Chennai: The Tamil Nadu unit of BJP has come out strongly against a remark by national award-winning Tamil filmmaker Vetrimaaran that ‘Raja Raja Cholan was not a Hindu’.
Speaking on the sidlines of an event, Vetrimaaran recently said, “Continuously, our symbols are being snatched from us. Saffronising Valluvar or calling Raja Raja Cholan a Hindu king is constantly occurring.”
Vetrimaaran’s comments came days after the release of Mani Ratnam’s much-awaited film, ‘Ponniyin Selvan: 1’, which is based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s fictional novel inspired by Raja Raja Cholan.
BJP leader and former Karaikudi MLA, H. Raja, said that Raja Raja Cholan was a Hindu king and had preferred to be known as ‘Sivapadha Sekharan’.
Raja said, “I am not as well versed in history as Vetrimaaran is, but please point out one church or two mosques built by Raja Raja Chola. He himself preferred to be known as Sivapadha Sekharan.”
The director also said that since cinema is a common medium, it is important to understand politics to protect one’s representation.
Meanwhile, VCK MP Thol Tirumavalavan and Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan have came out in support of Vetrimaaran.
Kamal Haasan, who’s also the President of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), said in a statement, “There was no name called Hindu religion during Raja Raja Cholan’s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam, and Samanam and it was the Britishers who coined the term Hindu.”
He said there were several religions during the eighth century period.
Thirumavalavan said, “Raja Raja Cholan cannot be considered a Hindu king as there was no Hinduism during that period.”
He said that during the period of Raja Raja Cholan, Saivam and Vainavam were different and the two openly fought against each other.
Thirumavalavan said, “Even the Lingayats of the present day are coming out and saying that they are not Hindus. Where was the Hindu religion during those days?”
He added that just because Raja Raja Cholan built the Brihadeeswar temple in Thanjavur, it is not fair to impose modern-day identities on him.