Karunanidhi's birthday bash projects Stalin as strongest anti-Modi Dravidian leader
With the who's who of non-NDA parties making a beeline to Chennai on M Karunanidhi's birthday, the bash has turned into a boon for one man. M K Stalin who shares the dais with non-NDA leaders from Kashmir to Kanyakumari has managed to emerge as the strongest Dravidian voice against the BJP in Tamil Nadu today. Apart from being a show of DMK's political friends, Saturday's event is highlighting M K Stalin finally come into his own.
Karunanidhi is the last standing leader of the Dravidian movement that formed the basis of Tamil Nadu politics that is distinct from all of India. His son and DMK's working President M K Stalin is all set to take forward the agenda of Dravidian pride. While both factions of political rival AIADMK are attempting to cosy up to the BJP government at the centre, M K Stalin has refused to be kind to it. M K Stalin has minced no words in criticising the BJP for 'interfering' in Tamil Nadu politics.
Politics of protest against Hindi imposition
While leaders of the AIADMK were busy dousing the fire within the party, M K Stalin emerged as the front-runner to criticise Hindi-imposition by the centre. Stalin pointed fingers at the centre's attempt to repaint milestones on highways in Hindi instead of English and Tamil. Out of nowhere, there was suddenly a chorus to stop Hindi imposition. Hindi, in Tamil Nadu politics, is an explosive issue. People of Tamil Nadu had revolted Hindi imposition in schools and Karunanidhi was a prominent face of that protest. Cut to present, M K Stalin in emulating his father and his stiff opposition to forcing people of Tamil Nadu to learn a language that is alien. After Stalin;s criticisms and eventual threats to begin an anti-Hindi agitation, the centre claimed that there was no attempt to impose Hindi.
Party, politics and parties
Celebrations in honour of Karunanidhi as he turns 94 has a strong political undercurrent. Stalin made his move clear when he publicly announced that the BJP was not invited. Stalin highlighted that BJP was not being invited since the party had vowed to destroy Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu. Once again, all that Stalin did was uphold Dravidian pride, the single most important factor for electoral politics in Tamil Nadu. Most non-NDA parties have been invited to the celebrations but BJP has been outrightly rejected. The message is clear, while AIADMK is trying to woo the BJP, the DMK is not.
Bringing anti-Modi forces together
2019 parliamentary polls are pretty much set to be between Narendra Modi and all opposition parties. It is no longer the BJP that opposition is trying to beat but a single person. Stalin has not been kind in his criticism of Prime Minister Modi. After the luncheon organised by Sonia Gandhi, Saturday's event is the largest congregation of opposition leaders. While Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad Yadav have given it a miss, from Gandhis to the Pawars and from Kumars to Abdullahs are in attendance. Stalin has singlehandedly managed to bring leaders who could constitute the largest opposition to Modi under one roof on the pretext of Karunanidhi's birthday. While the presidential election is on priority, the political friendship is one that is expected to continue.
Emerging from the shadows
Saturday's event is the first ever event on a national platform where Stalin has taken the centre stage and not M Karunanidhi. This marks the day Stalin emerges as the one in command. That he was the heir apparent to Karunanidhi was never in contention after his brother Azhagiri was ousted but Stalin emerging as a pioneer in building an anti-BJP and anti-Modi force has come as icing on the cake for DMK workers. Saturday's event automatically makes Stalin a force to reckon with in Tamil Nadu with or without Karunanidhi by his side.