DMK ally and Hindu hater Thol.Thirumavalavan has demanded that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board(HRCE) be split into Saiva and Vaishnava boards. He made this ‘proposal’ following a Kollywood director’s comment that “Raja Raja Chola I was not a Hindu”. Dravidianists have been trying to destroy Hindu Dharma by crook or hook and this is one of their tricks to divide the Hindu community.
Vetrimaran, a Tamil cinema director, had said that the great Chola emperor Raja Raja I was not a Hindu and that attempts are being made to appropriate the identities of Raja Raja and Thiruvalluvar. His comments were along the lines of missionary propaganda that Hindu Dharma did not exist before the British came to Bharat. Dravidianists, who are otherwise atheists, like to use this propaganda to divide the Hindu community, claiming that before the British era Bharatiyas followed Shaivism, Vaishnavism, etc as separate religions.
Director Vetrimaran, while speaking at a felicitation organized for VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan said, “Cinema, literature, everything was in their hands. Tamil Nadu still has the maturity to resist several external factors because of the Dravidian movement taking over cinema from their hands.”
“It is very very important to politicize cinema. Art itself is politics. It did not happen for a while in the interim. When the Dravidian movement took over cinema, they said that art should be for art only and not for people. They spoke about aesthetic beauty. Indeed, aesthetic beauty is important. But no art is complete if it is isolated from the people.”
“Art is for the people and it should reflect people. We should handle the art correctly now. If we fail, soon we will lose our identities. They have done it already, saffronized Valluvar and projected Raja Raja Cholan as a Hindu king. It is happening continuously. They are doing it in Cinema as well. We should protect our identities”
Mani Ratnam-directed Ponniyin Selvan I, based on a novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy on the exploits of Raja Raja I, is faring well on the screens worldwide. It seems to have upset the likes of Vetrimaaran regardless of the fact that Mani has twisted and hidden the prominent Hindu identity of the Cholas. When the teaser was released, it drew flak for showing the Cholas without Tripundra even though Raja Raja I identified himself as Shivapada Sekara(one who bears the feet of Bhagwan Shiva in his head).
Yet, even a lesser amount of Hindu identity shown in a positive way seems to upset the likes of Vetrimaaran. Following his rant, many cinema and political celebrities supported him. Thirumavalavan, Loksabha MP of the Chidambaram constituency and the chief of DMK’s ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Party(VCK), not only endorsed Vetrimaaran’s stance but said that the government department controlling temples should not be called as “Hindu” Religious and Charitable Endowments Board. He peddled the same story concocted by missionaries that there was no religion named Hindu before the British era.
Bishop Ezra Sargunam, a close friend of the late M Karunanidhi and a church planter, is also a rabid Hindu hater. He advised his church followers to punch Hindus in the face till they draw blood for saying there is a religion called “Hinduism”. The likes of Vetrimaaran and Thirumavalavan have been parroting the same line. They also use the propaganda of Tamil nationalists when it suits them.
Thirumavalavan, a self-acclaimed ‘Dalit’ politician, usually claims that ancient Tamils were Buddhists. But with the Raja Raja I controversy grabbing attention, he claims that Shaivism and Vaishnavism are the religions followed by Tamils and thus the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment board should be split into two and named as Shaiva and Vaishnava Religious Board.
While speaking at a Muslim marriage, he said, “The basic tenets of these religions have been watered down by making them as Hinduism. Sanatanam, a vaidika concept, has gobbled up and dominates Sivaniyam and Maaliyam. Sanatanam, Varnashramam, Manu Dharmam everything is Brahminism”. Sivaniyam and Maaliyam are concepts introduced by Sebastian Seeman, chief of the separatist Tamil nationalist party Naam Tamilar Katchi(NTK). Seeman has also extended his support to Vterimaaran. Seeman has been propagating a sinister theory that Hindu deities aren’t gods but ancestors worshipped by Tamils traditionally.
He came up with his own version of Bhagwan Murugan to humanise the deity and even introduced a weird way of worshipping. He did the same in the Aandal issue when MeToo fame lyricist Vairamuthu called the saint poet a devadasi. Coming back to Thirumavalavan, he organised an “Uproot Sanatana Dharma” conference in 2020. In another instance, he had called for demolishing prominent and important Hindu temples such as Madurai Meenakshi, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy and Chidambaram Natraja temple claiming that they were originally Buddhist vihars.
Legal advocacy organisations had written to the Election Commission about his candidature when a video in which he said that he follows Christianity went viral. His sister was buried as per Christian customs and when asked about it, Thirumavalavan claimed that he didn’t know until her death that she had converted. He contested and won from an SC-reserved constituency and these details brought the genuineness of his candidature under suspicion.
Such a person talking about the Hindu identity of Raja Raja I and the HRCE might sound funny to some, but it is actually sinister. Thirumavalavan, Seeman and other missionary stooges have been asking for Tamils to be recognised as Shaivites like Lingayats demanding a separate religion tag in Karnataka. Unfortunately, their friends who also want to “uproot Sanatana Dharma” are in power and possibly fulfill their wishes as well.