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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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The war of words on the Ram setu issue heated up today with BJP leader asking Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to withdraw his controversial remarks on Lord Ram, a demand the DMK chief has rejected. Rejecting the demand, Karunanidhi, under attack from the BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits for his remarks against Lord Ram and Ram Sethu, said “I have not said anything more than Valmiki, who authored Ramayana. Valmiki had even stated that Ram was a drunkard. Have I said so?.”

At the heart of the controversy is Karunanidhi’s relentless offensive tirade against Rama. Much has been said of Muthuvel Karunanidhi’s professed atheism and rationality. For someone who goes around day and night with blinkers, Karunanidhi’s brand of politics never really demonstrated either rationality or vision.

Offstumped takes a hard look at his record for evidence of the same.

Karunanidhi has been Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu 5 times. (1969-71, 1971-74, 1989-91, 1996-2001 and 2006-date). He also holds the record of winning every election that he fought in his political career spanning over 60 years. If one takes a look at the kind of politics that propelled him into fame, there is hardly anything enlightened or rational about it. He started his career with Anti-Hindi agitations and built on many years anti-North Indian agitations picketing shops run by North Indian merchants and tarring over Hindi names on public billboards. He gained early fame in 1953 when he led a group of DMK volunteers in a bid to change the name of the industrial town called Dalmiapuram to its Tamil original, Kallakudi.

For the most part the Dravidian movement lead by him and others in Tamil Nadu was based on this same narrow parochial brand of agitation politics that drew justification from a manufactured ethnic divide with the rest of India (see related Offstumped post). For an allegedly rational movement that influenced Tamil Nadu politics for the last many decades it has barely anything to show by way of enlightened rationality in that state. Tamil Nadu continues to be riven by deep casteist divisions as ever before with a particularly violent streak of politics that was magnified recently with the deadly arson in Madurai engineered by Karunanidhi’s son Azhagiri in his factional feud with his other son M.K. Stalin. The streak of violence which also saw an estrangement of the Maran clan exposed the dynastic nature of Karunanidhi’s politics.

For a professed atheist is Karunanidhi an equal opportunity offender ?

Not quite his offensive tirade has been markedly anti-Hindu while he has gone out of his way to woo Muslims and Christians with entitlements at the state’s expense through religion based Reservations. Not just that Karunanidhi is usually quite profuse in his praise of Prophet Mohammed everytime a Muslim festival comes around while being markedly secular in his greetings on Hindu festivals. All of this makes one wonder if Karunanidhi’s atheism marked by hypocrisy and double standards is nothing more than a smoke screen for his debauchery.

An octogenarian running a Gerontocracy in Tamil Nadu, this modern day Yayati is showing little signs of detachment from the allure of power.

Offstumped Bottomline: From Parochial Agitations to Communal Socialism there is nothing enlightened or rational about Karunanidhi’s politics.  His professed atheism is actually bigotry that offends selectively. It is time it was committed to the geriatric ward.

http://offstumped.nationalinterest.in/2007/09/20/the-dirty-old-man-of-tamil-politics/#comments

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