Kanimozhi denies charge but defends Gowsalya’s right to criticise
Gowsalya Shankar, whose husband was murdered by casteist elements, is under attack on social media for expressing views against the DMK and its working president on the issue of ‘honour killing’.
DMK MP Kanimozhi, however, came out in defence of Gowsalya, saying a point of view should be countered with another point and it is unfair to indulge in personal attacks.
“All personal criticism against Gowsalya must stop,” Ms. Kanimozhi told The Media.
What triggered a series of reaction against Ms. Gowsalya on the Facebook was her contention that DMK leader M.K. Stalin failed to see the murder of her husband as a honour killing and had treated it as “yet another murder”.
“Without going into the details including why Shankar was murdered and why I was attacked, he just called it murder. He proved that the Leader of the Opposition could cover up all these issues and condemn the murder. Whom does he want to protect?” she had said in her post.
Asked about the need for such a post on the issue now, Ms. Gowsalya said she first raised the issue in a meeting organised by the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) on April 8 and later posted the same content on Facebook.
“It triggered strong personal attacks against me. I was in Sri Lanka and I filed another explanation after my return a few days ago. It also met with a similar response,” she said.
She said though she respected the DMK leaders and cadres who were wedded to the idea of social justice and condemned the death of Shankar, the question that remained unanswered was whether the DMK had articulated the Dalit viewpoint in an unwavering manner.
“What is the DMK’s stand on the atrocities against the Dalits? Who will it stand by when it takes into consideration the caste of a candidate before nominating in the election? Who did it stand by in the past,” she asked.
Asked why she had singled out the DMK while major political parties including the AIADMK also remained silent on the issue, Vincent Kathir, founder of Evidence, who stood by her through the ordeal, said the AIADMK and other parties did not even qualify a mention. “Since we feel that the DMK is more socially responsible as a party, she expressed her views,” he said.
Ms. Kanimozhi, however, said there was no basis in the allegation that her party failed to condemn the ‘honour’ killings.
“As a political party espousing the cause of inter-caste marriage and committed to eradication of caste, how will we support honour killing. Anyone who supports honour killing cannot be a DMK man or the follower of its ideology,” she said.
“We are with Gowsalya and all victims of the casteism,” she said and made it clear that personal attacks against a person expressing his or her opinion was not acceptable to the DMK. “Our leader Kalaignar and working president M.K. Stalin had, in the past, condemned criticism of a personal nature.”