Statue vandalism leads to war of ideologies; BJP leaders call for 'swift, stern' action, Opposition cries foul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly disapproved incidents of vandalism of statues that have been reported in various parts of the country

FP Staff March 07, 2018 17:24:29 IST
Statue vandalism leads to war of ideologies; BJP leaders call for 'swift, stern' action, Opposition cries foul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday "strongly disapproved" incidents of vandalism of statues that have been reported from various parts of the country, and spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh about dealing with the perpetrators.

A statue of Vladimir Lenin was toppled in Tripura's Belonia town on Monday, following which a statue of Dravidian activist Periyar was vandalised on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a BJP office in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore was attacked and Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee's bust was vandalised in Kolkata's Kalighat.

Here's how various political parties and leaders have reacted to the incidents of vandalism:

H Raja, BJP national secretary

Tuesday's incident came hours after BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, H Raja, said that EV Ramasamy, commonly known as 'Periyar', would meet a fate similar to Lenin. Raja slammed Periyar in a post he put up on Facebook, which was later deleted. "Who is Lenin? What is his connection with India? What is the connection between Communism and India? Lenin's statue was broken down in Tripura. Today, it is Lenin's statue in Tripura. Tomorrow, it will be the caste zealot EV Ramasamy's (Periyar) statue in Tamil Nadu," he had written.

On Wednesday, Raja said the Facebook post was not written by him, but by an another administrator.

D Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu minister

Jayakumar said the state government "strongly condemned" Raja's comments. "This is the land of Periyar, MGR and Amma; we will not accept his views. If he (Raja) had not withdrawn his comments, we would have taken action," Jayakumar said.

Amit Shah, BJP president In a series of tweets, the BJP chief distanced the party away from the acts of vandalism, and said "severe" action will be taken against perpetrators found to be associated with the BJP.

Siddharth Nath Singh, BJP BJP's West Bengal in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh said that those guilty should be arrested immediately.

Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, West Bengal minister

Chattopadhyay said six people have been arrested so far and that the government will repair the broken statue.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs The Union Ministry of Home Affairs took "serious note" of these instances of vandalism and said the perpetrators will be dealt with according to the law. The official statement read: "Incidents of toppling of statutes have been reported from certain parts of the country. MHA has taken serious note of such incidents of vandalism. The home minister has expressed his strong disproval of such incidents. MHA has asked the states that they must take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents. Persons indulging in such acts must be sternly dealt with, and booked under relevant provisions of law. Honourable prime minister also spoke to the home minister in this regard." Kamal Haasan, Makkal Needhi Maiam Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said there is no need for police protection around the Periyar statue, as "we Tamilians" can protect it, adding that the incident is being used to divert attention from the Cauvery water-sharing issue. "If the government is serious, it should take criminal action against all involved in violence," he said.

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