Chennai: Coming down on what he termed were increasing instances of right-wing leaders and some central ministers making Hindutva statements, DMK president M Karunanidhi today said it was surprising and shocking to watch the ‘silence' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over them.
“The silence maintained by Modi—who is supposed to deny and clarify on opposite opinions made by anyone, which would pull the country back—is surprising and shocking to those who believe in progressive ideals like democracy, secularism, peace, equality and inclusive development,” he said in a ‘Question and Answer' released by his party.
To a query seeking his opinion on increasing demands from some to declare India a Hindu state, he referred to a recent VHP meeting in Tiruchirappalli, where its leader Praveen Togadia reportedly insisted for a Uniform Civil Code for the entire nation and to declare the country a Hindu state.
“This is not the first time such statements are being made. Since BJP came to power at the Centre, India has been listening to such statements made by many people from Hindutva organisations like RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena and even some central ministers,” Karunanidhi said. Some “fundamentalist” ideals such as ‘All in India are Hindus', ‘Godse is patriot too, like Gandhi; need to install statue for Godse', ‘Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools' are increasingly being heard, the DMK patriarch noted.
He referred to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's remarks in the past on the Gita to be made the national book, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's comments on secularism and VHP's statement on observing ‘Ram Mahotsav' in March-April this year.