Days after his remarks about Sanatana Dharma triggered a nationwide controversy, Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin on Wednesday said that President Droupadi Murmu was not invited to the inauguration of the new Parliament building as she is a widow and hailed from the Adivasi community, PTI reported.
“Yesterday a female Hindi actor was taken to the new Parliament building but there was no permission for the president,” the Youth Welfare and Sports Development minister said at an event in Madurai. “Why? Because Draupadi Murmu is from a tribal community, because she has lost her husband. This is what we call Sanatana Dharma.”
At a press conference in Chennai on September 2, the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had said that Sanatana Dharma – a term some people use as a synonym for Hinduism – was akin to dengue and malaria and should be “eradicated”.
On Wednesday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader said that the Bharatiya Janata Party government had invited mutt priests from Tamil Nadu for the inauguration of the new Parliament building in May but left out Murmu.
More than 20 Opposition parties had boycotted the ceremony, saying that Modi’s decision to inaugurate the building instead of the president was “not only a grave insult but a direct assault on our democracy”. The Opposition leaders accused him of sidelining India’s first Adivasi president from this significant national event.
Udhayanidhi Stalin at the event in Madurai asserted that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will continue to raise its voice against Sanatana Dharma. “I will not be threatened by priests who call for my death and declare a price on my head,” he declared.
Two first information reports have been filed in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh against his remarks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also weighed in on the issue, saying that INDIA Opposition alliance wants to destroy Sanatana Dharma.