Updated March 9th, 2024 at 16:38 IST

Madras HC Revises ‘Caste System’ Comment in Judgment on Udhayanidhi Stalin's Sanatana Dharma Remark

The High Court revised its stance on Stalin's remarks. Previously, it had said,” The origins of the caste system as we know it today are less than a century old

Reported by: Digital Desk
Madras High Court revised its stance on Udhayanidhi Stalin's comments on Sanatana Dharma | Image:PTI/X
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Chennai: The Madras High Court has made revisions to its earlier judgement regarding a plea to remove State Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin from his office over his comments on Sanatana Dharma. A single-judge bench order on March 6 contained contentious remarks on the origins of the caste system.

The judgement stated, "However, the origins of the caste system as we know it today are less than a century old." However, an updated version of the judgement, uploaded after March 6, replaced this line with, "However, the categorization of castes as we know them today, is a far more recent and modern phenomenon." Additionally, the earlier version of the judgement mentioned Tamil Nadu having 370 registered castes, while the latest version indicates 184 registered castes in the state.

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Jr Stalin's Sanatana Remark That Sparked Row 

The Court's judgement was after a petition was filed against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, State minister PK Sekarbabu, and Member of Parliament (MP) A Raja by the Hindu Munnani. This petition arose following controversial statements made by Stalin regarding Sanatana Dharma last year. Stalin made those comments during a conference organised by the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Artists Association in Chennai on September 2. He said, “Just like dengue, mosquitoes, malaria, or coronavirus need to be eradicated, we have to eradicate Sanatana.”

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‘Categorization of Castes’ From 'Origins of Caste System'

While the High Court refrained from ordering Stalin's removal from office, Justice Anita Sumanth deemed his comments on Sanatana Dharma as ‘divisive’ and against Constitutional principles, stating they "should not have been made." She also added about the responsibility of those holding constitutional positions to adhere to the principle of constitutionalism and warned against spreading misinformation about Sanatana Dharma. In her judgement, Justice Sumanth acknowledged the continuing inequities based on caste. Initially, she mentioned that the caste system, as known today, was less than a century old. However, this statement was revised in the updated version of the judgement to highlight that the "categorization of castes, as we know it today, is a far more recent and modern phenomenon."

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Published March 9th, 2024 at 16:15 IST