Chennai, Mar 8: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth slammed as "barbaric" the controversial comment of H Raja on Dravidian movement founder E V Ramasamy Periyar, but said with the BJP leader expressing regret, the issue need not be "magnified" further.
"Raja's comment indicating that Periyar's statue be removed and the subsequent vandalism were a barbaric act. I strongly condemn it," he said. "It is my humble view that the issue need not be magnified further as Raja has expressed regret," Rajinikanth, who is all set to launch his political party, said. His comments come in the background of continuing incidents of defacing of statues of various leaders in the country.
On March 6, a statue of Periyar was defiled in Tirupattur in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu after Raja posted a comment on Facebook that the rationalist leader's statue would meet the same fate of Communist leader Lenin's statue in Tripura. However, facing flak from political parties in the state, the BJP leader later deleted the post and blamed his social media administrator for the lapse.
The state unit of BJP has distanced itself from the post, saying it was a personal view. Raja in his deleted post had said: "Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists? Today Lenin's statue removed in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of E V Ramasamy in Tamil Nadu".
Rajinikanth is the latest to condemn the BJP leader. Ruling AIADMK, DMK, MDMK and several other parties had strongly condemned Raja's remarks with most demanding his arrest. Rajinikanth's contemporary and Makkal Neethi Maiam founder, Kamal Haasan had also hit out Raja's comments. Rajinikanth had earlier this week made his first major speech wherein he emphasized that he would provide good administration like late chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran.