Sanatan Dharma row: ‘It is as good as a disease’, says Priyank Kharge

Congress MP from Karanataka Priyank Kharge on Monday spoke in support of Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s call to eradicate Sanatan Dharma. The debate around Sanatan Dharma arose when a video of Tamil Nadu sports minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at a conference on Saturday said ‘Sanatan Dharma should be eradicated and not just opposed’.

On Monday Priyank Kharge told reporters, “Any religion that does not promote equality, any religion that doesn’t ensure that you have the dignity of being a human being is not a religion, according to me. So it is as good as a disease”.

Udhayanidhi Stalin at a writers’ conference in Chennai said Sanatan Dharma cannot be simply opposed but must be eradicated. The Tamil Nadu minister argued that the idea is inherently regressive, dividing people on the basis of caste and gender, and is fundamentally opposed to equality and social justice.

Udhayanidhi Stalin said, “I congratulate the organizers for calling the conference as “eradication of Santana dharma’ instead of ‘opposing Sanatan Dharma’.

Udhayanidhi referred to Sanatan Dharma as ‘Sanatanam’ in his address in Tamil at a meet of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association on Saturday.

“What is Sanatanam? The very name is only from Sanskrit. Sanatan is against equality and social justice and nothing else.” “What is the meaning of Sanatan? It is eternal, that is, it cannot be changed; no one could pose any question and that is the meaning.” Sanatan divided people on the basis of caste, he alleged.

“Let us take a vow to win in all the 39 Parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the one segment in Puducherry (in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls). Let Sanatan fall, Dravidam win.” The minister said everything should be changed and nothing is perpetual.

Meanwhile Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh at a rally in Jaisalmer said, “… They are attacking Sanatana Dharma. DMK has attacked Sanatana Dharma and Congress is quiet on it. I want to ask CM Gehlot why he didn’t say anything. Why is Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Kharge not speaking anything. Why dont they clarify what they think about the Sanatana Dharma… Sanatana Dharma cannot be seen as limited to prayers… Sanatana Dharma gives the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and it considers the whole world as one family…The DMK leader should be asked if he has a clarification regarding his statement. The INDIA alliance should apologise otherwise the nation won’t forgive…”

Rajnath Singh also said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge has remained silent over the Sanatan Dharma remark from Udhayanidhi Stalin. 

Congress is in alliance with DMK, the party Udhayanidhi Stalin belongs to, as part of the INDIA bloc. 

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Updated: 04 Sep 2023, 03:06 PM IST

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