Chennai: Actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Khushbu Sundar countered Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi MP Thol Thirumavalavan, over the raging controversy in Tamil Nadu over ancient tech Manusmriti. Khushbu quoted lines from the Manusmriti, which she said meant that men should protect women, as either, father brother or friend.
She questioned why the VCK leader did not see these lines in the scripture and selectively picked only two lines. Saying that India is run based on the Constitution framed by Dr Ambedkar, which offers much for the progress of women, the actor raised questions on why the VCK leader had to look at a script that was 3000 years old.
“What is he trying to prove? Has he read it (Manusmriti)? There are many things stated in Manusmriti. Are they (VCK and their allies) denying the existence of God? Will they stop visiting all places of worship or are they only against Hinduism. We are demanding that he issues an apology. He has insulted and demeaned women,” she told while speaking to the media.
On her way to Chidambaram district, to protest against the comments made by the VCK leader, Khushbu was arrested on Tuesday morning as she exited boundaries of Chennai and entered the adjoining district. “When your journey is cut short by force, you know you are on right track. I question AIADMK and CM of TamilNadu EPS, why we are denied of our democratic right for a peaceful protest when other parties are given permission to do the same? Why this partiality?” she tweeted.
“Or is AIADMK govt aware that VCK is capable of riots and goondaism and they fear the same?” she questioned on Twitter, shortly after being kept under arrest at a private property.
This controversy erupted after a video clip of Thol. Thirumavalavan quoting Manusmriti and saying “all women are prostitutes as per Hindu Dharma, Manu Dharma”, went viral. He had made these comments during a webinar that was conducted by a Periyarist group in late September. This has caused a furore, with several Tamil Nadu BJP functionaries and others questioning Thirumavalavan and pointing out earlier instances when he and his party members had made such distasteful and derogatory comments.
“What does Sanatana Dharma tell about women? All women are prostitutes as per Hindu Dharma, Manu Dharma. They consider women as lesser births and inferior to men and that they are created that way by God. This applies to Brahmin women and other caste women” the MP is seen telling in a mix of English and Tamil.
Last week, Tamil Nadu BJP’s IT Convenor CTR Nirmal Kumar had shared this clip stating how the VCK leader was a habitual offender when it came to hurting Hindu sentiments. In one clip Thirumavalavan is seen describing Hindu temples as ones with ugly and horrible looking dolls. In another, he is heard saying that undressing and acting was the occupation of actresses and they perceive it as art. Such video of the MP’s remarks were widely being shared and commented upon.
Reacting to the backlash, Thirumavalavan had released a video on Twitter stating that he was only speaking about how Manudharma was the reason for women being subject to violence.
“Ambedkar had said that we will burn the Manudharma that insults women and Periyar had also burnt it. Manu dharma has enslaved women and I spoke about it in the virtual event” he says. He accuses his critics and opponents of spreading false propaganda, stating that he was fighting for women upliftment. “Sanatana gang is after me, they want to cause fear in the DMK alliance and there is no need to fear this,” he said in the video.
On Saturday, VCK leaders held protests calling for the ban of Manu Dharma, saying that it was against women’s independence and progress.