The much awaited first ?DMK?Youth Wing Conference? was held in Thirunelveli on December 15-16, 2007 with pomp, gaiety and fanfare. The media reports have suggested that the expenditure would have crossed Rs. 50 crores according to conservative estimates. But before the conference, local administration minister and youth wing chief Stalin criss-crossed each and every district headquarters for ?collection? of donations and fund raising (Nidhi Thirattal-in Tamil) and each district chief were supposed to have contributed not less than rupees twenty five lacs. The official machineries were supposed to have been allegedly (mis)used to the maximum. The majority of the ?youth? who attended the conference were between the age group of 40 and 55. The entire family of the DMK chief and Chief Minister Karunanidhi was projected to the fore and the speculation of the media and the desire of the majority of the cadres to witness an official declaration of Stalin as the Crown Prince didn'thappen. Shri Karunanidhi symbolically told the gathering that what they have expected would happen soon. Shri Stalin had symbolically advised the youth that they should not go after posts, but wait for them to come by nurturing noble qualities and working hard. Shri Azhagiri, Stalin'selder brother could not attend the conference as he had to go to Chithoor for a court hearing in the famous Tha.Kiruttinan murder case.
There is nothing wrong in Karunanidhi projecting his son Stalin as his successor, especially, when the party leaders and cadres are readily accepting him as their future chief. Moreover, he has been in politics for quite a long time and he has been a three time MLA and a Mayor too! He had gone to prison too during the ?emergency? and he has enough experience, unlike other dynastic novices like Rahul or Kanimozhi.
Talking of dynastic politics, though Annadurai, the founder president of DMK didn'tname his Successor, Karunanidhi was not a consensus choice either, but he played his cards well and made it look like a consensus choice after the demise of Anna in 1969. The personality clash in Dravidian politics is an inevitable factor and that was one of the reasons for Anna leaving Periyar-EVR and DK to form DMK in 1949. Similarly, MGR came out of DMK and launched AIADMK in 1972, but Karunanidhi did extremely well in the assembly elections the same year, to romp home with absolute majority. MGR, who groomed his party from 1972 to 1977 meticulously, aided by his charisma and film-magic captured power in 1977 with a thumping majority, though he had the alliance of Morarji Desai'sJanata Party. When Janata government collapsed in
In 1980, M. Karunanidhi allied with Congress in the parliamentary elections and later due to the pressure exerted by him Justice Paul Commission was constituted to investigate the ?Rectified Spirit Scam? and Indira Gandhi dismissed MGR'sgovernment. Then again he won in 1980 with a clear majority and became CM for the second time. Then again in 1984 after Mrs Gandhi'sdeath, when Congress won the Parliament elections with absolute majority, MGR won for the third time in the state assembly elections, even while he was recuperating in a US hospital from an acute illness, which finally took his life in 1987. So, from 1977 to 1987, it was MGR all the way and MK was having his ?Vanvas? mercilessly imposed by the people.
Coming to the present, the youth conference at Thirunelveli was actually aimed at showing Stalin'sstrength to the other political parties in general and actors Vijayakanth'sDMDK (Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam-National Progressive Dravidian Party) and Sarathkumar'sAISK (Agila Indiya Samathuva Katchi?All India Egalitarian Party) in particular, as they are believed to attract the youth of Tamil Nadu. Even though MK had not announced Stalin as his successor openly, he had covertly made it known to the people and media that Stalin would be his successor not only in the party but in the government as well. The convening of general council and official announcement thereafter is only a formality, which will happen any time from now. As a first step, it is expected that Stalin would be made as the Deputy Chief Minister before Pongal festival.
In the early nineties, as Karunanidhi wanted to give the mantle to his son at an appropriate time and as he felt that Vaiko has been emerging as a very popular leader, particularly among the youth because of his political acumen and oratory skills, Karunanidhi concocted a story and sent out Vaiko by charging that he conspired to eliminate him!
Now, MK is aware of the under-current passing within his family circles including the Marans. He doesn'tseem to be confident that his family will be united after his time and so he wants to put Stalin on the pedestal before anything untoward happens. He may also be aware of the fact that, the party is likely to disintegrate after his time and young leaders like Vijayakant, Saratkumar and Vaiko are likely to be benefited because of that. PMK'sRamadoss, who has already hijacked the pet issues of MK like social justice, Tamil-cause etc, is waiting to fish in troubled waters. In future, Kanimozhi and Azhagiri may not be as successful as Stalin and Maran may emerge as a power to reckon with because of his money and material strength and influence in Delhi circles. In fact, Stalin'ssuccess must be attributed to his father'sastuteness, deft moves and political acumen.
Another vital factor is that the leaders of alliance parties will definitely not accept Stalin as the CM and as the coalition politics is here to stay in TN, the chances of Stalin becoming CM after the next election is remote! Also BJP'swin in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and the expected win in Delhi will have a peculiar impact in Tamil Nadu? AIADMK moving closer to BJP; Congress inching closer to DMDK; PMK determined to distance itself from DMK ? which will thwart the ambition of Stalin becoming a Chief Minister in future.
While Stalin has been conferred a new title as ?Ilaya Kalaignar? (young artist) in Thirunelveli conference, Vijayakant had already been fondly addressed as ?Puratchi Kalaignar? (revolutionary artist) in cinema and party circles. In Tamil Nadu, ?Puratchi? is a successful term, as evidenced by the successes of ?Puratchi Thalaivar MGR? and ?Puratchi Thalaivi Jayalalitha?. That is why this undue hurrying shown by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in crowning his son!
All these go to show that DMK politics is taking a drastic turn, for good or bad, only time can tell.