A Raja ‘Shudras, Hindus, prostitutes’ remark: BJP accuses him of ‘defaming Hindu women’, DMK calls comment ‘need of the hour’

BJP Tamil Nadu chief Annamalai accuses A Raja of spewing hatred against Hindus. DMK says former Union minister was voicing out for Shudras, who are Hindus, and calls BJP a party of Brahmin supremacists..

ByUmar Sharieef

Published Sep 14, 2022 | 4:18 PMUpdatedSep 14, 2022 | 4:18 PM

The remarks by A Raja on Shudras in a function in Namakkal last week went viral after the Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai shared the video on Twitter

In a function last week in Namakkal district, DMK MP and former Union telecom minister A Raja said that Shudras are the children of prostitutes and will remain so as long as they are classified as Hindus. The video of the DMK MP’s remarks is now doing the rounds on social media and has stoked controversy.

The former Union minister’s remarks went viral after the Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai shared the video on Twitter and accused Raja of appeasement politics by targeting one community.

The BJP has alleged that the remarks are anti-Hindu and that they have affected the sentiments of the community.

In July, there was an uproar after A Raja had spoken of secession and warned the BJP-led Centre not to “force the DMK to push for the demand for a separate Tamil Nadu”.

The DMK, in its reply to the BJP’s remarks over the current controversy, said the comments of A Raja on Shudras — those belonging to castes that form part of the fourth and lowest tier of the fourfold Hindu varna system — were “the need of the hour”.

What did A Raja say?

In the 40-second video clip, A Raja said, “The Supreme Court says if you are not Christian or Mulsim or a Parsi, you should be a Hindu. Will any other country have such cruel laws? As long as you are a Hindu, you are a Shudra; as long as you are a Shudra, you are the son of a prostitute; as long as you are a Hindu, you are a Panchaman [Dalit]; as long as you are a Hindu, you are untouchable,” he said.

“How many of you want to be the son of a prostitute? How many of you want to be untouchables? Only by asking these questions loudly can we break the roots of Sanatana Dharma, and it is time that this is done by Viduthalai [Dravidar Kazhagam mouthpiece], Murasoli [DMK’s newspaper], Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravidar Kazhagam, he added.

DMK defends A Raja remarks

After Annamalai criticised the remarks on Twitter, DMK spokesperson and lawyer V Kannadasan told South First that the comments by A Raja on Shudras were the need of the hour, and there was nothing wrong with what he had said.

“Raja had mentioned what happened and what was there in the Manusmriti. Can the BJP deny that? Raja had pointed out the insults Shudhras faced, the equality, education, employment, and entry to temples that Manusmriti denied,” he said.

“Why is the BJP crying foul over this? Was he not voicing out for Hindus? It is evident that the BJP is not the party for all Hindus, and they don’t want others to speak the truth. Raja had told how Manusmriti treated Shudras, who are also Hindus. The BJP cries foul over it because it is a party that is for Brahmin supremacists and so doesn’t want the plight of the lowest class, the Shudhras, to be told to others,” he alleged.

Kannadasan added that the BJP is a party that does politics with religion.

After the video went viral, A Raja put out another tweet on 13 September, in which he added to his earlier remarks and said, “Who are Sudras? Are they not Hindus?”

‘Hindu women defamed’: BJP

Tamil Nadu BJP vice president Karu Nagarajan told South First that the remarks by A Raja were derogatory and had defamed the whole Hindu community in the state.

The former Union minister’s remarks had led to anger among BJP leaders and workers and the party has filed a complaint with the police over the comments.

“It was derogatory to talk like that, and we strongly condemn his anti-Hinduism activities,” Nagarajan said.

Nagarajan also alleged that A Raja was trying to confuse the Hindus by referring to the “wrong translation” of Manusmriti by William Jones and spreading misinformation.

“According to Raja, if Shudhras are the son of prostitutes, would he say that he doesn’t want their votes? What is the need for him to talk about that now? Isn’t it an attempt to hurt the sentiments of Hindus? Who was he trying to satisfy, and can an MP talk like this?” Nagarajan said.

In one of his tweets, Nagarajan demanded the arrest of A Raja for defaming Hindu women and said whatever the MP had said would also apply to the families of the chief minister, opposition leader, MPs, and MLAs.