The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
DMK spells double trouble

Chennai, July 30: The DMK today talked tough on Ayodhya and the uniform civil code, threatening to quit the National Democratic Alliance if any legislation for constructing a Ram temple at the disputed site is introduced.

Party president M. Karunanidhi today said: “We will fight any move to build a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya or bring in a legislation in Parliament to facilitate the temple’s construction. If our presence within the coalition is resented while opposing contentious policies, we will come out (of the NDA) to oppose them.”

The DMK chief was asked if Jayalalithaa was “moving towards Hindutva forces” after she said yesterday that the ADMK would support legislation to usher in a common civil code and would back a Ram temple in Ayodhya. Karunanidhi parried the question, but said his party disagreed with Jayalalithaa’s views on both issues.

He said the country needed unity (in society) more than uniformity (in civil laws). The DMK chief said each community had its own personal laws and customs and a common civil code created “suddenly through a legislation” would only create “confusion” and lead to “further complications”. Karunanidhi said the DMK did not want this.

Asked if the common civil code had become a major issue for the BJP, the DMK chief said each NDA constituent was free to have its own policies. “But if they try to bring it onto the NDA’s common agenda, we will reject it,” he added.

Karunanidhi said a Ram temple could not be the nation’s priority and pointed to a recent report in a magazine stating there were 24 lakh places of worship in the country. This included hundreds of Ram temples, he said.

The DMK chief differed with the Sangh parivar’s perception that courts would not be able to resolve the Ayodhya dispute soon. Karunanidhi said all leaders, including the Prime Minister and his deputy, had said the dispute could be resolved either by talks or through a court verdict. If talks had failed, “we have to wait for the court verdict. There has been no change in the DMK’s position on this issue”, he added.

Karunanidhi expressed surprise at the Kanchi Sankaracharya’s recent proposal to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board that Muslims “gift” the disputed Ayodhya land to Hindus to resolve the dispute peacefully. This was akin to bargaining with an empty hand and would not be acceptable to Muslims, he said.

The DMK chief likened Jayendra Saraswati’s proposal to “asking your neighbour to come with some avial (rice flakes prepared by grinding fried paddy) while I contribute only some umi (grain husk) and both of us try to savour the mixture by blowing at it.” The husk will fly away and the neighbour would emerge the loser in the bargain, he said.

Email This Page