Chennai: A Raja, a senior member of the MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has urged the BJP-led government of India to provide autonomy to Tamil Nadu and not push them to seek a separate country.
“Do not push us on the path of Periyar. Do not make us seek a separate country, give state autonomy and we will not rest till then,” various reports quoted Raja saying as he was addressing an event in presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.
Periyar, during his lifetime, struggled for the creation of an independent Tamil Nadu.
His remarks sparked a row in the country’s political atmosphere. Tamil Nadu BJP vice-president Narayanan Tirupathi called Raja’s remark ‘blatantly divisive’.
“What is shocking and surprising is that chief minister MK Stalin remained a mute spectator. I condemn his silence. He has taken oath of office, affirming allegiance to the Constitution,” he was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
“Amit Shah said that Hindi should be the only common language in India and Hindi is needed to unite the country. Will a language unite the country?,” he asked. “Soon after Pakistan was born, the nation’s father Jinnah went to Dacca – in East Pakistan – and was speaking in Urdu, when a young boy stood up and said they knew Bangla, and not Urdu. Despite this, he continued to speak in Urdu that led to the split of Pakistan,” he said, as per The News Minute report.
All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Navaid Hamid blamed the “dictates to state governments, and continuous assault on federal structure by BJP led GoI” for such remarks.
In a tweet, he said, “TN ruling party’s MP‘s threat to revive demand for (independent) TN if Modi govt fails to give autonomy to the southern state should ring alarm bells.”