Actor Rajinikanth categorically said on Tuesday that he will neither apologise nor express regret for his controversial speech about social reformer Periyar E. V. Ramasamy at Thuglak magazines 50th anniversary event in Chennai on January 14.
In his speech, Rajinikanth had said that Periyar has held an anti-superstition rally in which naked pictures of Lord Ram and Sita were paraded in public and garlanded with slippers.
Periyarist organisations such as Dravidar Kazhagam, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam and Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam had objected to the speech on the basis that it was factually incorrect. TPDK general secretary Kovai Ramakrishnan had said that the actor must apologise for his speech or face protests.
Speaking to reporters, Rajinikanth showed clippings of a 2017 report in an English magazine mentioning Periyars 1971 rally supposedly published to bolster his claim.
The magazine has reported that Ramar and Sita were paraded naked and garlanded with slippers in Periyars rally in 1971 in Salem. I have not said something that did not happen. I have not imagined it. The one who protested there in Salem....Lakshmana...has confirmed it. So, I will not apologise or express regret, said Rajinikanth, adding that he has only expressed what has been reported in magazines. He further said that Periyar's rally must be forgotten, not denied.