Electronic Media and Hindu Sentiments – 2
by Thamizhchelvan on 27 Oct 2009 16 Comments

Even rationalists couldn’t disown Mangalsutra
In the last seventy years, the Dravidian racist organizations and political parties have been trying their level best to alienate Tamils from the Hindu fold, by propagating that ‘Tamil culture’ is totally different from ‘Hindu culture’ and all that jazz.

This kind of campaigning increased manifold since 1967 with the help of official machinery after the State came under the rule of Dravidian parties. The so-called self-respect marriage was the first step taken by Dravidian racists towards this objective. Its aim was to denigrate Hindu tradition. It is a different matter that self-respect marriages have been a great failure. 

The self-respect marriages happening now are sans purohits, Agni and Vedic Mantras, but not without Mangalsutra. Dravidian leaders who claim to be products of EV Ramasamy’s and Annadurai’s schools of Dravidian thought, have been brazenly presiding over self-respect marriages, blessing couples by personally handing over Mangalsutras to them. A recent example was the conduct of 84 marriages on the 84th birthday of Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi, wherein he blessed 84 couples by gifting Mangalsutras. 

Silent Tamil parties and effete Hindu organisations

Though the ‘Thaali’ has become an integral part of the life of Tamil people, it was quite evident that the agenda of Mercury Creations was to poison the minds of the Tamil people and create a sense of hatred against the habit of wearing Mangalsutra. It is very sad that this programme, which insulted a great culture and ridiculed a divine tradition, has not stirred any protests so far. 

It may be recalled that “Tamil” political parties made actor Kushboo’s life miserable for stating in an interview to “India Today” that there was nothing wrong in premarital sex, by demonstrating in front of her house with footwear and broomsticks and filing a flurry of cases in all courts across the state, forcing her to render a public apology. They said Kushboo had insulted Tamil women and demeaned Tamil culture.

But by remaining silent now, they have indicated unwillingness to protest against Christian companies. Thus, those who showed bravery against a hapless woman for conveying an opinion do not have the courage to act against a rich and powerful media house. Another fact we can infer from their silence is that these ‘Tamil’ parties have not come out against Vijay TV because they also run their own newspapers/magazines and TV Channels on the common plank of anti-Hinduism. 

But why haven’t Hindu organizations protested? Was it because of incapacity, disunity, lack of cadre strength? Even the women’s wing of the BJP has not bothered to take note. They could have at least issued a press statement. There is a fear among the Hindu intelligentsia in Tamil Nadu that what the propaganda of Dravidian parties failed to achieve – to alienate Tamils from the Hindu fold – may well be achieved by the weakness of Hindu organizations! Hindu bodies must realize this and pull up their socks. As news about this outrageous programme has spread across the state, Hindus expect these organizations to launch statewide protests and force Vijay TV and Mercury Creations to render a public apology, failing which these organizations must take the legal course.     

Individuals rose to the occasion 

Though political parties and other organizations kept quiet, concerned individuals registered their protests in no uncertain terms. They contacted Mr. Sriram, CEO of Vijay TV and Mr. Antony, CEO of Mercury Creations, over telephone and protested against the telecast of the concerned programme and demanded a public apology. Sriram attended a call or two but later instructed his Secretary to avoid the phone calls. But he could not dodge the persistent Radha Rajan (Editor,
www.vigilonline.com) to whom he said, “We just telecast the programme and we are in no way connected with the production. I will ask the producers to speak to you.” But Ms. Rajan gave him a piece of her mind and asked if he would telecast any kind of filth if it comes with money, without any social responsibility. 

Antony contacted Radha Rajan and asked her audaciously, “So many movies have come showing scenes of removing the Mangalsutra. Did you question those producers or protest against them? Why are you protesting now?” When Radha Rajan blasted him for his arrogance, he tried to mislead her saying, “I belong to the ‘Thevar’ community and Pon Muthuramalinga Thevar is like a God for me”. But when she pointed out that he could not hide the fact that he was a ‘Thevar Christian,’ he replied, “We have just aired the opinion of the participants,” and without showing any remorse disconnected the phone. 

Two other Hindu activists, Mrs. Uma Ananth and Mr. Venkat, also called Sriram and Antony and demanded a public apology. Parameswaran of Hindu Munnani strongly condemned the telecast of such an outrageous programme and demanded a public apology from both. Gautham from Kanyakumari called up Antony and blasted him for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. He asked him if he had the courage to produce programmes demeaning a minority community’s culture. Antony reportedly told Gautham, “It was not a deliberate act. We have just aired the opinions of the participants. Moreover, I am a devotee of Vaikundanathar and so I would not hurt the Hindus”. Antony, apart from ‘acting’ as a devotee of Muthuramalinga Thevar and Vaikundanathar, showed no remorse to those who spoke to him.  

However, realising that the protests were increasing, Antony approached Sri Ramagopalan ji, Founder President of Hindu Munnani. He refrained from discussing this issue with Sri Ramagopalan ji but invited him to be chief guest for a future programme on ‘Siddhars’. As Ramagopalan ji was unaware of the issue he consented to this request. As Antony was leaving the Hindu Munnani office, he got a mouthful from Parameswaran who reached there by chance and later informed Ramagopalan ji about the issue. 

Columnist BR Haran, who learnt of Antony’s visit to the Hindu Munnani, urged Sri Ramagopalan ji to take up the cultural atrocity with Vijay TV and ensure their apology via ‘scroll’ on the screen the whole of Sunday 18 October. He suggested Ramagopalan ji organize a protest demonstration in front of Vijay TV office, and urged Sri Vedantam ji, International Vice President VHP, to support the protest.    

Shri Ramagopalan ji called Sriram and asked him to render a public apology for telecasting the said programme which had hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindu majority. Sriram had the temerity to tell Ramagopalan ji that he had sent a report to his Head Office at Honh Kong and could act only as per their advice. The same reply was given to Uma Ananth when she demanded an apology. 

When the television company and production company are Christian institutions working with an anti-Hindu agenda, what can employees like Sriram do? Still it is sad that Hindus work in such companies at the cost of their dignity and self-respect, without being able to do anything when their own culture and religion are degraded in front of their eyes. 

Meanwhile, Chennai based advocate R Subramaniam sent a legal notice to Vijay TV-CEO Mr. Sriram (Respondent-1), Mercury Creations-CEO Mr. Antony (Respondent-2) and Vijay TV Anchor Gopinath (Respondent-3) with copies to the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu and Commissioner of Police, Chennai City. He condemned the first three respondents and demanded a public apology before telecasting the next episode of the programme, failing which he requested both the DGP and CoP to take immediate action against them. 

The offence committed by Vijay TV and Mercury Creations is violative of Sections 153(a), 153(b) and 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code and they deserve punishment in accordance with those sections. 



(To be continued…)
The writer is a freelancer

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