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'Stalin should apologise for not greeting people on Diwali'
Union Minister of State L. Murugan on Saturday accused Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin of introducing "modern untouchability" in the state after the latter did not wish the Hindu community on Diwali.
Rameswaram: Union Minister of State L. Murugan on Saturday accused Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin of introducing "modern untouchability" in the state after the latter did not wish the Hindu community on Diwali.
Subsequently, a debate erupted on social media about Stalin not wishing the people on Diwali, when he extends the same for the festivals of other religions.
Addressing the media in Rameswaram, Murugan said: "Stalin should apologise to the people for not wishing them on Diwali. He wishes people for festivals celebrated by non-Hindus but avoids greeting the Hindus during Diwali and is imposing "modern untouchability".
The festival of lights was celebrated across the globe on November 4 and several world leaders had extended their greetings to the people of Hindu community. In India, political leaders, including non-Hindus, had wished the people. Perhaps Stalin was the only Chief Minister who did not do so.
Talking about Twitter debates, political analyst Sumanth Raman said: "A Chief Minister by not greeting on a festival celebrated by majority of the people in the state proves that this is not an inclusive government. A party leader can be as he likes. However, a chief minister has to be inclusive."
He also said world leaders like the US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had extended their greetings.
Reacting to this, DMK MP from Dharmapuri constituency, S. Senthilkumar, tweeted: "So what if Biden, Johnson and Khan had extended their greetings. Late DMK Chief Ministers C. N. Annadurai and Karunanidhi also did not wish people on Diwali and Stalin will also not wish them either. A DMK Chief Minister will never greet people on Diwali. We are rationalists. What is your problem?"
Replying to Senthilkumar, Raman said: "My problem is with the double standards and hypocrisy of so called rationalists who can greet people of other faiths during their festival but not Hindus."
Several Twitter users also said that rationalism should be applied to all religions equally and not selectively, recalling Stalin extending greetings for Christmas and Eid.
Some of them also wondered whether Hindus and their customary practices matter to DMK only during elections. The DMK party leaders do not wish the Hindus on their major festivals like Diwali, Vinayagar/Ganesh Chathurthi. Even if a greeting is issued on social media, it will be withdrawn by the DMK, as it had happened in 2014.
In August 2014, Stalin who was DMK's Treasurer then, had greeted everyone celebrating Vinayagar Chaturthi on Facebook. The post has received 237 comments, 264 shares and 2,985 likes. However, the move had shocked the DMK leaders.
One of the comments on Facebook read: "a true atheist should not extend greetings for any religious festival. If the greeting is extended for the public, then it should be done for all religious festivals. The DMK has not followed that. Thanks to Stalin for correcting that mistake."
However, the DMK came out with a statement saying that its Treasurer M.K. Stalin did not greet the people on the Vinayagar (Ganesh) Chaturthi day via his social media accounts but it was done by some enthusiastic people who maintain the site. The party further said that the greeting was issued without Stalin's prior permission. (IANS)