End noise on statue: Rajini
Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth on Thursday described as "barbaric" BJP national secretary H. Raja's comment on Periyar, the founder of the Dravidian movement, but said the matter need not be "magnified" further now that he had expressed regret.
"Raja's comment indicating that Periyar's statue be removed and the subsequent vandalism were a barbaric act. I strongly condemn it," Rajinikanth said.
"It is my humble view that the issue need not be magnified further as Raja has expressed regret," added the actor who is to soon launch his own political party.
On March 6, a statue of Periyar was defiled in Tirupattur in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu after Raja wrote on Facebook that the rationalist leader's statue would meet the same fate as Lenin's in Tripura. After the Left was voted out of power in the Northeast state after 25 years, an idol of the communist icon was toppled by suspected supporters of the victorious BJP.
Raja blamed the post on his social media administrator and deleted it, after all-round condemnation in Tamil Nadu. The BJP's state unit also distanced itself from the post, saying it was a personal view.
"Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin's statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of E.V. Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu," the post had said.
Ramaswamy, affectionately called Periyar by his supporters, pioneered the self-respect movement in Tamil Nadu. Both the DMK and the AIADMK - the two parties that have ruled the state for over half a century - are splinters of the Dravidar Kazhagam that he founded.
Every leader of any standing in Tamil Nadu has condemned Raja's post, with many calling for his arrest. PTI