Chennai: VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan on Friday denied advocating destruction of temples to make room for building Buddha Viharas even as the BJP and other Hindutva groups insisted he did say that and stepped up decibels demanding stiff action against him for “making inflammatory speech that threatened national integration and security”.
Addressing a 'Dalit-Muslim resurgence conference' at Perambur here late Wednesday, Thirumavalavan alleged that all the Shiva and Perumal (Vishnu) temples had been built after breaking down Buddha Viharas. “You (Hindus) have destroyed Buddha Viharas to build temples for Shiva and Perumal…A Buddha Vihara should now come up where Ranganathar sleeps (Srirangam). Another Vihara must be built after pulling down Kanchi Kamakshi temple”, he had thundered.
The volatile speech by the Dalit party chief, who is a Buddhist himself, triggered wide protests from Hindu political parties and social outfits, which demanded that the government should take stringent action to punish him. “His highly provocative speech asking for destruction of temples for building Buddha viharas endangers communal harmony, social amity and national integration. The government should immediately initiative action”, said BJP state president Dr Tamilisai Sounderarajan. Rubbishing the VCK chief's denial, she said, “He had indeed made that highly provocative and dangerous speech; the video evidence is there for all to see on the TV and social media”.
Hindu Munnani chief Rama Gopalan too slammed Thirumavalavan and demanded that the state government should take appropriate action. “There is evidence to show that more than 30,000 temples had been destroyed in the country, over 3000 of them in Tamil Nadu, to build mosques, durgahs and churches. Will Thirumavalavan demand the restoration of these temples by pulling down those mosques and churches?” asked the HM leader.
Pushed on his back foot by the Hindu 'backlash', Thirumavalavan stoutly denied having advocated construction of Viharas by pulling down temples and claimed that “a particular TV channel” had twisted his speech out of context and made his honest reference to the historical truth that Viharas were pulled down to build temples to be mischievously interpreted as an instigation to destroy temples for building Viharas. “We are consulting our lawyers to take action against the TV channel”, said the VCK chief.