DMK leader A Raja's remarks on caste at a meeting here has sparked a controversy, with the BJP accusing him of spewing hatred.
Mr Raja, Nilgiris MP and DMK's deputy general secretary, said Shudras were insulted in Manusmrithi and denied equality, education, employment and entry into temples.
"You are a Shudra till you remain a Hindu. You are the son of a prostitute till you remain as Shudra. You are a Panchaman (Dalit) till you remain a Hindu. You are an untouchable till you remain a Hindu," he said while addressing a meeting of Dravidar Kazhagam here.
In a video that went viral in social media he was heard saying, "How many of you wish to stay as children of prostitutes? How many of you wish to remain untouchables? Only if we are vocal about these questions, it will become elemental in breaking Sanathana (dharma)."
The former Union Minister claimed that the Supreme Court had ruled that if one is not a Christian, Muslim or Persian, then one has to be a Hindu. "Is there any other country meting out such cruelty?" he wondered.
Mr Raja, who took to Twitter to express his view, asked "Who are Shudras? Are they not Hindus? Why have they been insulted in Manusmrithi and denied equality, education, employment and temple entry. The Dravidian movement, as a saviour of 90% of Hindus, questioned and redressed these, cannot be anti-Hindus."
Flaying him, BJP State chief K Annamalai termed his justification as "a sorry state of political discourse in Tamil Nadu."
"@arivalayam MP has yet again spewed hatred against one community with the sole aim of appeasing others. Very, very unfortunate mindset of these political leaders who think they own Tamil Nadu," he tweeted.
BJP Mahila Morcha national president Vanathi Srinivasan said Raja has insulted the women and Hindus on numerous occasions.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)