About Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, translated as the 'Dravidian Progress Federation' is a breakaway faction of Periyar's political party called Dravida Kazhagam. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was formed in the year 1949 by C.N. Annadurai. It is a regional political party with a centre-left political position and political ideologies of Social Democracy, Democratic Socialism and Populism. Its mass base is in the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in India. It formed coalition with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from 1999 to 2004. From 2004 to early 2013, the DMK was in alliance with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA-1 and UPA-2, respectively). In March 2013, the DMK withdrew support from the UPA, over the issue of alleged human rights violation on the Sri Lankan Tamils. Periyar carved out 'Dravida Kazhagam' from the Justice Party in 1944. The newly formed Dravida Kazhagam was seen as a political movement, demanding the creation of a separate state for Dravidians, which would not have Hindi as its official language. The Dravida Kazhagam, in other words, was a political party fighting for the cause of the anti-Hindi belt in the Madras Presidency. Soon however, differences began to creep in between Periyar and other members of the party. C.N. Annadurai, along with other senior leaders in the Dravida Kazhagam, such as N.V. Nataranjan, E.V.K. Sampath and others, split from the Dravida Kazhagam and formed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The present president of the party, leading the DMK from 1969 onwards, is M. Karunanidhi, who has remained the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Veteran superstar from the south, M.G. Ramachandran, popularly called M.G.R, was an active member of the DMK in its growing years. He had joined the party in 1953, popularizing the party ideologies, aims and objectives. However, there were tensions between Karunanidhi and M.G.R, over internal working and leadership struggle within the party. Soon M.G.R exited from the party, forming his own political party which famously came to be known as the AIADMK. Karunanidhi has hence, been the head of the DMK, taking all important decisions.
The DMK won the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections in 2006, with Karunanidhi as the Chief Minister from 2006 to 2011, when the AIADMK took over the governance of the state.
Election Symbol and its Significance
The Election Symbol of the DMK, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the "Rising Sun" with the sun rising between two mountains. This symbol is very significant as people in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry immediately connect with the symbol. In fact, there is a English weekly by the name 'The Rising Sun' made available in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The symbol of the "Rising Sun" is significant as it directly links with the history of the Dravidian people and their political movement, which was carried forward by Periyar and his political initiatives. The aim of the Kazhagam, according to the party documents, is to strive and forge a Dravidian cultural co-operation among the four states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. This co-operation is essentially to be on the lines of linguistic similarities, such as to fight the dominance of Hindi-speaking belt. In other words, the DMK's election symbol is prominent as it portrays a "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people, so as to bring to themselves, the lights of life, like the rays of the sun. The DMK aims to work within the ambit of the Indian Constitutional ideals of sovereignty, unity and integrity, along with the principles of democracy, socialism and secularism. In other words, the "Rising Sun" symbol is apt to describe the political ideals and aims of the DMK.
National Executives of DMK
The leaders of the DMK, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:
- Muthuvel Karunanidhi, President of DMK
Popularly called "Kalaignar" or the "artist" by members of the DMK, Karunanidhi has led the party since the death of its founder Annadurai. He holds a significant record in the last 60 years, of winning each election, from any constituency in Tamil Nadu. In fact it is because of Karunanidhi, that the DMK holds the distinction of being the first party, besides the Congress, to win state-level elections with thumping majority.
- K. Anbazhagan, General Secretary of DMK
Anbazhagan has remained an MLA for nine times during the various DMK governments in Tamil Nadu.
- T.R. Baalu, Leader in Lok Sabha
Baalu is the leader of the DMK in the lower house of Parliament. He is a veteran leader and has been elected to the Lok Sabha four times in a row. He represents the Sriperumbudur constituency.
- A.K. Jinnah, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Jinnah represents Tamil Nadu as a member of the DMK in the Rajya Sabha.
- K.P. Ramalingam, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
He represents Tamil Nadu as a member of the DMK in the Rajya Sabha.
- Kanimozhi, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
She is the daughter of president Karunanidhi and is the chief of the DMK's wing for Art, Literature and Rationalism.
- Vasanthi Stanley, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
She is a journalist and represents Tamil Nadu as a member of the DMK in the Rajya Sabha.
The following leaders of the DMK along with the Constituency they represent. They are also MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha.
- S. Jagathrakshakan (Arakkonam constituency)
- T.M. Dayanidhi (Chennai Central constituency)
- T.K.S. Elangovan (Chennai North constituency)
- R. Thamaraiselvan (Dharmapuri constituency)
- Adhi Shankar (Kallakurichi constituency)
- S.S. Palanimanickam (Thanjavur constituency)
- T.D. Venugopal (Tiruvannamalai constituency)
Achievements of DMK
As a regional political party, and by forming governments in Tamil Nadu, the DMK has had some significant achievements. Some of these are listed below:
- The DMK has initiated all-round development in the villages of Tamil Nadu, by implementing the famous 'Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme', which ensures employment to the youth in villages of Tamil Nadu.
- Impetus has been given to industrial growth in the state, by improving the condition of roads, building four-lane and six-lane roads and constructing bridges across the state.
- Various projects, linking up rivers within the state have been implemented. Examples of such projects are Cauvery-Gundaru Linking Project taken up at a cost of Rs.189 crores; Tamirabarani-Karumeniyaru-Nambiyaru Linking Project taken up at a cost of Rs.369 crores.
- A historic food security scheme has been launched in the state, wherein lakhs of beneficiaries have been given rice at rupees one per kilogram of rice. Also, distribution of palm oil, red gram, black gram, suji, maida and fortified wheat flour under Special Public Distribution system at subsidized rates have been initiated. Again, 5 Eggs or Bananas per week as part of Nutritious Noon Meal, has been started by the DMK.
- Zero interest on agricultural loans has been implemented, to help farmers carry on their agricultural activities more comfortably.
- More than one crore of people have been given free house sites in the state, for construction of a proper shelter with government aid.
- In protest against Hindi being made the official language, the DMK has successfully introduced Tamil as a compulsory language till 10th standard, in all schools in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Official Website of DMK: http://www.dmk.in/
Head-Office Address of DMK: 'Anna Arivalayam', 367-369, Annasalai, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 018
Email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated on 11/30/2013