Why Ram Yatra faces protests in TN alone?

By NT Bureau Published on Mar 21, 2018 03:18 PM IST


Chennai: A VHP-backed yatra aimed at mobilising support for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, crossed five States, including the communally sensitive Kerala and Karnataka, without any incident.

But it faced huge protests in Tamilnadu alone. When it entered the State on Tuesday, DMK, pro-Tamil and some Muslim outfits staged widespread agitations, claiming that it would disturb communal amity.

In fact, the Yatra and its organisers were calm, but it was only these protesters who caused unrest across the State. Alleging Hindu organisations of 'divisive politics', these so-called 'pro-Tamil' organisations are dividing people in the name of language and religion, so to say.

"The Yatra would have passed off without much publicity. But these agitators made it grab headlines, which, in a sense, is good. True colours of these people are clear now," said Seshan, an observer.

Showering petals, hundreds of devotees and cadres of Hindu outfits welcomed the Ram Rajya Rath Yatra as it entered Shencottah in Tirunelveli District from neighbouring Kerala.

Some activists, including those from the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), threatened to block the yatra, which left Ayodhya on 13 February.

Police said they arrested over 300 people, including Thirumavalavan of VCK and Jawahirullah of MMK, for violating ban orders and proceeding to block the yatra.

Chief Minister K Palniswami defended the AIADMK government's decision to allow the yatra in the State saying all religions have equal rights and accused the opposition of trying to give political colour.

DMK raised the issue in the State Assembly stalling proceedings before its members led by Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin were evicted en masse as they kept protesting even after the Chief Minister's reply.

Stalin then sat on a protest along with party MLAs near the Assembly, but police removed and briefly detained them in a marriage hall before releasing all.

After covering districts including Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari and entering Rameswaram on 22 March, the yatra, being organised by Shri Ramdasa Mission Universal Society, will reach Tiruvananthapuram a day later, he said.