‘Sanatana Dharma’ remark row: INDIA speaks in different voices as BJP ups attack

As the BJP cranks up pressure over Tamil Nadu minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s controversial ‘Sanatana Dharma’ remarks, the reactions of the Opposition bloc INDIA show dissonance. While some of the DMK’s partners in the INDIA alliance have dissociated themselves from the remarks and condemned it, the Congress has seen differing voices within the party over Chief Minister MK Stalin’s son’s comments.

Udhayanidhi Stalin had, on September 2, said that ‘Sanatana Dharma’ is against equality and social justice, likening it to coronavirus and malaria and calling for its eradication.


  • Following Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark, Congress leaders have come out with differing opinions on the issue. Party MP Karti Chidambaram said he “completely supports” the DMK minister’s statement and that he did not find “anything wrong” in the remarks.
  • “All that Udhayanidhi Stalin said in his speech was that a caste-hierarchical society must be eliminated,” said the Congress leader.
  • Karnataka minister and Congress leader Priyank Kharge also seemed to support Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark and said, “Any religion that does not promote equality, any religion that doesn’t ensure that you have the dignity of being a human being is not a religion, according to me. So it is as good as a disease.”
  • Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, said every party has the freedom to speak their views and instead drew focus on the Congress’s ideology. “Our view is clear. ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ is the Congress’ ideology,” said the Congress leader. He further added, “We are respecting everybody’s beliefs.”
  • On the other hand, Congress leader and former Union minister Karan Singh said the DMK leader’s statement should be “eradicated” and called it “most unfortunate”. He said he takes “strong objection” to Stalin’s remark and said it was a “totally unacceptable statement”.


  • Trinamool Congress, another party that is part of the INDIA bloc, said the alliance has no connection to the DMK minister‘s comments. West Bengal Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee said she respects ‘Sanatana Dharma’, adding, “We should not be involved in any matter that may hurt any section of people.” She also took a jibe on Udhayanidhi and said, “Maybe he is a junior (Stalin) and he may not know that.”
  • Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also seemed to slam the DMK minister’s statement and said, “Anyone making derogatory comments against it (Sanatana Dharma) is ignorant of what it stands for.” She added that ‘Sanatan Dharma’ “stands for eternal truth”.
  • However, she also slammed the BJP and said it was showing “fake concern” over Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remark.

Edited By:

chingkheinganbi mayengbam

Published On:

Sep 4, 2023

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