Chennai: On Sunday, Twitterati launched a campaign against BJP State executive committee member R Kalyanaraman for spreading 'communal hate' through his speech. Netizens used the hashtag 'Arrest Kalyanaraman under NSA' to slam his 'anti- Muslim' approach.
The controversial speech, wherein he allegedly insulted Prophet Mohammed and Islam, was made at Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district on January 30th. In a video that circulated on social media, Kalyanaraman questioned Prophet Mohammed's manhood and claimed Hindus were hiding in bunkers in Ahmedabad at Gujarat fearing Muslim attacks. Soon after, the Police booked him on charges of promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion.
Twitter called out the BJP functionary for 'spewing venom' in the name of religion. Writer Meena Kandasamy tweeted, "#ArrestKalyanaramanUnderNSA. Kalyanaraman's hate speech against Muslims is not a one-off occurrence. I urge the judges to read his Twitter feed for the last one, two years. It is most despicable and against any standards of speech in the public sphere."
"BJP Kalyanaraman calls a minority community as cowardly, barbarians, Arabic-Turkish pigs. He says that today's parties like SDPI-PFI are the descendants of rapes by invaders. This is most deplorable, an effort to poison Tamil Nadu. Resist BJP fascism. #ArrestKalyanaramanUnderNSA" she added.
Poet and DMK State Women's Wing Deputy Secretary Salma Rajathi tweeted, "Kalyanaraman is trying to incite violence by destabilizing the symbolic religious harmony of Tamil Nadu, and his intention is to buy votes". Several Twitter users demanded strict action to be taken against Kalyanaraman for his 'Islamophobia'. Many noted that the BJP is trying to break the Hindu-Muslim unity in the state by spreading communal hatred.
Earlier on Friday, Madras High Court expressed concern over 'demeaning statements' by Kalyanaraman. Judge N Anand Venkatesh also questioned him for citing an old court order and insinuating that the judge endorsed his views on Prophet Mohammed.