Chennai: Nobody was very shocked when 89-year-old S. Duraisamy, a stalwart of Dravidian politics, give up the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) this Tuesday, accusing occasion chief V. Gopalsamy, higher referred to as Vaiko, of “dynasty politics”. He had mentioned as a lot in a bombastic and broadly circulated letter in April, too.
Nonetheless, extra importantly, Duraisamy, presidium chairman of the MDMK till his resignation, has additionally advised greater than as soon as that Vaiko ought to merge the occasion with the state’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Khazhagam (DMK) since there was not a lot distinction between them.
In his resignation letter, too, he reportedly mentioned it was greatest to merge the MDMK with its “mom occasion”, the DMK, for the sake of cadres.
Vaiko based MDMK in 1994, shortly after he was ousted from the DMK over ideological variations in addition to his vocal criticism of “dynasty politics” within the occasion, the place it was turning into clear that patriarch M. Karunanidhi’s son M.Okay Stalin could be subsequent in line to steer the occasion.
Stalin is at present the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the MDMK is part of the ruling DMK-led alliance.
Talking to ThePrint, Duraisamy mentioned that the MDMK’s greatest likelihood of staying related is that if it merges with the DMK.
“MDMK was fashioned towards the backdrop of dynasty politics within the DMK. Vaiko had alleged that Karunanidhi was paving the best way for Stalin by sidelining others. However now, Vaiko is simply repeating the identical for the entry of his son (MDMK normal secretary) Durai Vaiko,” Duraisamy alleged.
He added: “There isn’t a requirement of a separate occasion — the MDMK — now. Moderately, they will merge with the DMK for the higher good of the cadres and to struggle communal political events”.
Vaiko in a press meet Tuesday dismissed all of Duraisamy’s claims and described his name for a merger as “unusual”. He additionally claimed that his son’s ascent within the occasion was a results of the latter’s reputation with cadres.
“They (Occasion cadres) wished him to be included within the occasion and I advised a secret poll; 104 out of the 106 office-bearers voted in his favour,” Vaiko mentioned.
ThePrint reached Vaiko a number of instances over telephone for a remark, however obtained no response until the time of publication of this report.
In the meantime, Duraisamy’s demand for a merger of MDMK and DMK has obtained Tamil Nadu’s political observers considering. If such a merger did ever come to go, it might be akin to a ghar wapsi, or homecoming, for the MDMK, mentioned political analysts ThePrint spoke to.
The DMK, based by C.N Annadurai in 1949, has served because the bedrock of Dravidian politics in Tamil Nadu. Nonetheless, the occasion has witnessed many splinter teams — together with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and MDMK — rising from its fold over the many years, often spearheaded by sidelined or expelled leaders.
Whereas some carved out their very own area of interest, others light into the background, if not oblivion.
Duraisamy, considerably, is the final surviving politician from the time of the unique undivided DMK.
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The roots of the DMK return to the Justice Occasion, which was fashioned in 1916 as a grouping of non-Brahmin leaders from Tamil Nadu. These leaders shared a typical agenda of selling social justice, rights for non-Brahmin teams, and Tamil language and tradition.
Within the Nineteen Thirties, social reformer Periyar E. V. Ramasamy turned the chief of this occasion and took a brilliant younger political aspirant underneath his wing — C.N. Annadurai. The outfit modified its title to Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944, and propounded rationalism, ‘self-respect’, and Dravidian beliefs that proceed to form Tamil Nadu politics right now.
Nonetheless, Annadurai and Ramaswamy fell out just a few years later.
A.S. Panneerselvan, a fellow at Chennai’s Roja Muthiah Analysis Library, traced the rising stress inside the motion to 1947 when a distinction of opinion emerged between Annadurai and Periyar on the function of their organisation in newly-independent India.
“One of many variations was, are you going to be a part of a state construction or are you going to be exterior the electoral system. There was a set of individuals led by Annadurai who felt that they wanted to be a part of the state system to make adjustments. Electoral participation was a cause for the cut up,” mentioned Panneerselvan.
In 1949, Annadurai and his supporters fashioned a separate occasion known as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (which interprets to Dravidian Progressive Federation), or DMK.
The occasion had a sluggish and bumpy begin. In its first electoral struggle within the meeting polls of 1957, it received solely 15 seats. 4 years later, it skilled its first cut up when Periyar’s nephew E.V.Okay. Sampath fashioned the Tamil Nationwide Occasion, which later merged with the Congress.
