Periyar statue vandalized days after Rajinikanth’s comments on the social reformer

The actor however says he didn’t say anything wrong and will not take back his statements


After actor Rajinikanth’s comments on social reformer Periyar saying that at a rally led by him in 1971, unclothed effigies of Lord Ram and Sita were garlanded with footwear; a statue of the Dravidian icon was found vandalized in Kancheepuram district at Kaliyapettai.

The face and hand of the statue have been damaged. The desecrated statue has now been covered with a white cloth. 

DMK President MK Stalin and PMK founder S Ramadoss condemned the vandalism incident and demanded strict action against those involved in damaging the statue of the social reformer. 

Rajinikanth has received wide criticisms for his comments against the social reformer and the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam’s (DVK) Chennai district secretary Umapathi filed a petition before the Madras High Court seeking direction to the inspector of Triplicane police station to register a complaint against Rajinikanth.

However, Rajinikanth has refused to apologize for his comments. He had said, “A controversy has emerged that I said something that did not happen. But I did not say anything that did not occur. I only said what I heard and things that appeared in magazines. Sorry, I will not express regret or apologize.”

“I did not say anything out of imagination or something that was not there. Lakshmanan [then Jan Sangh and now BJP leader] who took part in a dharna [in 1971] has corroborated it,” he added.

Tamil Nadu minister Sellar Raju had lashed out at Rajinikanth for his statement saying that it was because of Periyar’s reforms that the re-marriage of Rajini’s daughter had been made possible. 

Saying that Rajinikanth shouldn’t have spoken about an incident that took place 50 years ago and talk about Periyar’s struggle as a matter of pride Raju said, “Rajinikanth arranged the second marriage for his daughter on the principle of Periyar. He should never forget this. Rajini, always patient, is being currently misled by someone.”

Stalin too said that he had a “piece of advice” for Rajinikanth. He had told The Hindu, “I have an advice for him. When he talks about Periyar, who fought for almost 95 years for the Tamil people, he should think and speak.”

This is not the first time that statues of the social reformer have been vandalized. In April 2019, a statue of Periyar at the Aranthangi district in Tamil Nadu was found with its head dislodged and lying on the ground.

In 2018 in Vellor another Periyar statue was found broken after BJP leader H Raja had said that all statues of the social reformer must be broken.


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