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Tamil Nadu

6 Months Of MK Stalin’s Govt; Sets Up The Socio-Political Agenda Of Dravidian Movement

MK STALIN, who led DMK to power in May this year after a decade of AIADMK’s rule, has completed six months as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Named after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, the DMK leader’s footprints go long back in Indian politics. MK Stalin was jailed during the Emergency imposed under Congress leader Indira Gandhi in 1975-77. He has also served as the mayor of Chennai, and as the deputy CM when his father Karunanidhi was the chief minister.

Stalin came to power after ten long years of AIADMK’s rule and promised in his vision document that he shall usher in major changes in Tamil Nadu. His supporters say Stalin is far more mature when compared to the AIADMK, particularly in handling the Opposition. He had to hit the ground running shortly after he took office as the second COVID-19 wave hit Tamil Nadu. His detractors say it is the honeymoon period and things will become clear as months go by.    

As I see it, Stalin has firmly clutched on to DMK’s insistence on protecting the federal polity of states and particularly Tamil Nadu, which historically, pushed back the imposition of Hindi in the 60s and therefore stood as a state which defied the Centre. One of his tweets said this vociferously Federalism is being destroyed due to BJP’s scant respect for states’ rights…’   

The result was his party and Cabinet referring to the Modi-led government in Delhi as onriya arasu, meaning Union govt and not madhiya arasu, which means the Centre.   

If one looks at Stalin‘s misses, then it would be his failure to get NEET exams abolished, his unheeded opposition to the National Education Policy, the GST council’s stand, the terrible deluge witnessed by Chennai recently, and so on. 

Although these may take more effort, these misses have in a way, found less resonance, when we see his hits and that is because of his stress on Dravidian principles.   

Take for instance his fight with the Centre over vaccine procurement. It was Stalin who was the first in the South to highlight the lack of transparency when it came to supplying vaccines for Tamil Nadu.  

But make no mistake, for MK Stalin has delivered on what he said was the kernel of Dravidian politics—the upliftment of the poor and marginalized. Yes, he has no political compulsions unlike his predecessors, the AIADMK who were in alliance with the BJP, as also his father, who flirted with the bJP between 1999 and 2003.   

It is all very well to announce welfare policies, but one shall wait to see what Stalin does to tide over the deficit of 61 thousand crores in the Tamil Nasu budget. As of now, Stalin after 6 months is a success story when it comes to Dravidian ideology. 

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