After Lenin's Statue Razed in Tripura, Tamil Nadu BJP Leader Says Periyar Next

| March 6 , 2018 , 17:32 IST

Hours after a statue of communist icon Lenin was razed by BJP supporters in South Tripura, Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja called to raze the statues of Periyar, the founder of the Dravidian movement, across the state.

In a Facebook post, which was later deleted, Raja called Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy Naicker, commonly known as Periyar, a "caste fanatic",

While BJYM Vice-President SG Suryah tweeted saying “Can’t wait for the fall of EV Ramasamy statues in Tamil Nadu."

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Raja said, “Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection has India with Communists? Lenin's statue has been removed in Tripura. Today it is Lenin's statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy.”

Reacting to Raja’s post, DMK working president MK Stalin said the BJP leader should not be allowed to touch Periyar’s statue and if he does so, the state government should jail him.

MDMK leader Vaiko also said, “Whoever touches Periyar’s statues, will have their hands chopped off.”

While defending Raja BJP spokesperson Narayanan Tirupathi said, “More than 99.9% of the people in Tamil Nadu are spiritual. EVR’s statue carries the message that whoever worships God are barbarians, whoever preaches God are rascals and whosoever keep faith in God are fools. Hindu outfits have for long demanded the removal of these statues but this has not been done till date. Hence, H Raja’s outburst. The words may have been harsh but the intention is keeping in mind the majority of the population.”

Periyar was a rationalist, one who believed that caste should be eradicated and advocated for women’s rights.

He is also credited with starting the Self-Respect Movement, in order to achieve a society where disadvantaged castes had equal rights.

Both the main political parties in Tamil Nadu, the DMK and the AIADMK owe their origins to this movement.