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DMK, allies switching towards whipping up Tamil pride, nationalism

- June 6, 2021

Chennai, June 6(BPNS)

After Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin assumed office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on May 7, 2021, along with his 33 cabinet colleagues, people of the state  was  waiting with bated breath as to what line the scion of DMK would adopt after coming back to power after a ten-year political wilderness following back to back defeats in 2011 and 2016.

Opinions were divided among political observers and analysts on whether Stalin would kick start “Cult” politics in the state which was buried after the demise of Jayalalithaa and low profile leader like Edappady K Palaniswami (EPS) assuming office as Chief minister. EPS was assessable to the people of the state, party workers and bureaucrats and even lower-level officials. This was a far cry from the  heydays of M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa when Cult politics and politics of sycophancy were at their high.

However immediately after assuming office, Stalin who is a seasoned politician took a different course from the one which was taken by his father as also Jayalalithaa and publicly announced that he was for politics of inclusion by taking into confidence opposition political parties and including members of all political parties which have elected legislators in the 13 member committee to fight the Covid virus. The Health Minister of Tamil Nadu during the previous AIADMK period, Vijayabhaskar was also included in the committee and Stalin said that the government was for taking into account the rich experience of the former health minister to counter Covid -19.

While the Chief minister constituted a committee to counter Covid with members drawn from political parties having representatives in the assembly, the party and its allies were slowly but surely and certainly fanning up Tamil pride and Tamil nationalism which has always been the trademark of the DMK and its brand of politics right from the days of the anti- Hindi campaign of the sixties.

Chief Minister MK Stalin first allowed parole to Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict,  AG Perarivalan who was convicted for death and now serving life imprisonment. His parole was following the plea by his mother Arputhamammal who said that he was suffering from diseases in Jail and that he needed parole. In a similar vein, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the President of India, Ramnath Kovind to provide mercy and freedom to all the 7 convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

DMK allies VCK and MDMK have gone on record to release all the 7 convicts in the case and to write to President for clemency to them. On several public platforms, these parties and DMK local leaders were fanning up the cause of Tamil pride and projecting this as a reason for the release of all the 7 convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case under the guise of humanitarian considerations.

When the Central government cancelled the Class 12 CBSE and ICSE board examinations, MDMK leader Vaiko who has always been fanning up Tamil Nationalism and who is an ally of DMK openly said that the Tamil Nadu government should not cancel the Class 12 Tamil Nadu board exams. Vaiko also charged the Union government in not cancelling the NEET examination and questioned the wisdom of cancelling Class 12 board examination. The MDMK leader also alleged that the Union government was trying to implement National Education Policy (NEP)through back door in the country by cancelling the CBSE and ICSE 12 class board examinations. Vaiko said that under NEP the admission to degree classes would also be through the entrance examination and that under NEP, marks of class 12 examinations would not be a criterion. He had called upon the people of Tamil Nadu to be careful and cautious on these new initiatives in the education system.

This is a clear indicator from the Tamil leaders owing allegiance to the DMK that the party is still for Tamil pride and ultimately for Tamil nationalism and as always the DMK is slowly but surely and certainly moving towards its avowed political position of Tamil centric nationalism and pride. This could again increase the support for Tamil Nationalism and thereby Tamil Eelam as DMK as a political  party has always been at the forefront of the Tamil cause even in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka.