The DMK and opposition alliance INDIA are against Hindus and ‘Sanatan Dharma’, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today, launching a scathing attack on the politics over provocative comments by DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, who has blamed Sanatan Dharma for promoting division and discrimination among people and said it should be eradicated. Targetting the Congress directly, Ms Sitharaman claimed the grand old party supports groups that want to “break India”. The minister’s party colleagues have also recently singled out the Congress, specifically its top leader Sonia Gandhi, even though the party had promptly distanced itself from the DMK leader’s remarks.
“The minister openly said it’s a protest not against Sanatana Dharma, but to eradicate Sanatana Dharma,” Ms Sitharaman asserted, and claimed no constituent of the INDIA bloc has condemned the remarks.
Speaking to NDTV, the minister alleged that “anti-Sanatana is the pronounced policy of the DMK”, adding that she has personally witnessed it.
“The people in Tamil Nadu suffered. The rest of the country did not understand it because of a language barrier. It has always been like that. Now because of social media, you don’t even need a translator to know what a minister is saying. It is not surprising. DMK has been doing it for 70 years. It’s hypocrisy,” she said.
Calling Udhayanidhi Stalin’s remarks a “mockery of the constitution”, she alleged he has knowingly made the controversial comments despite knowing that it will violate his oath to public office.
“Sanatana (Dharma) ought to be eradicated like malaria, dengue, and mosquito and not opposed,” Udhayanidhi Stalin had said, triggering a huge backlash from the BJP and its allies.
DMK leader A Raja had also reportedly said ‘Sanatan Dharma’ should be compared to diseases such as AIDS and leprosy that have a social stigma attached to them.
The Congress has said it does not agree with the remarks of Udhayanidhi Stalin and A Raja, and asserted the party believed in “sarvadharma sambhav” (equal respect to all religions).
On the Delhi Declaration
The G20, which is essentially a financial forum, has taken a collective action on issues like crypto assets, global debt, and the need for reform in the Bretton Woods Institutions — the International Monetary Forum and the World Bank — Nirmala Sitharaman said in an exclusive interview with NDTV.
India managed to have a consensus on all the issues, she said, adding that she is “very satisfied” with the Delhi Declaration.
The finance track has substantial contribution to make in the G20, the minister said, and India’s presidency, in a well-thought-out fashion, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said multilateral institutions require reform, Ms Sitharaman said.
On issues like regulating crypto assets, the minister said it’s no good if countries make “isolatory attempts”.
“We require collective action, and needed pithy discussions,” she said.
Calling PM Modi as the voice of the global south in the forum, Ms Sitharaman said middle income countries are suffering debt, and we can’t have institutions like World Bank and IMF but the issue not addressed.