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DMK MP TR Baalu Refers To Swami Vivekananda By His Previous Name, 'Narendranath Dutta': Rhetoric Or Dravidian 'Rationalism' ?

Swarajya Staff

Aug 08, 2023, 06:02 PM | Updated 06:02 PM IST

Swami Vivekananda (L), TR Baalu (R)
Swami Vivekananda (L), TR Baalu (R)

While speaking in Parliament today (8 August) on the no-confidence motion brought by the opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, senior Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader TR Baalu referred to Swami Vivekananda by his previous name 'Narendranath Dutta'.

He quoted parts of a speech by Swami Vivekananda, saying he's quoting 'Narendra Dutta': “Sectarianism, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair."

"I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth."

He then said that under Narendra Modi's Hindutva although, religious tolerance has no place, and his agenda like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Uniform Civil Code (UCC) were to drive away minorities.

While one of the reasons for doing so could be that he wanted to contrast 'Narendranath Dutta' with 'Narendra Modi' as both have 'Narendra' as their first names, the other reason could be Dravidian politics and its belief in 'rationalism.'

Baalu's comment has also drawn comparisons to how some politicians from the Opposition have referred to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by his previous name, i.e., 'Ajay Bisht'.

During his speech, Baalu said that issues like the non-completion of the Madurai AIIMS, the violence in Manipur and the Prime Minister not addressing the Parliament are some of the reasons for which his party was supporting the no-confidence motion.

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