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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 'Rationalist' DMK turns to Lord Murugan to shed anti-Hindu tag

A two-day international conference on Lord Murugan being planned by the Hindu, Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department of the MK Stalin government appears to be an attempt to counter the criticism and prove its 'inclusiveness'.
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 00:57 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 00:57 IST

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Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK has been fighting to shed the ‘anti-Hindu’ tag given to it by the BJP and right-wing outfits, especially after its leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s outbursts against Sanatana Dharma made headlines.

Now, a two-day international conference on Lord Murugan being planned by the Hindu, Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department of the MK Stalin government appears to be an attempt to counter the criticism and prove its “inclusiveness”.

A conference on Lord Murugan suits the DMK’s linguistic politics — he is widely known as the ‘God of Tamils’ for he lived in his six abodes (‘arupadai veedu’) across present-day Tamil Nadu. This marks the first time the ‘rationalist’ DMK government is organising a spiritual conference. About 500 delegates from across the world who have contributed to the propagation of Lord Murugan have been invited. 

The conference will be held in July. Sources told DH that the exact dates will be finalised once the Election Commission relaxes curbs under the model code of conduct.

The meet is likely to be held in Palani, one of the six abodes of the lord. It will be conducted like a festival with exhibitions and seminars on the “miracles” of Lord Murugan, one of the sons of Lord Shiva.

In 2020, the BJP tried to capitalise on a row surrounding ‘Kandha Shashti Kavasam’, a song in praise of Lord Murugan, after a YouTube channel made disparaging remarks against the devotional song. The party conducted ‘vel pooja’ across the state but they didn’t give the desired electoral dividends to the BJP.

“The conference has nothing to do with politics. We want to take the fame of Murugan to the world, and we will ensure that people who have dedicated their life in the service of the Tamil god get due recognition through this event,” a senior government functionary told DH.

The functionary said there was nothing special in the decision to organise a spiritual meet as the HR&CE department has been spending crores of rupees on renovating Murugan temples in Tiruchendur, Tiruttani,
Swamimalai and Thiruparankundram, besides conducting consecration ceremonies for over 1,000 temples since the DMK came to power in 2021.

“This has nothing to do with vote bank politics. We have been trying to enhance the experience of pilgrims visiting Tamil Nadu. We have also helped a lot of people undertake their yatra to Varanasi and other places. We want to take Lord Murugan to the world,” the functionary added.

The DMK came under attack in September last year after CM Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi called for the annihilation of Sanatana Dharma and equated it with “dengue, malaria, and corona”.

Highlights - Taking Tamil God global Stalin govt mulls int’l meet on Lord Murugan in Palani  To counter criticism and show govt’s commitment to inclusiveness Last year, CM Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi faced backlash for calling for the annihilation of Sanatana Dharma

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Published 24 April 2024, 00:57 IST

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