Rajinikanth over Periyar remark row: Sorry, I won’t apologise

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 21, 2020 Published on January 21, 2020

File Photo of Rajinikanth.   -  PTI

Amid protests, actor insists he spoke the truth, displays news clippings to prove his point 

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has refused to budge from his controversial remark made on social reformer ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy, saying, “I will not apologise”.

The actor also came out holding copies of the news clippings to which he had made references, and emphasised that he did not ‘make up’ what he said about Periyar in his speech, and that he will not apologise.

“There is a debate on an issue I spoke on and which happened in 1971. I didn’t make up what I said. People are saying I made it up but I didn’t. Sorry, I won’t apologise,” Rajinikanth said while addressing the media.

‘Superstition eradication’

The actor stirred controversy when he alleged that undressed images of Lord Rama and Sita were taken out in a rally as part of a superstition-eradication programme orchestrated by Periyar in 1971. “I have magazines here to show what I said was true. I am telling what I saw. They are telling what they saw,” the actor added.

Rajinikanth had made the comments at the 50th anniversary-cum- readers’ connect event of Tamil magazine Thuglak on January 14 in Chennai. At the event, he said: “Periyar took out a rally in which undressed images of Lord Sri Ramachandramoorthy and Sita — with a garland of sandals — featured and no news outlet published it.”

Call for apology

The Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK) demanded an unconditional apology from Rajinikanth, alleging that the actor had uttered a “blatant lie” to besmirch Periyar’s reputation. The party organised a protest against the actor’s statement and filed a police complaint on January 17.

Five members of a fringe Tamil outfit were also held on Monday for allegedly burning an effigy of Rajinikanth.

Meanwhile, DMK President MK Stalin urged the superstar to be cautious while making comments about Periyar. ”Periyar served Tamils for 95 years. My request to my friend Rajinikanth is that he should be careful while saying something about Periyar,” Stalin told reporters. 

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Published on January 21, 2020
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