New Delhi, Sep 5: A group of 262 eminent citizens, including former high court judges and bureaucrats and war veterans have penned a letter to the Chief Justice of India requesting him to take suo moto cognizance of the alleged hate speech made by Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is the son of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, over his remarks on 'Sanatan Dharma'.
The letter stated that Stalin Jr.'s comments amount to hate speech against a large population of India and strikes at the very core of the Constitution of India which envisages Bharat as a secular nation.
It said that the state government refused to take any action against Udhayanidhi Stalin and rather chose to justify his remarks. It stated that the action of the TN government ran in the face of the judgment of the Supreme Court which had directed that state governments should take suo moto action against any hate speech crime without waiting for any complaint.
“Since the State Government has refused to take action and acted in contempt of the Court’s orders and gravely undermined or rather made a mockery of the rule of law, we urge the Hon’ble Supreme Court to take the suo moto notice of contempt, ensuring accountability for the inaction of the State Government of Tamil Nadu,” the letter stated.
Notably, the Supreme Court in the case of Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors., observed that there cannot be fraternity unless different religious communities are amenable to live in harmony.
The top court had expressed concern over the growing incidents of hate speeches in the country and had directed the governments and police authorities to take suo motu action in such cases without waiting for the lodging of formal complaints.
It had said that any delay on the part of the administration in taking action on ‘very serious issues’ will invite the court’s contempt as action is needed in order to preserve the secular character of the country. Udhayanidhi Stalin, had spoken at a function of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers on eradication of Sanatan Dharma, saying that it was against social justice. He had also said that Sanatan Dharma must be eradicated like mosquitoes, dengue, malaria or corona.
The Tamil Nadu's minister for sports and youth affairs had said, “It (Sanatan Dharma) has to be eradicated, rather than opposing it.”
Later, he refused to apologise for his remarks and justified himself by stating: “I will say this continuously.”