Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister and AIADMK leader D Jayakumar has threatened action against superstar Rajnikanth for his controversial remarks on Tamil social reformer Periyar EV Ramasamy. Rajinikanth invited the scorn of several political leaders in Tamil Nadu for alleging that in 1971, Periyar took out a rally in which naked pictures of Lord Ram and Sita were paraded in public and garlanded with slippers.
Reacting to this, Jayakumar said, "Couldn't understand why Rajinikanth wants to speak about something which never happened and divert public attention. AIADMK will not tolerate demeaning of Periyar and will take action against them. He should apologise for his speech against Periyar." However, Jayakumar didn't specify what action his government might take.
Rajinikanth made the controversial speech during the Thuglak magazine's 50th-year anniversary function, where he was referring to a rally conducted by Periyar. He had said that Periyar's action in that 1971 rally was published only by Cho Ramaswamy’s 'Thuglak' magazine.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rajinikanth refused to apologise for his comment. "A controversy has emerged that I said something that did not happen. But I did not say anything that did not occur. I only said what I heard and things that appeared in magazines. Sorry, I will not express regret or apologise," he told reporters outside his Poes Garden residence.
Rajinikanth's Periyar remark immediately sparked controversy and several protests have been carried out since then. A protest was launched a kilometre away from Rajinikanth's residence on Monday by a pro-Tamil group called Thandhai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, where more than 50 members raised slogans against the actor.
Moreover, five members from the Adhi Dravidar Peravai also burnt the effigies of Rajinikanth at Madurai on Monday. Along with this, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party workers on Tuesday also carried out a protest in Chennai against Rajinikanth's statement.