The petitions were filed by T Manohar, State Secretary of Hindu Munnani, who expressed concern over the ministers’ participation in a meeting organised by the Communist Party of India, where the eradication of Sanathana Dharma was openly advocated. He said that the ministers, who are expected to be secular and impartial, should not engage in activities that promote the eradication of any religious belief.
According to Manohar, Sanathana Dharma comprises six religious sects, including Saivam, Vaishnavam, Ganapathyam, Sagtham, Gowmaram, and Souram, all of which were founded and organised by Adhi Sankara. He emphasised that Sanathana Dharma is synonymous with Hinduism and forms the basis of the religion. Manohar also cited K Veeramani, the President of Dravidar Kazhagam, who claimed that Sanathana Dharma and Hindu Dharma are one and the same, a statement that went unchallenged by Udhayanidhi Stalin.
The petitioner stated that as elected representatives and ministers, these politicians are supposed to represent all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs. Therefore, participating in a meeting advocating the eradication of citizens’ faith is against the oath they took and contravenes the principles of the Indian Constitution.
Furthermore, the petitioner alleged that Udhayanidhi Stalin’s derogatory remarks about Sanathana Dharma, comparing it to deadly diseases like Dengue, Malaria, or Corona, could potentially constitute criminal offenses under Section 153(A), 505(ii), and 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code. This is particularly concerning given Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent declaration of his Christian faith at a church function.
Another petitioner, Kishore Kumar, State Secretary of Hindu Munnani, highlighted Sekar Babu’s participation in the same meeting calling for the eradication of Sanathana Dharma. This raised questions about Sekar Babu’s commitment to religious neutrality while holding the position of Minister for H.R. and C.E. (Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments).
In a separate petition, VP Jayakumar, State Vice-President of Hindu Munnani, accused Nilgiri Lok Sabha MP A Raja of making inflammatory remarks. Jayakumar alleged that A Raja had claimed that all Hindus are the offspring of prostitutes, a statement that ignited controversy across India. This speech, if proven, could also potentially lead to criminal charges under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
During a hearing on October 6, senior advocate P Wilson, representing Udhayanidhi Stalin, said that the petitions were not maintainable as Quo Warranto pleas. Justice Anita Sumanth responded by directing the petitioners to produce evidence of the alleged speeches made by the politicians. The court has adjourned the hearing to October 11 to determine the petitions’ maintainability.
The Quo Warranto petitions filed by the Hindu Munnani organization against DMK Ministers Udhayanidhi Stalin and Sekar Babu, as well as Nilgiri Lok Sabha MP A Raja, have ignited a legal battle over allegations of religious bias and inflammatory remarks. The outcome of these petitions will be closely watched as they have the potential to impact the political landscape in Tamil Nadu and raise important questions about the responsibilities of elected representatives in a diverse and pluralistic society.