‘Sorry, Won’t Say Sorry’: Rajinikanth on Statement About Periyar

Actor Rajinikanth said he refuses to apologise to those protesting against his controversial remark on Periyar.

3 min read
Actor Rajinikanth said he refuses to apologise to those who are protesting against his controversial remark on Periyar.

More than 50 BJP cadre carried a garlanded portrait of Lord Ram and Sita during a procession in Salem on Friday. The cadre said that this was to compensate for the insult done to the deities 50 years ago on 23 January 1971. Police have detained the cadre.

On Tuesday, actor Rajinikanth had held up copies of news clippings and said that he refuses to apologise to those who are protesting against his recent remark on social reformer Periyar.

“There is a debate on an issue I spoke on and which happened in 1971. I didn’t speak on something that didn’t happen. I’ve only spoken on what was reported. Sorry, I won’t apologise.”
Actor Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth, during an event held to mark the 50th anniversary of Tughlaq magazine, on 14 January, had said, “In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which undressed images of Lord Sri Ramachandramoorthy and Sita with a garland of sandals featured and no news outlet published it.”


HC Dismisses Petition Against Rajini

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed against actor Rajinikanth over his remarks on the social reformer as the petitioners withdrew the plea.

Justice P Rajamanickam was hearing the petition by Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, a fringe outfit.

The state public prosecutor told the judge that the party should not have rushed to the court with a plea to register FIRs against the actor as he had only quoted from a magazine.

Complaints Pile Up

Meanwhile, several complaints have been filed against the actor, claiming that his statement was false.

Rajinikanth, showing copies of The Hindu and Outlook, had said, “I have magazines here to show what I said was true. I am telling what I saw. They are telling what they saw.”

Rajinikanth showed this <i>Outlook</i> article to substantiate his claim.
Rajinikanth showed this Outlook article to substantiate his claim.
(Photo: As shown by actor Rajinikanth)
The <i>Outlook</i> article here mentions his statement.
The Outlook article here mentions his statement.
(Photo: As shown by actor Rajinikanth)

Over 50 people of Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam gathered at the public park Semmozhi Poonga, on Tuesday morning, to protest against the actor’s statement.

Dravidar Vidhuthalai Kazhagam had also filed a complaint with the Coimbatore Commissioner of Police. They sought action under IPC sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

They slammed the actor for “spreading falsehood”and trying to malign Periyar's reputation. They also demanded an apology from the actor.

Meanwhile, activists of Athi Tamizhar Peravai burnt an effigy of Rajini, accusing him of spreading “false information”.


Politicians Slam Rajini’s Comment

O Panneerselvam, Deputy Chief Minister criticised the actor’s statement saying, “It is because of Periyar that people like me have reached the place where we are today. Thoughts of Periyar should be kept at the highest pedestal and respected.”

Opposition leader MK Stalin too condemned the actor’s statement and said that he should think before speaking about Periyar. “Friend Rajinikanth is an actor and not a politician. He should think properly before speaking about Periyar,” he said.

The state Fisheries Minister Jayakumar also demanded the actor’s apology.

“Rajinikanth is doing cheap politics by stating an incident which never happened. We should put a full stop to cheap politics.”
Jayakumar, TN Fisheries Minister

AIADMK minister Sellur K Raju, speaking to local reporters on Thursday, said that the remarriage of Rajinikanth's younger daughter, Soundarya, wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Periyar.”

“Would they have accepted this in the old days, on the basis of religion? It was Periyar who changed things.”
Sellur K Raja, AIADMK Minister

He added that it was not right for Rajini to rake up an old incident.

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