Just days after DMK chief M Karunanidhi urged the Modi government to enforce reservation for Dalits in the private sector, his son MK Stalin has asked that the birthday of Dheeran Chinnamalai gounder, a freedom-fighter and Kongu leader who is often used by caste-based outfits to perpetrate caste atrocities.
DMK Leader MK Stalin on Tuesday paid his respects to the Kongu leader on his birthday, inaugurating a memorial in Erode. In his speech, he called for a state holiday on the Gounder leader's birthday. This comes just days after Karunanidhi's call to to implement a reservation policy for Dalits in the private sector.
Dheeran Theerthagiri Gounder, popularly known as Dheeran Chinnamalai, was a freedom fighter and a powerful Kongu leader. He is said to have been trained alongside Tipu Sultan and fought the crucial Polygar war, after the defeat of which he was hanged and killed. Belonging to the Gounder community, Dheeran Chinnamalai is a symbol of pride, dignity and honour for the members of the community, who form the crux of population in the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu.
VCK general secretary believes Stalin's approach is far more tokenistic than Karunanidhi's. "Every party has a committee that handles bithday and anniversary celebrations, and this committee put this together, I'm sure. As an appeasement, everyone makes a statement here and there," he says, adding, "This is not a contradiction. If anything, these committees have no place in the party. That is far more of a concern forcing appeasement statements which become controversial."