Sanatan Dharma Row: PM Modi Urges Ministers to Counter Debate with Facts

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged his ministers to effectively respond to the Sanatan Dharma debate that was sparked by Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s comments.

During an informal conversation with ministers at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, PM Modi emphasized the importance of gaining a comprehensive understanding of the subject and presenting factual information to counter opposition leaders involved in the controversy. He also cautioned that only party spokespersons should address the India versus Bharat issue.

Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Comments Trigger Political Uproar

The controversy erupted when Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, made a statement comparing Sanatan Dharma to diseases like dengue and malaria, suggesting that it should be eliminated. This remark triggered a significant political uproar, with BJP leaders questioning whether it represented the collective opinion of the opposition. Udhayanidhi was also accused of promoting genocide.

Udhayanidhi Stalin Clarifies Comments, Stands Firm

Despite facing extensive criticism for his statement, Udhayanidhi remained steadfast in his stance, clarifying that his comments were aimed at addressing caste-based discrimination within society. He denied any genocidal intent and drew a parallel with PM Modi’s call for a “Congress-mukt Bharat,” emphasizing that it did not imply erasing all Congress members.

Opposition Parties Divided Over Issue

The controversy also divided opposition parties affiliated with India. While Congress’s Priyank Kharge and Karti Chidambaram expressed support for Udhayanidhi’s statement, an FIR was filed in Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur against Priyank and Udhayanidhi under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) and 153A (promoting enmity between different religious groups) of the IPC.

Udhayanidhi Stalin Further Defends Comment

Udhayanidhi further defended his comment by highlighting examples of discrimination within Sanatan Dharma, such as the exclusion of President Droupadi Murmu from the Parliament’s inauguration. He also made references to incidents from the Mahabharat, implying the exploitation of tribal individuals like Eklavya.

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