AIADMK leader Rajendra Balaji Thursday questioned Rajinikanth’s fans on their silence over the Periyar row, saying any attempt to defame the Tamil superstar was unacceptable. His comments came a day after Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK) workers staged a protest outside Rajinikanth’s residence in Poes Garden, raising slogans against him and threatening him.
Speaking to the reporters at Virudhunagar, Balaji said he was “embarrassed” that Rajinikanth’s fans were silent on the controversy over Dravidian Ideologue Periyar’s 1971 rally. “Rajinikanth is an honest man, he speaks from his heart and the people have accepted whatever he said. He hasn’t committed any crime, the Dravidar Kazhagam and DMK are trying to threaten Rajinikanth, and I am embarrassed that his fans are keeping quiet on this issue.
“I see this protest by DK cadres against Rajinikanth as one against spiritual personalities. These people who continue to hurt sentiments will be taught a lesson in the upcoming election,” Balaji, Minister for Milk and Dairy Development, said.
Addressing the 50th anniversary-cum-readers’ connect event of Tamil magazine Thuglak on January 14, Rajinikanth had stoked controversy by saying the effigies of Ram and Sita were paraded without clothes and garlanded with footwear during a rally by Periyar in 1971. The actor’s remark agitated pro-Tamil groups, who raised slogans against the actor and demanded his apology.
Rajinikanth later refused to tender an apology. “A controversy has emerged about the speech I made at the Thuglak anniversary event… I did not say something that did not happen. People are demanding that I should apologise for my remarks, let me politely inform them that I cannot apologise,” he had said.
Balaji’s comments were in contrast to those made by AIADMK Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who had threatened Rajinikanth with serious action for spreading false allegations against Periyar. “This is an unnecessary controversy. I am not able to understand why Rajinikanth spoke about a thing that never happened. We condemn his remark, and appeal to him to remain silent. AIADMK will not tolerate anyone who attempts to defame Periyar, or any of our leaders like CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran or J Jayalalithaa,” Jayakumar had said.
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