Hours after Tamil Nadu BJP leader H Raja threatened on social media that statues of Dravidian icon and social reformer EVR Ramasamy (called Periyar meaning ‘Elder’) too would be pulled down, after a statue of Russian communist revolutionary Vadmir Lenin was brought down in Tripura, two men vandalised a Periyar statue at a municipal corporation office in Vellore.
Media reports say that the statue of Periyar, located inside the Tirupattur corporation office, was targeted around 9 pm. The glasses and nose of the statue were damaged.
Police said that the two men (both friends), Muthuraman and Francis, involved in the act were drunk. The statue was reportedly in front a government building. While Muthuraman is a member of the BJP, Francis was a member of the CPI. A NewsMinute report, however, says that earlier police officials told Tamil media that Francis was a member of Naam Tamilar party.
Today morning, two statues of Lenin were found demolished, allegedly by workers of the BJP, following the end of the 25-year-long rule of the Left in the northeastern state.
BJP national secretary H Raja in a Facebook post this morning made shocking statements: “Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection has India with Communists? Lenin’s statue has been removed in Tripura. Today it is Lenin’s statue in Tripura, tomorrow it will be the statue of caste fanatic EVR Ramasamy”.
The BJP leader, however, deleted the Facebook post after facing a huge backlash from Opposition parties in the state and said his page was maintained by various administrators from his team. DMK working president MK Stalin demanded the arrest of Mr Raja for his post and said that the Goondas Act be slapped against him.
Vice President of BJP Youth wing in the state SG Suryah in what appears to be an indirect reference to the act of vandalism against the Periyar statue in Vellore, tweeted around 11:30 pm today: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction; sometimes instant, sometimes later. Good Night all.”
He had earlier ‘celebrated’ the act of vandalism against Lenin’s statues in Tripura.
Suryah had said, “BJP successfully completed the fall of Lenin in #Tripura! Can’t wait for the fall of EV Ramasamy statues in Tamil Nadu.”
Meanwhile, Party’s state unit President Tamilisai Soundararajan said comments made by Raja were not that of the party.
“This is not an official view. I can make a comment if it was a view of my party. I consider it as his personal view,” she told reporters in Tirunelveli.
Ramasamy is a Dravidian icon in Tamil Nadu who heralded the self-respect movement.
A staunch atheist, he had often questioned then prevailing social and religious customs, drawing the ire of a section of the society.
He had founded the Dravidar Kazhagam, the parent organisation of DMK, floated by late chief minister CN Annadurai and taken forward by its incumbent chief M Karunanidhi.