262 eminent persons including former judges, bureaucrats and armed forces officers have sent a letter to Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asking him to take cognisance of Udhayanidhi Stalin's comments calling for the eradication of Sanatana Dharma.
They stated that the comments had caused much anguish in the past few days to common citizens especially those who follow Sanatana Dharma.
The letter stated that what Udhayanidhi had spoken constituted hate speech and he had not apologised for the same.
Citing the Supreme Court's directions in Shaheen Abdulla v. Union of India and Ors and Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India Writ Petition (Civil) No. 943/2021] in which the Court stated that the state should launch suo moto action against hate speech instead of waiting for a complaint and a failure to comply with the directions would amount to contempt of court, they stated that that the Tamil Nadu government had not taken action against Udhayanidhi, who is the son of Chief Minister MK Stalin and a minister in the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government.
Regarding Sanatana Dharma, the letter states, "Your lordship is aware of the importance of ‘Santana Dharma’ and the same cannot be understated. It is a set of duties incumbent upon all Hindus and has often been defined as an “eternal” that will always be relevant and gives the people of the Hindu faith, the freedom to choose mode of worship of the Almighty of their choice."
On Udhayanidhi's refusal to apologise and his subsequent remarks, the letter stated, "Not only did he make a hate speech but Udhayanidhi Stalin refused to apologize for his remarks. Rather he justified himself by stating: “I will say this continuously” with reference to his remark that Santana Dharma should be eradicated. He reiterated that he stands by his remarks and offered ambiguities and nuances that did little to address the concerns raised by people."
Urging the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of contempt, they wrote, "Therefore, 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, and take decisive steps to prevent the inducement of hate speech, preserving public order and peace and we request you to take immediate appropriate actions.
"We sincerely hope for the thoughtful consideration of our plea and implore immediate measures to ensure justice and rule of law to prevail."
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