Nonetheless, the DMK gained momentum within the 1962 election, securing 50 seats and turning into the opposition occasion within the state.
Lastly, 18 years after its formation, the DMK obtained its huge breakthrough in 1967, when it turned the primary non-Congress occasion to kind a authorities in Tamil Nadu with a transparent majority.
This marked the decisive starting of Dravidian politics within the state, successfully marginalising nationwide events just like the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Occasion in Tamil Nadu.
Following the demise of Annadurai in 1969, M. Karunanidhi took over the DMK management, surpassing V.N. Nedunchezhiyan, a senior member of the occasion, who had briefly served as appearing CM.
Karunanidhi subsequently turned the occasion head and Chief Minister, with the help of nearly all of occasion members.
Large bang AIADMK, damp squib Makkal DMK
In 1972, movie star-turned politician M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) was expelled from the DMK, reportedly following to a conflict between him and Karunanidhi.
Shortly thereafter, MGR, who loved a mass help base, floated a celebration named after Annadurai: the Anna DMK (later referred to as the AIADMK). In 1977, the occasion swept the meeting polls, with MGR ascending to the publish of Chief Minister.
Across the similar time, senior DMK chief Nedunchezhiyan additionally give up the occasion and fashioned the Makkal Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which quickly merged with AIADMK.
“The rationale for the cut up was quite simple,” mentioned analyst Panneerselvan. “The DMK had misplaced energy in 1977 and AIADMK got here to energy, Nedunchezhiyan and three different senior cupboard colleagues of Karunanidhi after shedding energy floated the occasion and after six months finally merged with AIADMK.”
AIADMK divisions, and a caste-based cut up
After coming to energy in 1977, MGR stayed put within the CM’s chair (save for a quick spell of President’s rule in 1980) till his loss of life in 1987.
There have been just a few inner conflicts and splits within the AIADMK throughout MGR’s reign. As an illustration, Nanjil Okay. Manoharan, a senior chief who was instrumental within the AIADMK’s progress, returned to the DMK in 1980, and expelled chief S.D. Somasundaram began a celebration known as Namathu Kazhagum in 1984.
Nonetheless, a full-fledged factional conflict broke out solely after MGR’s loss of life, between his spouse Janaki Ramachandran and his protégé J. Jayalalithaa.
In the end, Jayalalithaa prevailed after the 1989 meeting election and helmed the occasion as its undisputed chief till her loss of life in 2016, regardless of just a few makes an attempt at revolt.
As an illustration, Neduncheyian, who fashioned a rival faction simply forward of the 1989 elections, returned to the AIADMK later. In 1996, S. Thirunavukkarassu fashioned the MGR Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam after a rift with Jayalalithaa. The occasion contested with BJP backing within the 2001 Legislative polls and finally joined the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.
None of those splinter events, nonetheless, might develop into a political drive throughout Jayalalithaa’s lifetime, analysts say. After her demise, although, issues appear to have modified.
In 2018, after a spell of infighting inside the AIADMK, ousted chief T.T.V Dhinakaran— nephew of Jayalalithaa aide Sasikala — fashioned the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
In Could this 12 months, ex-CM and expelled AIADMK chief O. Panneerselvam, or OPS, joined palms with one-time rival Dhinakaran to tackle not simply the DMK however “betrayers” within the AIADMK, which is at present led by Edappadi Okay Palaniswami, or EPS. Sasikala, OPS, and Dhinakaran all belong to the state’s influential Thevar neighborhood, whereas EPS enjoys a powerful help base among the many Gounder neighborhood.
The AMMK reportedly seeks to leverage the AIADMK’s Thevar vote-bank in its personal favour.
In response to analyst Panneerselvan, this caste-based flip is a departure from common politics in Tamil Nadu.
“After Jayalalithaa’s loss of life, the cut up is an fascinating one. Earlier than, the splits inside the Dravidian events have been by no means casteist. That is the primary time that caste affiliation is taking part in a serious function within the occasion cut up,” he mentioned.
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Start and fading of MDMK
There was a time when Vaiko, now 79 years previous and a Rajya Sabha MP, was one of the outstanding leaders within the DMK, arguably second solely to Karunanidhi. He joined the occasion within the Sixties, was famed for his eloquent and fiery oratory, and was a powerful votary of Tamil nationalism.
Nonetheless, a rift grew over time. In 1989, Vaiko reportedly undertook a clandestine journey to satisfy Velupillai Prabhakaran, the chief of Sri Lanka’s militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had been engaged in a face-off with the Indian Military.
