Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam laid the foundation stone for the construction of a memorial of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, on Monday. The memorial will be constructed on the Marina Beach in Chennai and is expected to cost about Rs 50 crores.
As reported by The Pioneer, the ceremony was held in a Vedic manner, under the watch of two Brahmin priests. The Vedic rituals included recitation of Vedic hymns and chanting Nadaswaram music. A Yagna too was performed at the occasion.
Such Vedic rituals though earned the ire of the opposition DMK which as per a News Minute report has called it a violation of the state’s “secular credentials”. As per DMK spokesperson A Saravanan, conducting such a religious ceremony in a government function was not acceptable. After calling the act a violation of the “secular fabric” of the country, he claimed that there was no place for religious symbols in a state property.
Besides this, the Pioneer report quoted Saravanan as claiming that the religious ceremony including Yagna was, “AIADMK’s was of paying obeisance to the BJP, their masters”.
Besides attacking the religious ceremony, the DMK has also came down on the memorial itself by calling it a violation of democratic norms. As per DMK’s working president MK Stalin, Jayalalithaa was the prime accused in the disproportionate assets case, and hence constructing a memorial for her was equivalent to erecting a memorial for someone jailed for corruption charges.
The chief of PMK – S. Ramadoss too jumped into the controversy and called memorial’s construction as “crowning corruption, owing to Jayalalithaa sullying Tamil Nadu’s image as a corrupt state”.
Objections have also been raised by the opposition over the AIADMK supposedly furnishing the memorial’s cost from the taxpayer’s money, and not using their party fund for the same.