Amid "Anti-Hindu" Allegations Against Party, DMK Chief MK Stalin's Letter

In a letter to party workers, Mr Stalin outlined contributions made by his party, over the many years they have been in power, towards the welfare of Hindus

Amid 'Anti-Hindu' Allegations Against Party, DMK Chief MK Stalin's Letter

DMK chief MK Stalin has written a letter to party workers over anti-Hindu criticism

Chennai:

DMK chief MK Stalin, who is also Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu, has rubbished criticism that his party is "anti-Hindu". In a letter to party workers, Mr Stalin outlined contributions made by his party, over the many years they have been in power, towards the welfare of Hindus.

The letter, viewed as the DMK's attempt at a makeover, comes amid criticism on social media that the DMK is behind a controversial video - one that criticises "Kandha Sashti", a popular Hindu devotional song released by a group called "Karuppar Koottam".

Many have said criticism of the song is derogatory to Hindus and hurtful of religious sentiment.

In the letter Mr Stalin listed contributions by his party towards the welfare of every section of society - from education and employment for first-generation learners to concrete houses for slum dwellers.

Mr Stalin also wrote that 65.5 per cent of the 69 per cent reservation scheme that the DMK paved the way for had benefitted Hindus; the remaining 3.5 per cent had been earmarked for Muslims.

He said the reservation had helped churn out engineers, doctors and graduates among Hindus, whom he called the majority.

The former deputy chief minister also cited DMK's specific contributions to Hindus, including revival of pujas in abandoned temples, restoration of temples and temple chariots and a law to appoint people from all castes as temple priests.

Asserting that the DMK has no hatred of any religion and that people of all faiths were party members and workers, Mr Stalin claimed an attempt to project the party as "anti-Hindu" using new technology and asked party workers not to fall into what he called the "social media trap".

"We raise our voice for all. Ours is an uncompromising struggle against dominant forces. Don't waste time on the social media trap of conspirators. Ignore them as a joke, don't retaliate. Work for the party's victory," he wrote.

State elections are due next year. In 2016 the DMK was unable to stop the AIADMK from claiming a second consecutive term in power, defying the state's long-time pattern of voting the opposition in every five years.

The DMK did sweep last year's Lok Sabha polls, despite the AIADMK cobbling together an alliance with the BJP and several smaller parties, including the PMK and DMDK.

With MK Stalin in the saddle - his father M Karunanidhi, a five-time former chief minister, party leader and veteran political leader, died in 2018 - many feel this letter is an attempt to ensure that the "atheist" tag attached to his party does not dent his 2021 election hopes and prospects of becoming chief minister.