Chennai: Tamil actor Kamal Haasan recently remarked that Hindu Dharma did not exist during the Chola empire and Chola king Rajaraja Chola was not a Hindu.
Reacting to Kamal’s absurd comment, former MP and Congress veteran Karan Singh said it was “absolutely ridiculous” to say that the King Rajaraja I of the Chola dynasty was not a Hindu.
In a statement, Karan Singh said that Shiva was a ‘primordial Hindu deity, focus of intense devotion for millions over the millennia from Srinagar down to Rameshwaram.’ Singh said that the emperor built one of the greatest Shiva temples, which he referred to as ‘marvels of architecture’, and especially pointed out the great BrihadeeswaraTemple in Thanjavur, where he claimed to have worshipped many times.
“To say that he was a Shaivite, not a Hindu, is like saying someone is a Catholic but not a Christian. These semantic gymnastics in a way denigrate and confuse our great religion and are not acceptable,” Singh said in the release.
Dr Singh said that the word Hindu may have gained traction later, but Shiva and Vishnu, Hanuman and Ganesha, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali have all been part of what we call Sanatan Dharma for millennia.
“Let us not again try and create a division between Shaivism, Vaishanavism and Shaktism, the three main streams of the great Hindu religion which has a billion followers around the world,” he added.
National award-winning Tamil director Vetrimaaran has sparked controversy by claiming that Raja Raja Cholan wasn’t a Hindu king. Now, Kamal Haasan has backed the director’s statement which has opened floodgates for controversial debates regarding the king’s identity.
It all started at an event Vetrimaaran attended where he raised a few eyebrows when he said, “Raja Raja Chozlan wasn’t Hindu but they (BJP) are trying to steal our identity. They have already tried to saffronize Thiruvalluvar. We should never allow that. ” Then, Tamil actor Kamal Hassan echoed similar sentiments and said, “There was no name called ‘Hindu religion’ during Raja Raja Cholan’s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam, and Samanam, and it was the British who coined the term Hindu since they didn’t know how to refer to it collectively. It is similar to how they changed Thuthukudi into Tuticorin.”