Sanatana Dharma Remarks: SC Issues Notices to Tamil Nadu Government, Udayanidhi Stalin

A petition was moved before the apex court seeking a CBI probe against the Tamil Nadu minister and organisers of the conference where the remarks were made.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday, September 22, issued notices to the Tamil Nadu government and Udayanidhi Stalin in response to a petition filed against his remarks on Sanatana Dharma, which caused an uproar.

The petition, which came up before the Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M. Trivedi, sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the remarks and the conference where Udayanidhi had made the remarks. The petitioner, B. Jagannath, urged the court to issue a direction to the police to immediately register a first information report (FIR) against Udayanidhi and the organisers of the ‘Sanatana Dharma Eradication Conference’ held on September 2 in Chennai by an organisation called Tamil Nadu Murpoku Ezuthalar Sangam.

The petitioner said a CBI probe would unearth “sources responsible for the contribution of amount for such organisations and whether there is any element of terror funding involved from across the border”, according to The Hindu.

“The conference was held specifically to target Hinduism (also referred to as Sanatana Dharma) and to abuse, humiliate, speak in derogatory language and spread hatred towards Sanatana Dharma… These acts were first seen in Stalinist Russia for the creation of gulags,” the petitioner observed.

The court was also asked to instruct the Tamil Nadu Police to submit a report on why permission was given for such a conference and why no action was initiated against the organisers.

On September 2, the Tamil Nadu minister, at the conference, said Santana Dharma is like dengue and malaria which needs to be eradicated, resulting in a huge backlash from Hindutva groups and also from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also received death threats following the comments. Notably, Ayodhya seer Paramhans Acharya announced a reward of Rs 10 crore for anyone who beheads him.

Undeterred by the reaction, Udayanidhi sharpened his attack on Sanatana Dharma. At an event in Madurai on Thursday, September 21, he sought to know if it was prescribed by Santana Dharma to not invite President Droupadi Murmu, a widow and tribal, for the inauguration of the new parliament building.

“The new parliament building was inaugurated. They (Bharatiya Janata Party) got the Adheenams from Tamil Nadu for the inauguration, but the President of India was not invited because she is a widow and is from a tribal community. Is this Sanatan Dharma?” Udayanidhi had asked pointedly.

While President Murmu was not invited, Udayanidhi said some “Hindi actors” were invited to the new parliament, referring to Kangana Ranaut and Esha Gupta who visited the parliament on Wednesday, September 20 – the day when the first session was held in the new parliament building.