In a recent development, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president, KS Azhagiri, has come under fire for making derogatory remarks against Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman regarding her interim budget presentation.
Known for his tendency to make insensitive and irrelevant comments, Azhagiri’s remarks have sparked outrage, with many condemning his behaviour as unacceptable and disrespectful, particularly towards a female political figure.
The comments made by Azhagiri are seen as part of a larger trend within the Indian National Congress (INC), where leaders often resort to vulgar and abusive language against political opponents, regardless of gender.
In his remarks, Azhagiri questioned the financial decisions made by Sitharaman, using vulgar language and insinuating mismanagement of funds. The comments, delivered in a colloquial and disrespectful tone, have drawn condemnation from various quarters.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitraman presented her sixth straight budget, due to the election year, an interim budget without any populist measures eyeing Lok Sabha elections, which won the hearts of public. Reacting to her budget, Azhagiri told media persons, “Kadan vaangi enna senja? Yen avlo kadan vaangina? Delhi lendhu vara Nirmala Sitharaman kekudhu, 4000 kodi neenga saakada kattineengala? Andha kanaku enga nu kekudhu.. Kanaka on kita kaatanuma?” which translates to “What did you do with the borrowed money? And why did you take such borrowing? debt? Why did you take so much debt? Nirmala Sitharaman, who comes from Delhi is asking, You built drainage for Rs 4000 crores; where is the account for that spending? Why should we show you the accounts?”. All these comments are third-person single nature, a way common man road speaks without showing any respect.
Critics say Azhagiri’s comments against Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are unjust derogatory, as he addressed her in singular but also reeked of sexism and misogyny. He is like his master (Raghul Gandhi) whose gaffes are well known worldwide. Tamil Nadu BJP State Secretary SG Suryah in a tweet in his X handle has condemned the language used, calling it an “utterly disrespectful way to address the Woman Finance Minister” in a tweet directed at Alagiri. He tweeted, “Utterly disrespectful way to address the Woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman by TN Congress President foul mouth KS Alagiri! Following in the footsteps of useless Pappu Rahul Gandhi? Shameful..”
மாண்புமிகு நிதியமைச்சரை ஒருமையில் இழிவுபடுத்தும் தமிழக காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர். pic.twitter.com/dPmK5xUzUw
— Dr.SG Suryah (மோடியின் குடும்பம்) (@SuryahSG) February 1, 2024
BJP media and IT wing functionary Karthik Gopinath took his X handle to condemn the TNCC Chief’s use of words that are per se derogatory and disrespectful in nature. Congress Alliance lacks even basic decency!..
The disrespectful manner in which the congress president of TN addresses our honbl Finance minister @nsitharaman avl. DMK +Congress alliance lacks even basic decency! Will KS Azhagiri remain a mute spectator if such language is used for women from your household ? Frankly , u… pic.twitter.com/3DeJcbl34T
— karthik gopinath(மோடியின் குடும்பம் ) (@karthikgnath) February 1, 2024
This is not the first time Nirmala Sitaraman has been subjected to such treatment. Earlier too, Dravidian model followers, who spoke of social justice, women equality, and their empowerment during public platform meetings and social media, used cuss words against BJP leaders, which rank unprintable the way they did to former AIADMK supreme and CM J Jayalalithaa. DMK leader Karunanidhi, during a debate in State assembly, closed the mike, used unparliamentary words, allegedly questioning her fidelity. He used highly disparaging remarks against former Chief Ministers Kamaraj, M Bakthavatchalam, MG Ramachadraan, former PM Indira Gandhi, and even Congress president Sonia Gandhi. DMK platform speakers like Shivaji Krishnamurthy, Saidai Sadique , Vetrikonday, Rajive Gandhi, former RS member RS Bharathi are notable among them. There have been cases against them that remain only on paper. Let us see some of their golden words!
One Dravidianist political group called Pudhugai Boopalam caricatured Nirmala Sitharaman offensively, commenting on her inspection at a Perumal Temple in Sri Vaikuntam. The DMK supporting Dravidian Stockists have unleashed vile casteist abuses on Nirmala Sitharaman, invoking her Brahmin identity earlier on the same incident. They are calling Urugaai Mami ( pickle mami) a casteiest crass word. Former Madras HC judge and hardcore CPM supporter, Justice Chandru, who was hailed as a hero in Surya-starrer Jai Bhim, had addressed her a ‘Oorga Ammaiyar‘.
You Tube beautician turned DMK IT Wing’s State Deputy Secretary, Padma Priya, shared a video on her X handle in which a hijab-clad woman invoked her Brahmin identity to mock her press conference in which the Minister condemned Udhayanidhi Stalin’s crude language about her family. DMK’s Central Chennai Lok Sabha Constituency MP Dayanidhi Maran too had taken castiest jibes at Nirmala Sitharaman. He called her a ‘Mami’, which is used as a slur and in derogatory fashion, especially by Dravidian ideologues, when addressing Tamil Brahmin women in Tamil Nadu.
According to a video that has been doing rounds in social media, in a recent public gathering organized by the Ranipet Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to commemorate “Mozhipor Tyagigal Veeravanaka Day” (Language Martyrs’ Salutation Day), R. Gandhi, is a DMK district secretary and Handlooms and Textiles Minister said, “Look… thevdiya payan (Bastard’s son) look at what he says; he will not speak now, he will keep silent but will speak when he goes out, speaks whatever comes to his mouth.”
TN BJP-Social Media cell State Vice President Karthik Gopinath shared this video clipping on his X handle and posed a question: “What is dravida model? Answer: A minister calling someone bast**d on stage. The irony is the name of this minister—Mr. Gandhi!”
What is dravida model ?
A minister calling someone bast**d on stage 👏🏼 The irony is the name of this minister – Mr. Gandhi ! pic.twitter.com/PUmtpPykpb
— karthik gopinath(மோடியின் குடும்பம் ) (@karthikgnath) January 29, 2024
Critics say “DMK, which is bereft of thinkers and speakers with knowledge, has found it difficult to take on BJP leaders, who keep information in their fingertips and added their oratorical power to convincingly giving figures or information, both ideologically and politically. So it has been using this time-tested route to defame the opponents, hoping they would not talk again fearing their personal attacks. Things have changed, and time has undergone changes in tune with the current scenario. DMK and Congress have lacked any ideology to support or follow and are common in unleashing unfounded allegations and accusations against their opponents. Raghul Gandhi , MK Stalin and his son Udhaya Nidhi, DMK MP A Raja, are part of this bandwagon. DMK is banking on EV Ramaswamy Naicker, social justice, Dravidian ideologies, of which no one can say what they are, while Congress is betting on Gandhi and Nehru for its survival. Both are good at appeasing minorities, and now OBCs too”.