Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth has kicked off a new row over Periyar, saying Periyar showed images of naked Ram and Sita in a rally in Salem in 1971.
Rajinikanth’s remarks came while talking during the 50th anniversary of Thuglak – a Tamil weekly news magazine. The actor allegedly said that Periyar had, in 1971, undertaken a rally in Salem in which the images of an unclothed Ram and Sita were displayed. “Ram and Sita’s effigies were paraded without clothes, garlanded with footwear.”
He said the Tamil magazine was the only one to cover this event, adding that the founder Cho Ramaswamy had condemned this. “This brought a bad name to the ruling DMK who did not want the magazine to be circulated,” Rajinikanth said. “The issue was seized by the government but Cho reprinted it and the magazine was sold in black. What was sold for Rs 10, was then sold for Rs 50 and Rs 60.”
Soon after the statement, the DMK and other Dravidian parties slammed Rajinikanth for his comment. Periyar is considered as the fountainhead of the Dravidian movement.