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March 4, 2024

Supreme Court Rebukes Udhayanidhi Stalin for Controversial Remark: ‘You Are Not a Layman’

In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Monday admonished Tamil Nadu minister and DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin over his contentious “eradicate Sanatana Dharma” statement, emphasizing that as a minister, he should exercise caution with his remarks. The bench, comprising justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, rebuked Udhayanidhi, stating that he should be mindful of the repercussions of his statements, given his position of authority.

The apex court, while hearing the plea, pointed out, “You abuse your right under Article 19(1)(a) (of the Constitution). You abuse your right under Article 25. Now you are exercising your right under Article 32 (to file plea in the Supreme Court)? Do you not know the consequences of what you said? You are not a layman. You are a minister. You should know the consequences.” The hearing of the plea has been adjourned until March 15.

Udhayanidhi Stalin, son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Chief MK Stalin, stirred controversy in September 2023 with his comparison of Sanatana Dharma to diseases like dengue and malaria, advocating for its eradication.

During an event, Udhayanidhi remarked, “There are some things that we have to eradicate and we can’t merely oppose. Mosquitoes, dengue, corona, and malaria are things that we cannot oppose, we have to eradicate them. Sanatanam is also like this. Eradication and not opposing Sanatanam has to be our first task.” However, he clarified that his stance on Hindu religion was not one of hatred, asserting that his comment targeted the caste-based society associated with Sanatana Dharma, rather than the Hindu faith itself.

The DMK leader’s statement drew widespread criticism from various quarters, with demands for an apology from the INDIA bloc, of which the DMK is a member. Additionally, the remarks resulted in multiple criminal complaints being filed against him.

The Supreme Court’s admonishment underscores the need for responsible conduct, especially from public figures holding positions of authority. Udhayanidhi’s remarks have sparked intense debate and scrutiny, highlighting the delicate balance between freedom of speech and the responsibility that accompanies public office.

Rajan Shukla

Rajan Shukla

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