In a country where it is considered perfectly normal to pass on anything as part of inheritance, it is not unknown for celebrities to bequeath their position and status to their children. Be it politics, sports or films. It is in fact a given particularly in politics and films. It"s no surprise that every politician tries to 'install" his or her child – be it son or daughter as their political heir. Succession planning for political parties in India has never been an issue. It"s the Nehruvian political education, the Indian politicians have imbibed.
Viewed against this backdrop, it was not surprising to see politicians, especially strong Chief Ministers inducting their family members, particularly their children into the political party and slowly pass on the mantle of leadership. Down South, Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran attempted it unsuccessfully, while former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Deve Gowda has been successful with his son Kumaraswamy. And for some time now, DMK chief Karunanidhi had been attempting the same.
But Karunanidhi seems to be bogged by the problem of plenty! Three wives and six children to be precise. Of these, three children are highly ambitious and are eyeing a big political career in Tamil Nadu politics. Among them, Kanimozhi, the only daughter to nurture political ambitions, joined the bandwagon as recent as 2007. Story goes that post the split between Marans (Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi) and Karunanidhi family in 2007, the DMK was desperate to have an English-speaking spokesperson for its activities particularly in New Delhi. The choice of Kanimozhi was rather unanimous.
From then on, the Dravidian daughter has become an integral part of DMK think-tank – thanks largely to the power her mother Rajathiammal, the third wife of Karunanidhi wields… The last four years has witnessed Kanimozhi transform from being the literary heir of her father to one of his political heirs - no longer the one to be happy and content organising Tamil literary festivals or taking up for the cause of women in Tamil Nadu. She has influenced key decisions of the party – the biggest of them all, A Raja as the Union Minister for second time round despite allegations of corruption. Considering that the party today has become an extension of the family, the DMK has no option than to state they stand by her and will support her fight in countering all allegations.
Tamil Nadu has seen two women J Jayalalithaa and Kanimozhi enter politics and try to assert their leadership. It"s not a common feature in male dominated political arena... It"s rather unfortunate both have had their political career marred by scandals and scams. It is the result of their own deeds, no doubt. Jayalalithaa probably has understood this by now. Kanimozhi is beginning to understand and has a long way to go before she emerges as a mature politician.
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