Maridhas, a Madurai-based writer and an activist, has been actively campaigning against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for quite some time. The microblogger has authored a book titled “Why I support Narendra Modi” in 2018. He identifies himself as a social commentator and has a Facebook page with 100K followers besides a verified Youtube Channel with more than 1.64 lakh subscribers.
On Monday, RS Bharathi, DMK organisation secretary, and MP, had written to the Chennai police commissioner to take necessary action against Maridhas under Section 505(2) of the IPC and IT ACT for repeated publication of false news against DMK. Bharathi claimed that Maridhas’ primary intention was to disturb public tranquillity and promote enmity and incite hatred between religious groups.
The DMK complaint created a furore on social media, with #ISupportMaridhas trending at the top on Twitter. On the other hand, the supporters of DMK have been trending a hashtag #MentalMaridhas, claiming that the activist’s allegations were baseless.
“The reason for the statements reproduced hereinabove are that DMK has taken a stand critical of the abrogation of Article 370 and re-organization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The President of DMK, Thalapathi MK Stalin, issued a statement on August 5 pointing out that the manner of abrogation of Article 370 was anti-democratic, unconstitutional and against federal principles. It is the position of the DMK that the people of Kashmir must be consulted before any decision was taken with regard to the special status of their state,” the complaint read.
“It is well known that Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state in India. Therefore, the support extended by DMK towards the people of Kashmir for their fundamental rights like free speech and assembly, representative democracy and protection from unlawful arrest is being willfully misconstrued by Maridhas as support for terrorists. By doing so, Maridhas is portraying Muslims in Kashmir as terrorists and, thereby, creating ill-will against that group of people,” the complaint further read.
Bharathi also claimed that Maridhas ran a website that lured many innocent persons to donate money that in turn was being used to commit crimes and offences.
The activist recently grabbed spotlight after his Youtube channel — ‘Maridhas Answers’ — published a video titled “Is DMK influenced by Pakistan” on Sunday that attracted 158K views.
In the video, Maridhas claims that through the DMK anti-national elements were trying to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu. He also questions why Radio Pakistan’s official handle shared a tweet of DMK leader MK Stalin where he announced a protest at Jantar Mantar to demand the immediate release of Kashmiri political leaders who were detained by the government following its move to scrap special status of J&K and bifurcate the state.
Maridhas’ previous video “Should DMK be banned?” was also based on the developments following the Centre’s J&K move on Article 370. He claimed that people across India were demanding a ban on DMK from electoral politics.
Apart from criticising the DMK, Maridhas has also published videos against leaders who have spoken in favour of Tamil nationalism and exclusivism and also on topics ranging from NEET to water scarcity to economics to Bigg Boss.
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