For a day that has long been in the making, over four decades after he joined the party, newly-elected DMK President MK Stalin on Tuesday called upon party cadres to come together and work towards achieving a society as envisioned by his father and late Chief M Karunanidhi. Assuring the party that he will continue to walk on the path shown by DMK founder Annadurai and the former President Karunanidhi, Stalin pledged to protect, cherish and advance the four founding principles of the party. “I aim to lead Tamil Nadu on the path of self-respect, equality, social justice using this party,” said the new President of the DMK.
Beginning his speech using the same endearing words used by his father to evoke euphoria among the cadre, Stalin said, “En uyirinum melana anbu udan pirapukkaley (my beloved siblings who I love more than life itself).” He, however, said that unlike ‘Thalaivar Kalaignar’, “I don’t know to talk like him, I cannot talk like him, I cannot own the language like him. But I stand before you with the guts to try anything.”
Taking over the mantle as one of the most influential regionals leaders in India today, he called for a total decimation of the AIADMK government in the state and the BJP at the Centre.
“Education, Arts, Literature, religion are being used by the Central government to propagate religious hatred. The schemes started by Anna and Kalaignar are being sidelined and self-respect and social justice is being shattered by the party that is ruling Tamil Nadu now, with Anna’s name in it,” said the new DMK Chief.
In his first significant political statement after his election as the President of the DMK, Stalin sounded a clarion call to his cadre and said, "Come, come join hands with me. Come with me to teach Modi's government- which paints all of India in saffron- a lesson. Come with me to rout out the state and central governments. Let's all come together."
Stalin also used the occasion to set out his vision for the party.
“Some questions like ‘Who are we? What is our future? What are we here to do?’ did not let me sleep for a few days. I would like to share that dream with you all today. It is a society which respects everybody, has social equality, transgender rights etc. It is a society devoid of differences,” he said.
Calling party workers to unite to help him achieve this dream, he said that this is not just his dream, it is of the party and of Tamil Nadu.
Emphasising that change had well and truly come for the DMK, Stalin said, "The man that you see today has been born again. This is a new me. With the hope of a new future for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, here I am born before you."
Harking back to the social justice values of the DMK, Stalin reminded cadres that the party comprised not of those who valued their caste above all else, but those who valued each other as human beings.
Stalin’s speech suggested that he was ready to lead the party on a new path, upholding and staying true to the principles laid down by Periyar, Annadurai and Karunanidhi.
He concluded his speech by assuring party workers that they are all equal in the eyes of the leadership and that he himself is a worker first.