Chidambaram said that Periyar's contribution to Tamil Nadu is "humongous".
"Is a debate on Periyar the most relevant topic today for @rajinikanth? Every historical leader will have many contradictions/controversies be it Gandhi/Churchill etc. A holistic view is needed," he tweeted.
"To judge a historical change maker by a few incidents or utterances is patently unfair. Periyar's contribution to Tamil Nadu is humongous. @rajinikanth if so keen to enter into a public debate, he must start with his views on current issues like #CAAProtest #JNUattack #Kashmir etc," Chidambaram said in his subsequent tweet.
On the 50th anniversary event of the Tamil magazine Thuglak, on January 14, Rajinikanth had reportedly said that at a rally in 1971 led by late Periyar, idols of Lord Ram and Sita were taken out without any clothes on them and that the deities also featured a garland of sandals.
Following this, the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam held a protest against the actor near his residence in Chennai. Members of the Dravidar Vidhuthalai Kazhagam (DVK) have filed a complaint against the veteran actor for his remarks on Periyar.
Complainants have sought registration of an FIR against Rajinikanth under Sections 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Rajinikanth refused to apologise for his remarks on Periyar saying that the comments were based on reports that have already appeared in the media.
"I did not make up what I said, there are published stories in the media on it, I can show them. I will not apologise," the actor had told reporters when asked about protests against his remarks.