Tracing the rise of H Raja: BJP’s firebrand leader from Tamil Nadu, in news for targeting Periyar

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Chennai | Published: March 8, 2018 12:08:29 PM

H Raja was born in a simple Sivaganga-based Brahmin family. He became a chartered accountant by profession and kicked off his political-social life as an RSS pracharak.

h rajaH Raja, BJP national general secretary from Tamil Nadu. (Facebook/HRajaBJP)

It is not yet known whether there was a plan behind vanadalising a Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. But the incident happened just a few hours after H Raja, BJP national general secretary, supported the toppling of Lenin’s statue in Tripura by a crowd and also hinted Periyar’s statues in Tamil Nadu could be next.

Vandalising the statue of Periyar, who is considered as the pioneer of Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, created a huge political uproar not only in the state but at the national level, putting the spotlight on Raja.

Raja was born in a simple Sivaganga-based Brahmin family. He became a chartered accountant by profession and kicked off his political-social life as an RSS pracharak. It is now believed that Raja’s caste has come in the way of his rise in Tamil Nadu politics as it is dominated by OBC communities,

Raja owns a cow farm in Karaikudi, his native place and also an apartment in Chennai. According to The Indian Express, Raja never faced any allegation of corruption, working as a plus in his political career.

Raja has been associated with the RSS for around four decades. This explains the reason why he has risen in the party despite having no godfather in the BJP. He has also been helped by his ability to speak Hindi, which has helped him make friends across the country.

It is believed by many that Raja may be a “short-tempered” man. But he told IE that he never aims to create rows but “perception” of people make his statements controversial.

While he is in news now for making remarks against Periyar, Raja has been in the limelight several times for his statements. He was booked for making a malicious speech against Periyar, Christians and Muslims in October 2014. Once he had even issued a near death threat to MDMK leader Vaiko when the latter had started criticising PM Narendra Modi.

In the wake of JNU protests in February 2016, the BJP leader had said CPI’s D Raja should get his daughter shot at by communists as she participated in protests at the national university. H Raja was quoted as saying by IE, “To prove my love for this country, I would have done the same. If you want to live in this country, you have to sing Vande Mataram, or leave the country.”

In May last year, Raja had condemned beef fest at IIT Madras. “There are lot many appeals requests coming to the Centre. As Venkaiahji (Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu) has already said yesterday, Centre would look into those cases. If there is need for any rectification, that is alright. But provocating things…,” he said. “What happened in IIT-Madras? JNU like situation is being brought into an institution of excellence,” PTI had quoted him as saying.

“The students can participate in agitation outside the campus. There is nothing wrong. I don’t object. But doing things…politicising and handing over an educational institution of excellence to lampoon elements, it is wrong,” he added.

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