Madras High Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed against Actor Rajnikanth on his remark against EV Ramasamy Periyar. Dismissing the case, the court asked the petitioners why the matter wasn’t taken to magistrate court first.
Justice P Rajamanickam was hearing the petition by Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, a fringe outfit. State Public Prosecutor A Natarajan submitted that the petitioners had approached the court without seeking the alternative remedy available to them. The judge asked the counsel for the petitioners if they would withdraw the petition.
After the counsels admitted they would do so, the judge recorded the same and dismissed the plea.
Rajnikanth had refused to apologize for a remark he made on Periyar. He said, “I did not make up what I said, there are even published stories in media on it. I can show them. I will not apologize.”
Rajinikanth had said on the 14th of January, “In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which undressed images of Lord Sri Ramachandramoorthy and Sita -with a garland of sandal-featured and no news outlet published it.” “Cho strongly condemned the event by Periyar immediately and Thuglak was the only magazine to do so. This brought a bad name to the ruling DMK who did not want the magazine to be circulated. The issue was seized by the government but Cho reprinted it and the magazine was sold in black. What was sold for Rs 10, was then sold for Rs 50 and Rs 60. Dr. Kalaingar had (inadvertently) promoted the magazine in that way and in the next issue Cho had thanked him as its publicity manager…” the Tamil megastar had added.
Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK) Chief Kolathur Mani had accused the actor of uttering a blatant lie and demanded his unconditional apology and also filed police complaints seeking action against him. The DVK sought action against Rajinikanth under IPC Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief). “If the government does not take action, we may be constrained to look into aspects including launching a campaign against Rajinikanth, his films, or we could hold protests in front of movie halls that screen his movies,” Mani had said.
One of the stories on the event was published by The Outlook on the 20th of November, 2017 in a report with the headline “The Tamil Gag Raj”. The report spoke of the legacy of assaults on freedom of expression and the press by the state government. The report said, “The first stone was thrown by the DMK and its leader Karunanidhi in February 1971 when Thuglak, edited by Cho Ramaswamy, came under fire for publishing photographs of a Dravidar Kazhagam’s procession in Salem that had depicted Hindu gods Rama and Sita in the nude with a garland of slippers around their neck.”