The popular belief that Lord Vinayaka is the remover of obstacles notwithstanding, a photograph of a Vinayaka idol opened a Pandora’s Box of troubles for Udhayanidhi Stalin, the DMK’s youth wing secretary, on Monday.
Social media was abuzz with virulent attacks, sarcasm, jokes and comments for about 16 hours and Udhayanidhi had to return to the same Twitter platform, where it all started, with a detailed explanation on his religious faith and how his mother celebrated Vinayagar Chathurthi.
In what looked like a post mid-night tweet, Udhayanidhi carried a close up shot of a clay idol being held by a child whose face was not visible. There was no accompanying comment or caption. But the day broke with a spate of comments from all quarters, particularly DMK supporters expressing their sentiments over their great leader’s grandson being ‘a Vinayaka devotee.’
So, after all the social media activists went to town with their running down of the DMK leader, he explained in unequivocal terms that he and his wife were not believers and that the picture of his daughter holding the idol close to her was taken because she was fascinated by the idol.
He said that they had a pooja room in their house where photographs of their ancestors and idols of some of his mother’s favourite Gods – that his mother is a believer is a well-known fact – would be placed. For Vinayaga Chathurthi his mother had bought the idol and worshipped it.
Since his daughter wanted the photograph to be taken with it when she was told that it would be immersed in water the next day, he took the picture and just uploaded it on Twitter because his daughter liked the picture.
But the comments started soon after it was uploaded. ‘Nothing to say. Is this the grandson of Kalaignar who asked which engineering did Lord Rama studied in,’ said one. Just to get the votes of the Hindus, said another.
To be the grandson of M Karunanidhi and to grow up as his grandson are different, said a comment. Others were more scathing. Endorsing Vinayagar Chathurthi after knowing very well about the HIndutva politics behind it is deviating from the social justice politics undertaken by Karunanidhi, said one even as Twitter ablaze with anger.
Of course, the statement explaining his position did not help douse the fire. Could not you convince your mother that Vinayagar is not a Tamil god, asked one while the rest were sharper and piercing....