Tableaux: A controversy that sparked in Salem in 1971

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Highlights

  • Tamil Superstar Rajnikanth had courted controversy with his statement at a rally in Salem at 1971.
  • This rally was attended by Dravidar Kazhagam founder Periyar E.V. Ramasami.
  • In this rally, naked images of Lord Rama and Sita were paraded with a garland of slippers.

Tableaux Details: Thalaiva of Southern film Industry, Superstar Rajnikanth got mired in a controversy with his statement in a rally in Salem District in 1971. So, this rally was attended by Dravidar Kazhagam Founder Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. However, in this rally, naked images of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita were paraded with a garland of slippers.

No other magazine had reported this incidence except Thuglak. The founder of this magazine was Cho S. Ramasamy.

Leaders of DK and its groups accused the superstar of spreading false statements. They were in vehement denial of the procession in which obscene images of Lord Rama and Sita were taken.

Controversial tableaux 

In an article titled Demonstration against obscene tableaux in The Hindu on January 25, 1971, the Salem correspondent reporting on the ‘Superstition Eradication Conference’ organized by DK, wrote,” The tableaux included vulgar pictures of birth of Lord Muruga, penance of sages and Mohini Avatara. It also had a 10-foot long image of Lord Rama carried on a vehicle that they kept beating on with slippers.

The reporter stated that Periyar “seated on a tractor, was at the rear of the procession”. An image of Lord Rama carved out from a plank of wood was set on fire at the end of the procession.

The conference passed a few resolutions including one requesting the government to take suitable steps to see that coveting another man’s wife is not made offensive under the Indian Penal Code.” T.V. Chokkapa, chairman of the reception committee of the Conference, in a letter to Hindu, took exception to the report.

He told that the resolution spoke of a “married woman trying to be intimate with a person other than his husband…The difference in the texts..is not one of Tweedledum and Tweedledee but important.”

What correspondent of Salem said?

Reacting to this statement, the correspondent of Salem stated,” one should not seduce a minor girl; nor kidnap her as it is an offence. But there is nothing objectionable in loving another man’s wife who is grown up and also a major. If the wife of the man also reciprocates to another man then the husband should not prevent her from marrying another man.”

Chief Minister also reacted to this incident. He said,” I am sorry to learn about the obscene tableaux in DK- sponsored procession and police permitting the procession. They have hurt people’s feelings.

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