserted that the state authorities had issued a circular directing children to speak against Sanatan Dharma. The petition also contended that Udhayanidhi’s statement constituted a clear case of “hate speech.”
It argued that if no FIR was filed against Udhayanidhi and the organizers of the conference, it would be evident that the state was displaying bias and discrimination against Hindus.
The petitioner referred to a 2018 Supreme Court judgment that mandated the appointment of a nodal officer to combat hate speeches and lodge FIRs when necessary, a directive the Tamil Nadu government has yet to comply with.
A total of 14 respondents have been named in the plea, including Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Charitable Endowment Minister Sekar Babu, DMK president K Veeramani, and Tamil Nadu State Minorities Commission chairman Peter Alphonse.
Additionally, two more pleas against Udhayanidhi are pending before different Supreme Court benches. Despite facing threats of action from some quarters of the Hindu right wing, Udhayanidhi has remained steadfast, refusing to offer an apology and expressing his readiness to confront any legal challenges.
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