Thursday 22nd February 2024,
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Hindu ‘thief’ remark returns to haunt M Karunanidhi

Hindu ‘thief’ remark returns to haunt M Karunanidhi

CHENNAI: Nearly 11 years ago, DMK president M Karunanidhi reportedly made a controversial statement that the term ‘Hindu’ meant ‘thief’. A criminal case filed against him for hurting the sentiments of Hindus by making the statement has now returned to haunt him. On Friday, Justice N Kirubakaran of the Madras high court issued a notice on a petition seeking registration of a case and fair investigation into the matter.

It all started on October 24, 2002 when newspapers carried Karunanidhi’s statement that the term ‘Hindu’ meant ‘thief’. When criticism poured in, Karunanidhi reiterated his interpretation a few days later and quoted Hindi Vishwa Kosh to justify his statement.

Describing it as Hindu-bashing which hurt the sentiments of people, a criminal complaint was lodged by B R Gouthaman with the city police, stating that these statements had created unrest in society.

When the Mambalam police did not register a first information report, he filed a petition in the high court. On November 17, 2005, the high court asked police to register a case if a prima facie case is made out. Accordingly, police registered an FIR on January 6, 2006.

As there was no progress in the probe till 2011, when the DMK was in power, Gouthaman’s counsel G Karthikeyan approached the HC again. “Mr Karunanidhi has made it a habit to pass irreverent comments on Hinduism, its practices and beliefs,” he said. “He being a reputed political leader, many of his followers and people from different organisations are delivering speeches, taking a cue from him, which offend the sentiments of Hindus,” he said.

Karthikeyan further submitted that whenever he contacted police to know the status of the FIR, he was given a bland reply that investigation was still in progress.

When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, Tamil Nadu public prosecutor Shanmugavelayudham informed the court that he would file a report on the matter before the court. Justice Kirubakaran then adjourned the matter to April 23 for further hearing.


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