Stalin ka Beta: Hitler Or Hero?

With a rich political lineage, as the grandson of the legendary Karunanidhi, Udhayanidhi wears multiple hats – he is not only a seasoned actor and filmmaker but also holds the important position of Youth and Sports Minister in Tamil Nadu. However, his recent remarks on Sanatana Dharma have ignited a firestorm of controversy.
Stalin ka Beta: Hitler Or Hero?

Udhayanidhi Stalin, a prominent figure in Tamil Nadu politics, a film star and the son of the state's Chief Minister, MK Stalin, has recently become a central figure in a brewing controversy. With a rich political lineage, as the grandson of the legendary Karunanidhi, Udhayanidhi wears multiple hats – he is not only a seasoned actor and filmmaker but also holds the important position of Youth and Sports Minister in Tamil Nadu. However, his recent remarks on Sanatana Dharma have ignited a firestorm of controversy, leaving the right-wing factions fuming and agitated, offending Hindu saints, leaders, bureaucrats, and even some retired judges. Notably, veteran leader Subramanian Swamy has referred to him as "Stalin Beta," while the BJP has likened him to Hitler.

In this politically charged atmosphere, the question arises: Is Udhayanidhi Stalin a hero or a Hitler? The prominent Tamil filmmaker, actor, and DMK leader now finds himself in the midst of a storm, with two FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh. These FIRs are a direct consequence of his controversial remarks about Sanatana Dharma, which have not only sparked outrage but also led to political discord, with growing calls for legal action.

Controversy Erupts: Outrage Among Hindu Mahasabha

The controversy surrounding Udhayanidhi Stalin escalated when an FIR was registered against him in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. He was booked under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different religious groups) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The FIR was filed in response to Udhayanidhi's remarks that were perceived as derogatory toward Sanatana Dharma. This FIR came after lawyers Harsh Gupta and Ram Singh Lodhi filed a complaint, asserting that Stalin's comments had hurt their religious sentiments.

In addition to the FIR in Rampur, members of the Hindu Mahasabha also filed a complaint against Udhayanidhi Stalin in Lucknow, demanding legal action against him. Rishi Trivedi, the state president of Hindu Mahasabha, expressed outrage over Udhayanidhi's comparison of Sanatana Dharma to diseases like dengue and malaria during an event in Tamil Nadu. Trivedi emphasized that such remarks had caused anger among Hindus and saints.

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Political Reactions: INDIA Alliance Dissonance and Congress' Varying Views

Udhayanidhi Stalin's remarks have generated varying reactions within the political sphere. While some partners of the INDIA alliance have distanced themselves from his comments, others have supported him. Congress leaders have expressed differing opinions, with some, like Karti Chidambaram, supporting Udhayanidhi's statement, while others, like Karan Singh, vehemently opposing it.

Tamil Nadu Congress leader Karti Chidambaram extended his support to the DMK leader. In a tweet he wrote, “Sanatan Dharma is nothing but code for a Caste Hierarchical Society. All those batting for it are hankering for the Good Ole Days! Caste is the Curse of India,” he went on a vitriolic rant against the Hindu civilisational religious philosophy. In another post, “There was no call for “Genocide” against anyone, this is a mischievous spin,” Karti Chidambaram claimed.

“In the common parlance of TN “ Sanatan Dharm” means Caste Hierarchical Society. Why is that everyone who is batting for “SD” comes from the privileged segment who are beneficiaries of the “Hierarchy”, he further stated.

Karnataka Minister Priyank Kharge also seemed to support Udhayanidhi's remark by stating that any religion not promoting equality is akin to a disease. Son of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Priyank said, “Any religion that does not promote equality or does not ensure you have the dignity of being human is not religion, according to me. Any religion that does not give equal rights or does not treat you like humans is as good as disease.”

The Trinamool Congress, another party in the INDIA alliance, distanced itself from the controversy, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee stating her respect for Sanatana Dharma.

BJP's Strong Condemnation and Legal Action

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has strongly condemned Udhayanidhi Stalin's remarks, with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda leading the charge. The BJP likened his comments to Hitler's characterization of Jews and announced plans for a nationwide campaign against him. A post from the party's official X handle read, " There is eerie similarity between how Hitler characterised the Jews and Udhayanidhi Stalin described Sanatan Dharma. Like Hitler, Stalin Jr also demanded, that Sanatan Dharma be eradicated… We know how Nazi hate culminated in Holocaust, killing approx 6 million European Jews and at least another 5 million Soviet prisoners of war and other victims. Uday Stalin’s meditated comment is unadulterated hate speech and a call for genocide of 80% population of Bharat, who follow Sanatan Dharma. Congress and I.N.D.I Alliance support for Stalin’s bile is most disconcerting."

