Days after a Dravidian outfit demanded an apology for his comments on a rally taken out by social reformer Periyar decades ago, Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday asserted that he will neither express regret nor tender an apology and maintained that his remark was factual.
Showing clippings from magazines and newspapers, the actor said the idols of Hindu gods Ram and Sita were taken out unclad. They were also shown wearing a garland of sandals in a rally led by the late Periyar E V Ramasamy in 1971.
“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.
Further, he said, “I did not say anything out of my imagination or something that was not there. Lakshmanan (then of the Jan Sangh and now BJP leader) who took part in a dharna (in 1971) has corroborated it,” he said.
On the 1971 rally–in which Hindu deities were allegedly taken out naked–the actor said such things that happened in the past should not be raked up again and again.
“It was not a thing that can be (easily) forgotten but a thing that must be forgotten,” he quipped.
On January 14, taking part in an event held here by Tamil magazine Thuglak‘, Rajinikanth alleged: “In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which the undressed images of Lord Sriramachandramoorthy and Sita with a garland of sandals.”
A Dravidian outift, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, however, accused the actor of “uttering a blatant lie” and demanded his unconditional apology and also filed police complaints against him.
The DVK alleged that the actor uttered a “blatant lie that the images of Lord Ram and Sita were taken nude in a rally, held as part of a superstition eradication conference held in 1971 at Salem.”