Row erupts over DMK leader A Raja's 'India has never been a nation' remark, BJP demands his arrest

DMK's ally, Congress too slammed the DMK Parliamentarian for the purported remarks and asserted that one should exercise restraint while speaking.
Last Updated 05 March 2024, 13:46 IST

Chennai: A controversy erupted on Tuesday after the opposition parties tagged a video of DMK leader A Raja purportedly making remarks that India has never been a nation, but a subcontinent with diverse cultures, drawing a strong reaction from the BJP that categorised the comments as "hate speech" and demanded his arrest.

DMK's ally, Congress too slammed the DMK Parliamentarian for the purported remarks and asserted that one should exercise restraint while speaking.

Raja's certain remarks made regarding Ramayana and Lord Ram also didn't go down well with the national parties.

In the video where he is seen addressing a party-organised meeting, Raja purportedly said, "India is not a (one) nation. Understand this well. India has never been one nation. One nation denotes one language, one tradition and one culture and only such characteristics make one nation." Claiming that India is not a nation, but a subcontinent Raja said, "What’s the reason? Here, Tamil is one nation and one country. Malayalam is one language, one nation and one country. Oriya is one nation, one language and one country. All such national races constitute India. So, India is not a country, it is a subcontinent that has various practices, traditions and cultures."

Further, he said states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi and Odisha, there were respective local culture.

"In Manipur, dog meat is eaten, which is a cultural aspect. In Kashmir there is one culture. Every culture has to be recognised. If a community eats beef, recognise it, what is your problem? Did they ask you to eat? So, (that is) unity in diversity. We have differences and it has to be acknowledged."

Senior BJP leader and party's spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc is to blame for it. “The I.N.D.I. alliance’s political agenda has been to adopt a nature of defaming India, publicly insulting Indian culture, and abusing the country’s esteemed prime minister,” he said.

Prasad said that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc has continuously been defaming the country. “DMK leader A Raja’s statement that 'India is not a nation’ reflects his Maoist ideology and unveils the misguided thinking of the Ghamandiya alliance,” Prasad added.

Responding sharply, BJP in-charge of IT wing, Amit Malviya, who tagged the video in 'X,' said, "The hate speeches from DMK’s stable continue unabated. After Udhayanidhi Stalin’s call to annihilate Sanatan Dharma, it is now A Raja who calls for balkanisation of India, derides Bhagwan Ram, makes disparaging comments on Manipuris and questions the idea of India, as a nation."

"Congress and other I.N.D.I Alliance partners are quiet. Rahul Gandhi, their putative Prime Ministerial candidate’s silence is eloquent," Malviya added.

TN BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathi told PTI Videos that Raja should be arrested.

It was the "duty" of Chief Minister M K Stalin, "who has taken oath under the Constitution of India that he will abide by the rules and laws of the country," to take action and arrest Mr Raja," for the comments he is alleged to have made, the BJP leader demanded.

Supriya Shrinate, a Congress spokesperson, when asked about Raja's remarks, said, "I 100 per cent disagree with his remarks. From this platform, I condemn such a statement. I believe Ram belongs to everyone and is all encompassing."

"I believe that Ram, who was called Imam-e-Hind, is above communities, religions and castes. Ram is an ideal of living life. Ram is dignity, Ram is ethics, Ram is love. I completely condemn this statement, it could be his (Raja's) statement, I do not support it. I condemn it and I think people should be exercise restraint while talking," she said at a press conference in Delhi.

With PTI inputs

(Published 05 March 2024, 13:46 IST)

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