“Vaiko’s Sri Lankan go to in 1989 with out informing Karunanidhi was an embarrassing state of affairs for the DMK,” political analyst Priyan Srinivasan informed ThePrint.
This additionally ostensibly furthered the notion that Vaiko was getting a little bit too huge for his boots and was attempting to emerge as a challenger to Karunanidhi scion Stalin.
“Across the similar time, a gaggle supporting Vaiko had grown inside the DMK and this was perceived as a menace to Stalin, who was being groomed to be the subsequent in command,” Srinivasan defined.
The massive turning level got here in 1993, when Karunanidhi accused Vaiko of plotting with the LTTE to assassinate him and expelled the chief from the occasion.
In 1994, Vaiko fashioned the MDMK, with a number of different chief — together with two-time MLA S. Duraisamy — becoming a member of him.
Nonetheless, Vaiko’s help base by no means fairly translated into electoral heft.
For over 20 years, because it was fashioned, the MDMK relied on partnerships. It cast an alliance with the AIADMK for the 2001 meeting election and 2009 Lok Sabha polls, with the DMK within the 2004 Lok Sabha election, after which with the BJP within the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
It even created a six-party entrance known as the Makkal Nala Kootani to problem the DMK and AIADMK in 2016.
Following the passing of Karunanidhi in 2018, the MDMK as soon as once more revived its ties with the DMK for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and has ridden pillion with it ever since, albeit at the price of its personal id.
Duraisamy identified that in that election , in addition to the 2021 meeting polls, MDMK candidates have been compelled to contest underneath the rising solar image of the DMK.
In that election, DMK obtained 133 of 234 meeting seats, the AIADMK bagged 66, and the MDMK received 4 of the merely six seats it contested.
In response to Duraisamy, the occasion is not bringing something substantial to the fray.
“The rationale why Vaiko shouldn’t be merging with the DMK is as a result of he thinks that he can profit from being a person occasion. If you wish to struggle communal events, you may be part of the DMK and struggle them. Why do you want a person occasion?” he argued.
Some analysts agree. “The need for having a celebration just like the MDMK has develop into outdated and out of date,” mentioned Srinivasan.
Dravidian bastion vs nationwide events
Ever because the DMK first got here to energy, Dravidian events have fashioned the principle pillar of Tamil Nadu’s electoral politics.
Analysts say all these events purport to face for 5 key ideas, all based mostly on the imaginative and prescient of Annadurai — social justice, ladies’s empowerment, casteless and equal society, Tamil Nadu’s state rights, and self-respect.
Up to now 5 many years, Tamil Nadu has been primarily dominated by both the DMK or AIADMK, leaving nationwide events like Congress and BJP depending on them for electoral success.
Nonetheless, a number of different Dravidian events have additionally emerged, some with notable achievements.
One such occasion is the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), based by actor Vijayakanth in 2005.
Within the 2011 state meeting polls, in alliance with left events and AIADMK, the DMDK received 29 of the 40 seats it contested, turning into the principle opposition occasion, leaving even the DMK in third place.
Nonetheless, DMDK’s subsequent makes an attempt to kind a 3rd entrance with the MDMK within the 2014 polls didn’t yield a lot fruit, and the occasion’s efficiency within the following elections has been disappointing.
After the passing of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, a political vacuum emerged within the state, main actor Kamal Haasan to launch a celebration known as Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) in 2017.
Throughout its launch, Haasan hademphasised that his occasion was neither left nor proper however centred on Dravidian ideology. Nonetheless, within the 2021 meeting polls, MNM did not safe any seats regardless of contesting from 183 constituencies, managing solely a 2.62 per cent vote share.
One other standard actor, Rajinikanth, had expressed his intention to launch a celebration, however in December 2021, he introduced that he wouldn’t proceed on account of well being points.
Within the meantime, the BJP, which continues to be piggy-backing on its ally AIADMK, has been persistently attempting to make inroads within the state.
Analysts level out that there’s excessive stress on Dravidian events to uphold the prevailing political ecosystem.
“Due to BJP’s try and make inroads into the state, the necessity for the presence of Dravidian events within the state is way stronger. At current the Stalin-led DMK has a troublesome ideological battle with BJP. If Stalin lets go this time, then the political course of the state will change,” Priyan mentioned.
He added that Stalin is dealing with what is probably the largest take a look at but for the DMK: “With the load of the occasion on his shoulders, Stalin is now confronting a higher problem than Karunanidhi.”
(Edited by Asavari Singh)
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