Rajnath Singh reportedly cancels visit to university amid row over Vairamuthu getting honorary degree
A controversy erupted on Thursday over a private university's decision to confer an honorary doctorate on noted Tamil poet, novelist and lyricist Vairamuthu at a convocation ceremony on Saturday which is scheduled to be attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Two Hindu outfits opposed the move and announced black flag protests outside the University at suburban Kattankulathur.
Indu Makkal Katchi and the Hindu Munnadi announced the protest, with the latter saying it will stage the demo against Singh also.
The Hindu Munnani alleged Vairamuthu earlier made some controversial remarks about female Vaishnavite saint Andal, following which protests had erupted against the national award-winning lyricist.
Police complaints were also filed against him, it said.
Indu Makkal Katchi said its founder Arjun Sampath "condemns" the event, "and announces black flag protest in front of the venue on the day".
He alleged Vairamuthu had to face sexual harassment charges in the past. Vairamuthu had denied the allegations against him.
He had also denied making objectionable remarks against Andal, even as he had expressed regret.
In October last year, multiple women accused the lyricist of inappropriate behaviour. Twitterati also reacted to the news adding that Singh had reportedly refused to attend the ceremony owing to the negative sentiments that the stance may garner in Tamil Nadu. Singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who has vocally condemned Vairamuthu's behaviour in the past, posted on social media that Singh was supposed to head a committee, set up by the present government, which would look into sexual harassment complaints.
Some even claim that the lyricist may not even receive the honour and that the university is planning on bringing in new guests for the convocation ceremony.
Check out the tweets
Honouring the sentiments of Tamils & Tamil Nadu, we are hearing that the Hon. Defence Minister @rajnathsingh Ji has cancelled his visit to confer Doctorate to #Vairamuthu ! Thank you Defence Minister & #BJP for honouring the sentiments of Tamil people & BJP cadre. #TrustBJP ✌️✌️
— SG Suryah (@SuryahSG) December 26, 2019
The past year, Mr Vairamuthu has gotten honours and accolades from other countries as well. Last year, in the wake of #MeToo 2nd wave, this Government promised a high level committee to look into all the sexual harassment complaints. Mr. Rajnath Singh was supposed to HEAD IT!! — Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) December 26, 2019
#Breaking SRM's event of conferring Vairamuthu with hon doctorate stands cancelled as union minister Rajnath Singh refused to take part in it. Convocation will happen on the announced date but with new guests.@thenewsminute @dhanyarajendran @anna_isaac @manasarao
— Megha Kaveri (@meghakaveri) December 27, 2019
Clarification: The convocation, in which the doctorate was to be conferred will happen, but with new guests. Vairamuthu and Union defence minister Rajnath Singh will not be attending the convocation. — Megha Kaveri (@meghakaveri) December 27, 2019
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2019 11:35:34 IST