Fans of Periyar and Modi wage war on netas’ b’day | India News

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CHENNAI: The last few months have been rough for Periyar, the patriarch of the Dravidian movement, in Tamil Nadu. In recent months, he was in the limelight not just in debates over his social reforms, but because his statues were desecrated by fringe Hindutva elements who sought to demean his stature.
It was no different on Thursday, which was the 142nd birth anniversary of the Dravidar Kazhagam founder E V Ramasamy or Periyar as he is fondly called. As political parties cutting across ideological lines paid tributes to Periyar and some leaders wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday, there was a virtual war on social media to demean both.
Dravidian historian K Thirunavukkarasu dubbed the development as distasteful. “Both RSS and Periyar’s Self Respect movement started in 1925. While BJP has taken it to the people and helped Modi to come to power, Periyar, with no political movement, continues to remain a political force. Opinions and ideologies can be discussed and debated. But one should not indulge in demeaning exercises,” he said.
Beyond social media, a segment of BJP supporters went to the extent of sporting ‘Bharathiar’ on their T-Shirts to push their support for the Centre’s three-language formula.
“Mahakavi Subramania Bharati mastered several languages and encouraged others to learn more languages, despite his love for his mother tongue Tamil. His principles align with our ideology,” said BJP state IT wing president C T R Nirmal Kumar.

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