To remain silent despite provocation is Sanatanam, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “We are calm because there is no violence in Sanatanam, which is the faith of the Hindus,” she told newspersons after addressing the 90th Year Valedictory Celebrations of The Society of Auditors in Chennai on Saturday.

The minister was responding to questions from the media on the recent remarks made by Tamil Nadu Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhyanidhi Stalin about eradicating Sanathana Dharmam.

“I hail from Tamil Nadu where the image of Lord Rama was once beaten with chappals. Then questions were raised if Rama was an engineer. But followers of Sanatana Dharmam did not respond to such incidents despite violence was being provoked,” she said.

Irrespective of a person’s ideology, as per the Constitution and after taking the oath of public office, a minister does not have the authority to speak of eradicating a religion, she said.

“Ministers taking the oath to do their duty are saying they will destroy a community. Such statements by a minister in a public meeting is wrong. Even the HR&CE minister who was on the dais was listening to this. Later issuing a clarification on the remarks made is not acceptable. The minister should speak responsibly,” she said. “Does he have the spine to say this against any other community as he criticised Sanathana Dharma,” she questioned.