A DMK functionary has been caught on camera abusing an SC Hindu youth for entering a government-controlled temple. The youngster was allegedly drunk when he entered the temple and created a ruckus. DMK has suspended the abuser from the party position after the video went viral on social media and he has been arrested.
A video of a DMK leader verbally abusing a youngster is going viral on social media. The abuser is reportedly the Panchayat leader and Union Secretary of DMK, Manickam, from Salem. The incident happened in the Mariamman temple in Thirumalaigiri, Salem, on January 19. In the video, Manickam can be heard verbally abusing the youth, using derogatory words and asking why he entered the temple.
“Who gave you permission to go there? I’ll break your teeth..your father’s too..You think you are smart? Don’t you want others to live well here? Who asked you to go inside? Tell me you didn’t do it on your own”, he said. He abused the youngster’s father as well saying, “See how you brought up your son” and used many expletives to shame them.
When India Today contacted Manickam to know his side of the story, he claimed that the youngster was drunk and created a ruckus which is why he abused him. Manickam is reportedly from Vanniyar jaati, a dominant OBC community. In the video, he can be heard saying that he has brought together everyone by requesting Gounders and others to work for the temple and that the youngster ruined his efforts.
The temple is run by the Vanniyar community but comes under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) department. It is unclear whether it is a private temple taken over by HRCE due to issues. In that case the Vanniyar community would have a say in who comes to the temple or performs pujas. Police claim that when other community people were worshiping in the temple, the youth went near the garba griha to pray which offended others. As a result a ruckus ensued, they say.
Manickam told India Today that there weren’t any restrictions against SC Hindus entering the temple. He said, “There was a function in Mariyamman temple. I left because Udhayanidhi had come over on the day. He was drunk and causing a ruckus. I told them to leave him alone”. He claimed that the youth’s relatives apologised to him the next day for his behaviour and that he admonished them for making it a routine of picking up fights.
He further said that he is the common representative of both communities and the whole village blames him for being drunk and creating a ruckus in the temple. He said the incident is old and the video is being spread with malicious intentions. After the video went viral on social media, DMK suspended him from his party position and police booked him under the SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Meanwhile the Untouchability Eradication Front’s President Chellakannu and General Secretary Samuel Raj have announced a temple entry protest.
TN BJP President K Annamalai shared the video on Twitter. He recalled the other incident of a DMK MP proudly claiming that he demolished temples for development projects and said, “DMK model of social justice for us all”. Recently, human feces were mixed in a water tank providing water to SC Hindus in Pudukottai district. Even though the issue gained a lot of attention and the so-called ‘Brahminical’ caste system was abused, the culprits weren’t arrested. Instead, the district collector and police Commissioner hogged the limelight by twisting it into a temple entry issue.
In another village in the same district, SC Hindu women were chased away by a DMK man while taking a bath in the village pond. The man abused them using casteist slurs and even threatened to molest them and threw away their clothes. DMK and Dravidian organisations have been trying to gain a foothold in other states on the pretext of providing social justice to the suppressed class. These incidents should show the reality of social justice and equality practiced by DMK in its own state.