Accusing superstar Rajinikanth of propagating a 'false' information about a 1971 rally to 'defame' social reformer E V Ramasamy 'Periyar', a Dravidian outfit in Tamil Nadu has demanded an unconditional apology and filed police complaints seeking action against him.
In a statement, Dravidar Viduthulai Kazhagam (DVK) president Kolathur Mani alleged the actor uttered a ‘blatant lie that the images of Lord Ram and Sita were taken nude’ in the rally held by Periyar as part of a superstition eradication conference at Salem.
This 'false' information was propagated with ‘an ulterior motive to besmirch Periyar's reputation’, he claimed and demanded an unconditional apology from the actor.
Speaking to PTI, Mani alleged the actor appeared to fulfil the aspirations of the BJP by making such a remark adding ‘we cannot allow insult to Periyar’.
Such comments could affect public tranquility as well, he claimed adding he has asked his party functionaries to file police complaints in more places.
Addressing the 50th anniversary-cum-readers' connect event of Tamil magazine Thuglak on January 14 in Chennai, Rajinikanth had said, "In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which undressed images of Lord Sri Ramachandramoorthy and Sita -with a garland of sandal-featured and no news outlet published it."
Only Cho Ramaswamy published it in his Thuglak and made 'strong criticism', the 69-year old actor, expected to make his political foray ahead of Tamil Nadu assembly elections scheduled next year, had said while praising the late editor of the magazine.
The publication of the news brought a bad name for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime steered by M Karunanidhi, he had said adding the government then seized the copies of the magazine but Cho reprinted the copies which sold 'like hot cakes'.
Mani, a former organising secretary of the Dravidar Kazhagam founded by Periyar, said already a complaint had been filed against Rajinikanth in Coimbatore and another was under process in Madurai.
They sought action against Rajinikanth under the Indian Penal Code sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (making a statement that may incite one set of persons against others), he said.
In a petition to Coimbatore Police Commissioner, DVK workers alleged the actor had attempted to defame an 'highly respected social reformer'.
To a question, Mani said they will wait for sometime to see if the government acts on the issue.
"If the government does not take action, we may be constrained to look into aspects including launching a campaign against Rajinikanth, his films, or we could hold protests in front of movie halls that screen his flicks," the DVK leader said.
Mani was among the emissaries sent by the then DMK government to negotiate with forest brigand Veerappan to secure the release of legendary Kannada actor Rajkumar after he was kidnapped by the notorious criminal in 2000.
Manin was also imprisoned for about a year during late J Jayalalithaa's rule in connection with a case that had links to Veerappan.