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Stalin's Message to Cadres is Clear: 'Will Follow Karunanidhi's Principles on Secularism, Federalism'

MK Stalin said he may not talk like his father and have a strong command over Tamil language like him, but he is looking forward to a new future for the DMK.

Poornima Murali |

Updated:August 29, 2018, 3:55 PM IST
Stalin's Message to Cadres is Clear: 'Will Follow Karunanidhi's Principles on Secularism, Federalism'
File photo of DMK president MK Stalin.
Chennai: In his first speech after becoming the president of the DMK on Tuesday, MK Stalin had a clear message for his party cadres: Karunanidhi may not be around but his ideologies will prevail.

Stalin said that he may not talk like his father and have a strong command over Tamil language like him, but he is looking forward to a new future for the DMK.

A strong supporter of secularism, Karunanidhi had pushed for a secular government at the Centre on many occasions during his lifetime. Following in his father’s footsteps, Stalin in his speech targeted the BJP for destroying all institutions in the country and urged his party to teach the Modi government a lesson.

“Threat to secularism is growing and the central government is threatening the basic federalism of the country. The BJP is trying to destroy the institutions of the country. Let us protect the freedom of speech. Let us fight against the imposition of any language over our Tamil Nadu. Let us teach a lesson to the Modi government, which paints the country in saffron. Let us all work together for this,” Stalin said.

Karunanidhi was also known for his fight against the imposition of other languages on Tamil Nadu. In 2016, Karunanidhi lashed out at the BJP for its move to impose Sanskrit in schools under the Union the government.

“The Union government was ignoring our plea to declare all the languages placed in the eighth schedule as official languages of India. But, it is showing keen interest in imposing Hindi and Sanskrit. Is it equal justice for all languages?” he had said. Stalin, too, highlighted this sentiment in his first speech as the party president on Tuesday.

DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said: “A new era has begun. Stalin is continuing with the policies which the DMK has always stood for. There is nothing new about what he had said about the BJP. What we have been consistently saying for the last three years — be it Kalaignar or other senior leaders who have always opposed the imposition of Hindi or the communal policies of the BJP. This has been the policy and ideology of the DMK and there is nothing surprising in the reference our leader made about the BJP.”

Manu Sunsaram, DMK spokesperson, agreed: “The resounding message of the General Council was that the spread of communal forces must be stopped and the spineless, sorry excuse for a state government that we have now must be routed.

Political analysts said Stalin’s attack on the BJP is not surprising as he wants to attack the BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sampath Kumar, a political observer, said: “Stalin has just taken over as the party chief and he doesn’t want to project himself as somebody who is sacrificing the Dravidian principles. Secondly, he would not like to lose the votes of the minorities. As far as DMK concerned, BJP is just a dead wait in Tamil Nadu. So only BJP will gain by an alliance with the DMK. In such cases, he would like to wait and watch. Before the Lok Sabha elections, he won’t have an alliance with the BJP. Post Lok Sabha elections, if BJP needs DMK’s help, he may extend it post electoral scenario. Till then I will not be surprised if he attacks the BJP more vehemently."

“As of now, supporting BJP will cost him votes. Like his father (Karunanidhi) used to say, ‘There are no permanent friends or enemies.’ Karunanidhi was attacking the BJP tooth and nail and still had no hesitation in having an alliance with the party. The reason given by Karunanidhi was that in view of having a stable government at the Centre, there is nothing wrong in forming an alliance with the BJP. Stalin wants to make sure that he keeps following the Dravidian ideologies and that is why he spoke about secularism in his speech,” Kumar added.

Speculation is rife that the BJP is open to a post-poll alliance with the DMK. Political analysts pointed out that Stalin’s message was to clear the air that DMK’s enemy for now is the BJP.

“Stalin’s attack on the BJP is less of ideology and more of reality and practicality. It is about election alliance and the general mood of the cadre. It may be to silence speculation about DMK moving closer to the BJP,” political analyst N Sathiya Moorthy pointed out.

The state BJP hit back at the DMK, calling it a communal party. BJP spokesperson Narayanan Tirupathi said: "It is not surprising that DMK is accusing the BJP. We, in turn, say that DMK, Congress and Communist are the communal parties in Tamil Nadu and India. The pseudo-secularists always talk like this about the BJP for minority votes. We will counter these communal forces. We will fight these communal forces, pseudo-secularists.”

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| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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