The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit on Tuesday asked Lok Sabha speaker to restrain Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP A Raja from contesting elections as a punishment for his “Hindus are Shudras and untouchables” remarks.
The complaint was filed by CTR Nirmal Kumar, Tamil Nadu BJP’s IT and social media president. He said he wanted action against Raja for his “unethical” act.
On September 13, Raja, during a meeting of Dravidar Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, had said that everybody is a Shudra till they decide to stay a Hindu.
“You are the son of a prostitute till you remain as Shudra,” he had said. “You are a Panchaman [Dalit] till you remain a Hindu. You are an untouchable till you remain a Hindu.”
Raja had also asked how many persons wished to remain children of prostitutes or untouchables. “Only if we are vocal about these questions, it will become elemental in breaking Sanathana [dharma],” he had said.
The MP had also claimed that Shudras were insulted in Manusmriti and denied equality, education, employment and entry into temples.
Manusmriti is a Hindu scripture authored by an ascetic named Manu. The text has been widely criticised for its gender and caste-based codes. Among the sections on social classes in the text, the one on Shudras is the shortest. Artisans and labourers are associated with the class.
On September 14, the BJP had said that Raja’s comment could instigate communal violence. In a complaint to the police, the saffron party’s state vice-president Karu Nagarajan had alleged that Raju wanted to destroy the religious beliefs of Hindus, who constitute 85% of Tamil Nadu’s population.