TN minorities panel seeks Bharat Ratna for Karunanidhi

TN minorities panel demands Bharat Ratna for Karunanidhi

A mural of the late Karunanidhi. Credit: PTI File Photo

The newly reconstituted State Minorities Commission on Thursday demanded that late Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi be conferred with Bharat Ratna posthumously for his contributions to “national unity”, maintaining “religious harmony”, and overall progress of the state.

The commission headed by its Chairman S Peter Alphonse, a senior Congress leader, passed seven resolutions in its first meeting here on Thursday.

Briefing reporters after the meeting along with Minorities Welfare Minister K S Masthan, Alphonse asked district administrations to ensure that people get required permission to build places of worship in private lands owned by them while pointing out that such sanctions were not accorded during the previous AIADMK regime.

To a question, Alphonse said the commission would request Chief Minister M K Stalin not to show “any leniency” towards anyone who spreads false and misinformation against other religions.

“These people whichever community they belong to should be taken to task without any doubt. Whoever acts against social harmony should be dealt with by law. We will request the chief minister not to show any leniency towards anyone,” he said.

The SMC chairman was asked about incidents of members from the minority communities indulging in false propaganda against other faith. At the briefing, Alphonse said the SMC will request the government to include Vanniyar Christians in the Most Backward Class (MBC) like their Hindu counterparts.

Alphonse said the SMC wanted the Union government to confer Bharat Ratna on late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. “He is one of the tallest leaders of the country, and we feel it is fitting that he is bestowed with the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. His contributions to national unity, religious harmony, Tamil language and overall development of the state are extraordinary,” Alphonse said.

The SMC consists of members from religious and linguistic minorities in Tamil Nadu.

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