END OF AN ERA : KALAIGNAR KARUNANIDHI ; Whats next ?

It has been a while since we last saw the mastery of Muthuvel Karunanidhi in active politics which always out shined his contemporaries of Tamil Nadu politics. The kind of politics that had taken its own shape during his tenure can be read alone with the likes of Annadurai, MGR and Jayalalitha. Even though he flight toe to toe, teeth to teeth with Jayalalitha till the end there was nobody else apart from her that threatened him in politics.  Today when he finally bid farewell to an illustrious political career, he left behind a vacuum of uncertainty over Tamil Nadu politics which seems to look vague and unclear. Stalin who could be the next possible successor in line seems to be a shadow of his father and Kanimozhi seems not to hold the charm her father held. The Kalaignar’s root runs further deeper into life of Dravidian politics for decades which he successfully defended even when MGR and Jayalalitha stole majority of the heart of an average ‘Tamizhmakkal’ through their own version. This particular identity Kalaignar established in the hearts of people as a writer and a excellent orator is undeniable.  When Jayalalitha finally bid farewell in 2016 Kalaignar was left alone as the sole survivor for an era of Dravidian politics of Tamil Nadu which saw rise and fall of many. The 5 times chief minister of Tamil Nadu, 10 times as DMK supremo spanning 50 years, Kalaignar had embodied a charismatic image of a special leader. His political career was often accompanied with likes of being a script writer, novelist, lyricist and so on which could be read alongside his deep roots in Dravidian ideology. One of his major achievement was able to implement English and Tamil as major mode of communication in state while keeping distance from Hindi which many disliked from the start. What makes Karunanidhi special among his compatriots were his overall ambition for his fellow Tamizhans and his contributions to the state during his tenure at office and at opposition. Even when he shifted away from truth and fall prey to corruption and various other misconducts he continued to hold onto his faith and single handily drive the party forward.  One can’t forget those political moves like the one which welcomed both Indira and later her daughter Sonia into politics in two different decades and any political moves to stop AIDMK coming into power. Even during long 10 years, sitting in opposition against MGR’s AIDMK and later under Jayalalitha the patience Kalaingnar showed was something unique which we couldn’t see anymore in the contemporary politics. Even though in-spite of the hardships, his deep rooted Dravidian philosophy had already stolen heart of many people in time as he was their only immortal Kalaignar. Inspired by Periyar and later when he came to Madras to join E.V Ramaswamy’s Justice Party nothing was quite sure until his caliber as a talented script writer proved vital source of the Dravidian movement. It was through the movie Parasakti, starring Sivaji Ganeshan wherein dialogues that was against anti- Brahmanism came to limelight which quickly caught attention of people. Kalaignar, was first noticed in the eyes of people was during his protest against changing the name of a railway station Kallukady to Dalmiapuram in Tamil Nadu. Four years later he was elected to state assembly from Kulithalai constituency. It was the beginning  of the era of Muthuvel Karunanadhi as well as a new politics. During the same time a  friendship was born with  Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandra(MGR) following the huge success of his 1950 movie ‘Manthri Kumaran’ for which Karunanidhi wrote the script and MGR did the lead role. The friendship shifted into a rivalry following a split later with MGR starting his own party AIDMK.

Now as the tale of Karunanidhi ends in Tamil Nadu politics what lies ahead is the uncertainty over the future of the state’s political spectrum. Just like Palani Swami’s AIDMK which struggled to create a new image after the demise of Jayalalitha, DMK would also have to go through the same phase in order to gain people’s faith once again. Unlike 60’s the cause today is different, society has changed considerably and the need to represent Dravidian ideology is less significant compared to likes of communal cards played by BJP and Congress who is fast tracking ways to finally enter the politics of the state. Now as 2019 Lok Sabha election is close by Stalin is leftover with a decision to make which seems to affect the internal politics of both state as well the party. Also considering the odds surrounding the possible entry of Rajinikanth and Kamalahassan into politics will also play a key part in deciding  the future of Tamil Nadu. The recent turmoil in politics can further churn a possible heir to to the changing mindset of people after demise of Jayalalaitha. Not only did people started to think out of box, unlike their predecessors their demand for better governance and stability increased drastically. Therefore it seems to be a real test for DMK in absence of Kalaignar to entrust Stalin with all responsibilities and aspirations. The real question that prevails is whether Stalin could follow the steps and create a colossus figure his father Karunanithi had carved out for him in Tamizhakam.

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