'Stalin beta on nepotism a minister'

Notably, Subramanian Swamy, the senior BJP leader, threatened to work for the dismissal of the Tamil Nadu government if Udhayanidhi repeated his controversial statements. " I have sent a letter to TN Governor seeking Sanction to Prosecute Stalin beta who on nepotism is a Minister. Once more if he repeats deprecating Sanatana Dharma I will work for dismissal of TN State Government. I proved in 1991 that India is a Union of States not a Federation." Swamy's post on X read.

Call for Suo Motu Contempt Notice by Former Judges and Bureaucrats

A group of 262 citizens, including former high court judges and bureaucrats, has written to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, urging him to take suo moto notice of contempt against Udhayanidhi Stalin. They labeled his remarks as "hate speech" capable of inciting communal disharmony and sectarian violence. The signatories, which included 14 judges, 130 bureaucrats, and 118 armed officers, expressed concern over the undermining of the rule of law when the Tamil Nadu government refused to take action against Udhayanidhi Stalin.

Udhayanidhi Stalin Stands Firm Amid Controversy

Despite the mounting controversy, Udhayanidhi Stalin has stood his ground, declaring his readiness to face any legal challenge. He affirmed his commitment to upholding social justice and equality while continuing to receive both support and condemnation for his comments.

In a post, Udhaynidhi said, " I never called for the genocide of people who are following Sanatan Dharma. Sanatan Dharma is a principle that divides people in the name of caste and religion. Uprooting Sanatan Dharma is upholding humanity and human equality. I stand firmly by every word I have spoken. I spoke on behalf of the oppressed & marginalized, who suffer due to the Sanatan Dharma. I am ready to present the extensive writings of Periyar and Ambedkar, who conducted in-depth research on Sanatan Dharma and its negative impact on society in any forum. Let me reiterate the crucial aspect of my speech: I believe, like the spread of diseases like COVID-19, Dengue, and Malaria by mosquitoes, that Sanatan Dharma is responsible for many social evils. "

Filmmaker Pa Ranjith Expresses Solidarity with Udhayanidhi

Renowned filmmaker Pa Ranjith has come out in support of actor-politician Udhayanidhi Stalin amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Stalin's comments on Sanatana Dharma. Udhayanidhi Stalin's recent remarks, in which he called for the eradication of Sanatana Dharma to promote social justice and equality, have ignited a significant political firestorm.

In a tweet posted on his official Twitter account, Pa Ranjith stated, "Minister Udhyanithi’s (@UdhayStalin) statement calling for the abolishment of Sanatana Dharma is the core principle of the anti-caste movement for centuries. The roots of inhumane practices in the name of caste and gender lie in Sanatana Dharma. Revolutionary leader Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, anti-caste reformers such as Iyotheedass Panditar, Thantai Periyar, Mahatma Phule, Sant Ravidas have all advocated the same in their anti-caste ideology."

He further expressed his dismay at the distortion of the minister's statement, describing it as a call for genocide, which he deemed unacceptable. Ranjith highlighted the growing hate and criticism directed at the minister, terming it "very disturbing."

Malaysia Hindu Sangam Protests Attack on Hindu Sanatan Dharma by Udayanidhi

Malaysia Hindu Sangam, a prominent Hindu organization in Malaysia, has issued a strongly worded letter to the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, expressing their deep concern and condemnation of the recent remarks made by Udayanidhi Stalin in Tamil Nadu regarding Hindu Sanatan Dharma.

SriKasi Sangapooshan , President Malaysia Hindu Sangam wrote in the letter that, " As a Minster, he should be Non-Aligned to any believe and serve his duty with impartiality and neutral approach though his party's ideology seems to be otherwise. This has indirectly raised hatred and anger among Hinda around the world."

Udhayanidhi Stalin as a Producer and Actor

Udhayanidhi Stalin, the only son of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin, ventured into the Tamil film industry in 2008 as a producer with his production company, Red Giant Movies. His initial productions included big-budget films like "Manmadan Ambu" (2010) starring Kamal Haasan and "7aum Arivu" (2011) directed by AR Murugadoss. Though his debut film, "Kuru," faced a lukewarm response, Udhayanidhi persisted in his pursuit of filmmaking. His family has a deep connection with both cinema and politics, with his grandfather, Karunanidhi, being a scriptwriter in his youth and his father briefly trying his hand at acting in the late 1980s. Udhayanidhi's wife, Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi, is a writer and film director. Before taking up his current role as the youth wing secretary of DMK, Udhayanidhi served as the managing director of the party's mouthpiece, "Murasoli."

However, Udhayanidhi's foray into politics has not been without controversy, as his election affidavit reportedly lists twenty-two criminal cases against him.

The situation surrounding Udhayanidhi Stalin remains dynamic, with political, legal, and social ramifications that are yet to fully unfold. As this controversy continues to reverberate across India, it raises important questions about freedom of expression, religious sensitivity, and the intersection of politics and religion in the country.

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