Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Milk and Dairy Development, Mano Thangaraj, criticized North Indians for their attire, adding to the series of disparaging remarks from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders. Thangaraj, associated with the NGO Good Vision, has been labeled Hindu-phobic and a strong advocate of Christianity. Earlier in May 2022, Ministers T. Mano Thangaraj and Gingee KS Masthan, along with State Minorities Commission chief Peter Alphonse, attended the canonization of Devasahayam Pillai as Tamil Nadu’s first Catholic Saint, which faced opposition from the Sangh Parivar, alleging conversions from Hinduism to Christianity.
He sparked controversy anew by remarking on North Indians, alleging they continue to wear traditional loin cloths and possessing Hindi skills won’t secure decent jobs. In an undated Tamil video, he claimed, “The Tamil community is deceived. North Indians still wear loin cloths, evident in Gujarat’s rural areas. They mainly work in chicken and parotta shops, knowing only Hindi. I have to hire them for such meager jobs as I lack human resources. It’s unfortunate they don’t know our language. Learning Tamil could benefit them, unlike learning Hindi, which yields no opportunities. It reflects the foolishness of North Indians.”
Another racial comment against North Indians by DMK Min!
-DMK Min Manothangaraj says, "North Indians wear langot"
One day the I.N.D.I. Alliance speaks "Mohabbat Ki Dukaan", other day they denigrate the ppl by making derogatory comments against them. pic.twitter.com/SNTqsc9HTU
— Soma Sundaram (மோடியின் குடும்பம்) (@isomasundaram72) January 7, 2024
An undated viral video allegedly features former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran stating in Tamil that individuals in Tamil Nadu securing jobs in MNCs learn English, while those in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who only know Hindi, engage in menial roles like construction and toilet cleaning in the State.
On December 25, Bihar Congress leader Chandrika Yadav announced that he issued a legal notice to DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran over alleged derogatory remarks, threatening court action if Maran fails to apologise within 15 days. Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK MP TR Baalu’s son TRB Raja once tweeted that northerners lack the capacity to govern a democracy.
Interestingly, DMK, which purportedly engaged Prashant Kishor, a Brahmin from Bihar, for a reported fee of Rs. 350 crore to strategise and secure victory in the 2021 assembly elections, is now making statements. DMK’s Dharmapuri MP Senthil Kumar, addressing Parliament, remarked on BJP’s electoral strength primarily in Hindi-speaking regions, mentioning them as the ‘Gau Mutra States’. He emphasized that the policies of the National Education Policy (NEP) might suit these BJP-ruled states better.
The DMK has been making several controversial statements against North Indians, Hindi, and certain communities, showcasing a deep-seated bias. Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiyagarajan attributed BJP’s victories in the Hindi Belt to ‘Lack of Education’, while former RS member and DMK organizing secretary RS Bharati made contentious remarks about the self-respect of Nagaland residents who consume dog meat.
In separate instances, convicted in a DA case, senior DMK Minister K Ponmudi made comments about North Indians migrating to Chennai for work and engaging in pani puri vending. Tamil Nadu Health Minister MA Subramanian blamed ‘north Indians’ for the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state. These recurrent statements by DMK leaders depict a strong prejudice against Biharis and are akin to those of their predecessors. These remarks may significantly affect the party’s future and lead to their exclusion from the I.N.D.I Alliance.