In response to a question on the demand for Dravida Nadu, Leader of Opposition in the state and DMK Working President MK Stalin had said on Saturday, “If it (such a demand) comes up, it is to be welcomed. I hope it comes up.” A day later, MK Stalin clarified his statement to media person saying, “The media is projecting as though I have demanded Dravida Nadu (And that is not true).”
“I said in Erode was that if such a situation came up, we would support it. Anna gave up the idea for Dravida Nadu and clarified that there were reasons for its creation. Anna has been proved right, especially now that we see how the southern States are being ignored by the BJP government,” he added.
The Dravida Nadu refers to EVR Periyar’s grand vision of the united states of south India. It was to include the populations that speak the Dravidian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. However, CN Annadurai, a disciple of Periyar and a founder of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK), realised that even as independent India was defining its boundaries, it was less and less likely to realise the demand for unified southern states. Annadurai, who went onto become Chief Minister, gave up the demand for Dravida Nadu and chose to work within the existing Indian polity.
Stalin’s comments come in the light of growing discourse on the imposition of Hindi in the south and insulting Periyar, the founding father of the Dravidian movement.
Earlier this month, the BJP came under fire for stoking violence and causing pandemonium in the state.
A vitriolic post on BJP National Secretary H Raja’s Facebook regarding Dravidian icon EVR Periyar’s statue was followed by acts of vandalism on Periyar’s statue. A Periyarist group retaliated by cutting of holy threads of a few Brahmins in Chennai.
Following the violence and protests, leaders in the state had condemned H Raja and the BJP. Many took to the streets to protest the saffron party’s politics in the state and called for the removal of H Raja from the party along with an apology from him.
The Tamil Nadu government was severely criticised for saying that no action need be taken on H Raja given that he had deleted the post. Following the uproar on social media, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister came up with a stronger condemnation of the events.
Reacting to Stalin’s comments BJP’s Youth Wing President in the state Vinoj P Selvam said, “Stalin is trying to play smart, he knows if ever comes out and demands a call for a separate Dravidian state, he will be booked for sedition and find himself behind bars. He’s just trying to create disharmony in this country today. They are unable to digest the fact that there is a unified growth of the country.”