A Congress MP from Tamil Nadu has said that she doesn’t know Bhagwan Ram and that there are no temples for him in Tamil Nadu. The MP peddled the missionary propaganda that Tamils only worship their ancestors.
While talking to journalist Padmaja Joshi, Jothimani a Congressi Loksabha MP from Karur constituency in TN, said that she doesn’t know Ram and has never gone to a Ram temple. The video of her claiming these things has gone viral on social media. She said, “I’m from Tamil Nadu. I don’t know Ram because we are indigenous people. We follow ‘ancestral worship’. You ask anybody in Tamil Nadu. We don’t see any Ram Temple.”
She claimed that she goes to ‘her temple’ because that’s where her ancestors used to go and called it ‘ancestral worship’. In her devious attempt to otherize Brahmins and Hindus of Northern states she said, “There are many south Indian states, even north-east tribals, SCs, Dalits, OBCs, we pray indigenous worship, basically an ancestral worship”.
After initially claiming on one hand that she didn’t know about Bhagwan Ram until she came to national politics, she contradicted her own statement by saying, “I read Ramayana, I read Mahabharatha, that’s how I know”. She added that when it comes to worship Tamils “strictly worship ancestors”. As the video went viral netizens schooled her on how important Bhagwan Ram is to Tamils by pointing out the fact that an entire district, Ramanathapuram, is named after him and that Rameshwaram where Ram worshipped Eashwara is also located in TN.
Some, even from other states, shared information about ancient temples in TN built for Bhagwan Ram while others pointed out that KambaRamayanam, a celebrated Tamil literary work is dedicated to Bhagwan Ram who Jothimani claims to have never heard of. The irony is that ‘Periyar’ influenced by whom Jothimani is spewing such lies, was himself named ‘Ramasamy’. References to Bhagwan Ram and Ayodhya in temple inscriptions can be read here.