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Madras high court rejects PIL against lyricist Vairamuthu

A PIL was filed against lyricist Vairamuthu for 'hurting religious sentiments' following his speech where he called the 7th century saint, Andal, a 'devadasi'. 

Our Correspondent

The Madras high court on Friday, 18 January, cleared the PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu for 'hurting religious sentiments'. The court observed that the lyricist had said 'nothing wrong' and was simply quoting from a research, as reported by the news agency, ANI.

In a speech in Srivilliputhur, the lyricist had quoted from a research book and said, "In the book, Indian Movement: Some Aspects of Dissent, Protest and Reform, written by Subhash Chandra Malik, there is a line that reads [that] Andal herself is a devdasi who lived and died in the Sri Rangam temple. While devotees will not accept this, those who oppose patriarchy and those who are against an unequal society will think about it."

The term devdasi refers to a female 'servant' who worships and is dedicated to serve a deity or a temple throughout her life.

The comparison earned Vairamuthu severe wrath online and offline, with H Raja, MP from Tamil Nadu taking to Twitter to criticize the lyricist. Though Vairamuthu later expressed regret for his speech, a PIL was filed against him in the Madras high court. 

The court dismissed the case suggesting that prima facie there was no case to initiiate criminal proceedings against Vairamuthu. Justice MS Ramesh made an oral observation saying that the lyricist cannot be faulted for quoting from a work.