Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan is in the news for filing a complaint against a 28-year-old student for shouting the slogan ‘fascist BJP government down, down’ in her presence on board a Tuticorin-bound flight. She subsequently confronted the girl, Lois Sofia, at the Tuticorin airport before filing a complaint with the airport police.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tamilisai said, “I was on Seat No. 3 and she was on Seat No. 8. When I was coming out after the flight landed, she saw me and suddenly shouted ‘down with fascist BJP government’. When I turned to her, she repeated it. Seeing a very young girl sitting with her parents, I thought I will ignore it. But she repeated it, again and again, when I was coming out of the aircraft. She was also passing some comments at me.”
“No innocent girl will use (fascist) word. I questioned her. She replied that she has the right to freedom of expression. I thought I shouldn’t ignore a terrorist, so I filed a petition,” she added.
Tamilisai Soundararajan was brought up in a political family. She is the daughter of former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Kumari Anandan and niece of H Vasanthakumar, an Indian businessman and politician. She was elected student leader while studying at the Madras Medical College. A physician by profession, Tamilisai began her career as a gynaecologist and has special training in sonology and fetal therapy.
Despite being brought up in a family affiliated with the Congress, Tamilisai began working for the BJP at a young age. She has served in the state unit of the party as South Chennai District medical wing secretary in 1999, state general secretary medical wing in 2001, All India co-convenor (medical wing for southern states) in 2005, state general secretary in 2007 and state vice-president in 2010. She was elevated to the post of national secretary in 2013.
Among party cadres in the state, she is called the ‘Sushmaji of Tamil Nadu’.
Her oratory and translation skills earned her a good reputation with national leaders. She would translate the speeches of veterans like L K Advani, Jaswanth Singh and Venkaiah Naidu.
Despite unsuccessfully contesting two Assembly elections, Tamilisai has campaigned extensively for the party for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.