Karti Chidambaram (Express Photo)
A day after Rajinikanth refused to apologise for his remarks on a Periyar's 1971 rally, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram on Wednesday said the Tamil actor's comments are "patently unfair" and that he should talk about current issues like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Jammu and Kashmir and JNU protests if he is keen on entering politics.
Stating that social reformer Periyar's contribution to Tamil Nadu is "humongous," Karti tweeted: "Is a debate on Periyar the most relevant topic today for @rajinikanth? Every historical leader will have many contradictions/controversies be it Gandhi/Churchill etc. a holistic view is needed."
In another tweet, Karti said, "To judge a historical change maker by a few incidents or utterances is patently unfair. Periyar’s contribution to Tamil Nadu is humongous. @rajinikanth if so keen to enter into a public debate must start with his views on current issues. #CAAProtest #JNUattack #Kashmir etc."
The controversy erupted after Rajinikanth claimed that Periyar had taken out a rally in 1971 at Salem in which “effigies of Ram and Sita were paraded without clothes and garlanded with footwear.” He was talking at the 50th anniversary-cum-readers’ connect event of Tamil magazine Thuglak.
After the furore, Rajinikanth refused to apologise. "This is something I have read… I cannot apologise for this. Sorry," he said, showing photostat copy of a magazine page. The Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK) party filed six police complaints against the actor accusing him of defamation. The party also asked him to show proof of his claims or apologise.
DMK chief also appealed his "friend" Rajinikanth to "think and speak" about Periyar. "My friend Rajinikanth is not a politician, he is an actor. Please think and speak about Periyar. I appeal to you,” Stalin said adding that Periyar had lived for 95 years, working for Tamilians.