DMK CHIEF M. K. STALIN BECOMES TAMIL NADU CHIEF MINISTER
Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka|May 08, 2021
“Stalin Thaan Varraaru, Namakku Vidivu Tharraaru” (Stalin is only coming and will give us a Dawn) was the key slogan around which the Indian political party” Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam” (DMK) conducted its election campaign for the Tamil Nadu State Assembly polls held this year. The message conveyed by the slogan was that the DMK led by its leader M.K. Stalin was definitely winning the elections and that Stalin as Chief Minister would usher in a new Dawn for all. The first part of the slogan has been proven right. With the DMK winning the recently concluded Tamil Nadu state assembly elections, Stalin has certainly arrived. Now the 72 million population of Tamil Nadu state waits for the new Chief Minister Stalin to usher in a new dawn and make the second part of the campaign slogan come true.
D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Polls were held under the first past the post winner system to 234 Constituencies of the state legislature in Tamil Nadu on April 5. One more MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) would be nominated to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The results were declared on May 3.

Since 1967 the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu has been ruled by political parties subscribing to what is termed as Dravidian ideology. Either the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) or its alternative the All India Anna-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have been enjoying power in the State alternately. 2021 Elections too conformed to this pattern. The DMK led by MK Stalin defeated the AIADMK led by Edappaadi K. Palaniswamy that had ruled the State for 10 years

The DMK led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) won 159 seats while the AIADMK led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 75. No other party or alliance won even a single seat. The Naam Thamizhar Katchi (NMK) led by cinema director cum actor Seemaan contested all 234 seats and came third by polling over three million votes even though it failed to get an MLA elected.

Of the 159 seats won by the SPA, the DMK won 133 while its allies the Indian National Congress (INC), Viduthali Chiruthaigal Katch (VCK), Communist Party of India(CPI) and Communist Party (Marxist)of India(CPI-M) obtained 18, 04,02 and 02 seats respectively. Among the 133 seats won by the DMK, eight belonged to smaller parties who contested under the DMK symbol of the rising sun. The breakdown of the seats garnered by these parties are -Marumalarchchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) -04, Kongu Desa Makkal Katchi (KDMK) -01, Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) -01 and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi(MMK)-01.

Of the 75 seats won by the NDA, the AIADMK won 66 while its allies the Pattaligal Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got five and four seats each respectively.

34 MEMBER CABINET SWORN IN

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 133 seats (125+08) was able to form a state government on its own. DMK leader MK Stalin was unanimously nominated as chief minister by party MLA’s. On Friday, May 7, the 68-year-old Chief Minister Stalin along with 33 other ministers were sworn in by the Tamil Nadu State Governor Banwarilal Purohit in a low-key ceremony. 14 members of the 34 member cabinet are first time ministers. After being sworn in, Chief Minister Stalin went to the Secretariat and assumed duties immediately. His first task was to convene an urgent conference of key health officials to formulate an action plan to combat the deadly spread of COVID -19 in the state.

India is our closest neighbour and within India, the southern state of Tamil Nadu is the closest Indian state to Sri Lanka. Both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka is somewhat inter-twined historically and geographically. The Dravidian language Tamil is the predominant language spoken in Tamil Nadu which means the land or country of the Tamils. More than 25% of the Sri Lankan population is classified as Tamil – speaking people. A substantial number of Sri Lankans of different ethnicities are descendants of people who migrated to the Island from the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

In recent times, political developments in Tamil Nadu have had much impact on Sri Lanka and vice versa. Hence the ascendancy of M.K. Stalin as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is of great interest to Sri Lanka. This column will therefore focus on the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin this week. Let me begin with a brief reference to his party the DMK and its erstwhile leader Karunanidhi, Stalin’s father.

“KALAIGNAR” MUTHUVEL KARUNANIDHI

Muthuvel Karunanidhi, known to the Tamil-speaking world as “Kalaignar” (artiste), passed away at the age of 94 in Chennai on August 7, 2018. Karunanidhi was a versatile, multi-faceted personality. Karunanidhi has written the screenplay and dialogues for 64 films. He has written the story or screenplay without dialogues for 11 other films. It was Karunanidhi’s entry into filmdom that brought him much recognition in early life. His rise in cinema helped him greatly to carve out a name for himself as a powerful politician.

Karunanidhi served as Chief Minister of India’s Tamil Nadu state for a total of 19 years. He was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times from 1969-71, 1971-76, 1989-91, 1996-2001 and 2006-11. No other Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has been in office for so long. Another record was that of being party leader for nearly 50 years. He was the undisputed leader of the Dravida Munnera Kazhagham (Dravidian Progressive Federation) since 1969, leading the party through thick and thin for 49 years. The Dravidian patriarch was first elected to the State legislative assembly in 1957 and never lost an election he contested personally since then. “Kalaignar” Muthuvel Karunanidhi was no ordinary politico but a veritable political institution.

The politics of Tamil Nadu for nearly a century has been pervaded by notions of the Aryan-Dravidian divide. This concept itself is not very scientific and has been greatly mythologised. Nevertheless, this Dravidian consciousness and ideology has helped politicise significant sections of the Tamil masses and has sustained whole political parties and movements in the state.

DRAVIDIAN IDEOLOGY

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