Tamil Nadu

Amit Shah-Tamilisai Soundararajan Video: DMK Should Be The Last To Preach On Treatment Of Women

S Rajesh

Jun 14, 2024, 01:08 PM | Updated 01:15 PM IST

Amit Shah and Tamilisai Soundararajan (foreground); DMK's Sivaji Krishnamurthy and Saidai Sadiq (background)
Amit Shah and Tamilisai Soundararajan (foreground); DMK's Sivaji Krishnamurthy and Saidai Sadiq (background)

After a video clip of Union Home minister Amit Shah looking unhappy and wagging his finger while speaking with former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu state president, Tamilisai Soundararajan went viral, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party members and supporters reacted with posts on social media saying that Shah had insulted a Tamilian, it was not the right way to talk to a woman leader and that he had insulted the Nadar community, which she belongs to.

Some of the posts can be seen here, here and here.

While we do not know what exactly Shah told Soundararajan, it is widely speculated that he reprimanded her for her recent remarks regarding an alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). 

However, what must be remembered is that the DMK and its supporters do not have a good track record when it comes to treating women and thus their criticism of Shah does not come across as sincere and instead reeks of political opportunism.

Starting from the time when former chief minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa was heckled and her saree pulled inside the Tamil Nadu Assembly to recent remarks made by its leaders like Saidai Sadiq and Sivaji Krishnamurthy and the body shaming of Soundararajan by the party’s supporters, the party’s leaders and its supporters have found themselves in the dock multiple times over their conduct vis-à-vis women.

Jayalalithaa felt so strongly about the incident that she famously declared that she would return to the assembly only after she had ousted the DMK from power. She succeeded in doing so and became the chief minister two years later.

Closer to the present day, party leader Saidai Sadiq, called four actresses associated with the BJP — Namitha Vankawala, Gowthami Tadimalla, Gayathri Raghuram and Khushbu Sundar, as ‘items.’ He later apologised for his comments after widespread criticism.

Almost as if following in Sadiq’s footsteps, another party leader, Sivaji Krishnamurthy, in one of his speeches, called Khushbu Sundar an ‘old vessel.’ 

Krishnamurthy was expelled from the party and arrested after these remarks. A complaint was also filed against him by Governor R N Ravi for derogatory remarks about him over his decision to keep the dismissal of Senthil Balaji from the council of ministers on hold.

He made the remarks shortly after returning from suspension for stating that a terrorist should be sent to shoot and kill the governor.

While people thought that adequate action (expulsion and arrest) had been taken by the party and the police, he was soon reinstated after he ostensibly apologised to the party. 

Krishnamurthy however turned out to be a repeat offender and once again made the headlines for the wrong reasons. This time it was for speaking derogatorily about the actor couple — Sarathkumar and Radhika, who had merged their party with the BJP in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In January 2023, two DMK youth wing functionaries, S Praveen Kumar and S Ekambaram were arrested after they allegedly molested a woman police constable who was on duty at a public meeting organised by the party.

Adding to all of this, the attitude of DMK supporters towards Tamilisai Soundararajan before this episode hasn’t been any good — she had very recently come down heavily at the party’s IT wing and said that people body shaming her for her appearance, skin tone and hair should be reined in.

Some of such posts, comments and YouTube thumbnails regarding her persona can be seen in this thread on X (formerly Twitter). 

Therefore, before jumping in on the issue, and virtue signalling against the BJP and Shah, it is the DMK which needs to set its house in order.

S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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