Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP and party secretary RS Bharathi filed a complaint with the Chennai Police Commisioner against Maridhas, a popular YouTuber from Madurai on Monday, August 26. Maridhas had uploaded a video titled "Should the DMK be banned?" on August 18, in which he can be seen questioning the party's position on Article 370. He was quoted saying "DMK's stand on Article 370 is in support of terrorist organizations such as Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba" The DMK is demanding a probe into this statement, and calling the content "offensive", the party is pushing for the video to be taken down from all social media platforms.
திராவிட முன்னேற்றக் கழகம் குறித்து அவதூறு பரப்பும் வகையில் வீடியோ வெளியிட்ட மாரிதாஸ் மீது 505(2) of IPC and I.T. Act உள்ளிட்ட பிரிவுகளில் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கக்கோரி, கழக அமைப்பு செயலாளர் திரு.@RSBharathiDMK MP சென்னை காவல் ஆணையரிடம் அளித்துள்ள புகார் விவரம்:https://t.co/nnOI2XGjE4 pic.twitter.com/pdBKF4Ss75— DMK (@arivalayam) August 26, 2019
RS Bharathi, tweeting about the complaint from the party's official handle, stated that due to the nature of the comments made by Maridhas, actions must be taken under Sections 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and other relevant provisions such as Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
In his video which has now clocked over 87,000 views (as of August 29), Maridhas substantiates his claim about DMK supporting terrorist outfits by suggesting that the party "commuted the sentence of convicts" who are known terrorists. He also posed a question to the viewers about the party's alleged ties to Pakistan and hinted that DMK has an "understanding" with terrorist organizations.
Following the aftermath of the incident, Twitter was buzzing with users tweeting their support for Maridhas, so much that #ISupportMaridhas was trending. In equal measure however, DMK supporters took to Twitter to express their displeasure and trended their own catchphrase #MentalMaridhas.
A YouTuber and activist based in Madurai touted to be pro-BJP by many after he authored a book titled 'Why I support Modi', started a YouTube channel in 2018 to counter the Opposition's campaigns against the Centre. His channel's 'About' section reads that he started this channel with an intention to protect students from politicians with a "separist" agenda or stoke their emotions for political gain". Having taken on the DMK and its ideologies in several videos before, the party finally reacted by filing a complaint against him on Monday, leading to a furor online with people expressing solidarity with Maridhas on one side, and some applauding the party's actions.