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Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Symbol

About Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, popularly called the MDMK is a regional political party which has a prominent presence in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. It is a Dravidian party which operates on an ideology of Social Democracy. In other words, the MDMK,
with a Centre-Left political position, functions on achieving its goal of attaining a universal welfare state through gradual reformist measures and populist schemes. The MDMK adheres to a political struggle to obtain Tamil Nationalism.
The party was founded in May 1994, by one time popular DMK activist V. Gopalswamy, famously nicknamed Vaiko. Vaiko’s dynamism as a politician, his active participation in protests and agitation, his hard-hitting speeches invoking historically justifiable words and evidence in upholding the truth, and his unnerving spirit of selflessness, won him thousands of politically-aware supporters and sympathizers. His fan-following was most intense among the youth of the state of Tamil Nadu. Particularly dramatic was his open support to the LTTE and his explicit sympathy for the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils. In fact, he was reprimanded by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for his act of daring to meet the leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Velupillai Prabhakaran. Vaiko soon became a potential threat to the top shots of the DMK leadership, as he equalled the stature of M.K. Stalin and others. Most of the DMK leadership did not favour Vaiko, as his straight-forward political appearance was not liked by many. He was expelled from the DMK on apparent false charges. On the other hand, some front-liners of the DMK came out in outright support of Vaiko. He took the historic decision to form his own political outfit, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, on the 6th May 1994, by bringing together all his supporters and sympathizers who were initially members of the DMK but split from it. The MDMK is thus a political faction of the Dravidian parties, which broke away from the DMK. Vaiko became the President and General Secretary of the MDMK. The MDMK, a consistent critic of the Jayalalitha-led AIADMK government, was initial a significant member of the NDA from 1998-2004, when it shifted allegiance to the UPA from 2004 to 2008. The MDMK has allied with the CPIM in Tamil Nadu and fought a number of issues in the interest of the downtrodden and poor sections of society. Presently, the MDMK has one member in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Election Symbol of MDMK

The Election Symbol of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is “Top”. It is usually drawn on a tri-coloured party flag of the MDMK, which is coloured red in the top and bottom panels and black in the middle panel. The “Top” as the symbol of the MDMK is significant as it represents the true spirit of the party and the President of the MDMK. Literally speaking, the top is a small toy or tool used by children to play. It revolves while it rotates at a great speed. In other words, the toym as an instrument, denotes velocity and momentum. The use of the symbol by MDMK represents the momentum of the party in trying to achieve its goals and highlights the revolutionary ideas of the party to the entire cross-section of the society. In other words, the ‘Top’ symbol is indicative of the party’s strength and courage to fight on, in the face of the gravest hurdles. This unmoving spirit of fearlessness is drawn from Vaiko, who has imparted his zeal and enthusiasm to seriously contribute to the cause of the common man, to the likes of each and every party member and comforter of the MDMK.

Metaphorically speaking, the ‘Top’ symbol indicates the highest rank, the topmost position among the Dravidian parties in the state. The symbol is indicative of the massive acceptance of the party among the population in the two states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry where it is visibly significant, owing to its welfare schemes and policies which are pro-poor. The cause of Tamil Nationalism is well carried forward by the MDMK. Thus, the symbol is significant as it indicates what the party proposes and aims to achieve.

Leaders of MDMK

The leaders of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:
  • Vaiko, President and General Secretary of MDMK
    Vaiko has been a prominent Member of Parliament and a number of committees. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for three terms and elected to the Lok Sabha for two terms. Vaiko has remained an ideal for many young activists and politicians across the country. His fight for Tamil nationalism and the LTTE had earned him a number of imprisonments under the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) in 2002 and for seditions. His strong character, political vision and upright zeal have earned him respect from many quarters. He is one of the politicians in the country who has a clean image.
  • A. Ganeshamurthi, Leader in Lok Sabha
    He is the only representative of the MDMK in the 15th Lok Sabha, representing the Erode constituency of Tamil Nadu. He is a social worker.
  • Pon Muthuramalingam, Deputy Chairman of MDMK
    He is also the Deputy Secretary of the party in Madurai.
  • M. Kannappan, Treasurer of MDMK.

Achievements of MDMK

As a regional political party, the MDMK has had a number of significant achievements. Some of these are listed below:
  • The MDMK has a number of frontal organizations under its banner. One of the most competent and significant is its labour wing called Marumalarchi Labour Front (MLF) which has actively protested for the rights and demands of the peasant and farmer sections of the society in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The MLF has ensured that agricultural loans at lesser interest rates are given to the peasants and free electricity is supplied for them to operate successfully in the fields.
  • The MDMK newspaper Sangoli is a widely published daily in Tamil Nadu, voicing the concerns of the marginalized and the downtrodden sections of the state, along with the opinions of the elites and others. Sangoli represents the MDMK’s political objectives and realities such that it can reach everybody.
  • Vaiko has undertaken several foot walks (Padayatra) to highlight the protest agendas of his party. The most prominent of his walks was the one from Kanyakumari to Chennai which he undertook, at the time of the formation of the party. In this Padayatra, he enlightened the people of the newly-formed party’s political visions, which earned him respect from many people.

  • The MDMK has put up a determined consistent fight against the imposition of Hindi in the Tamil-speaking belt of India. The Hindi agitation, which the MDMK participated in, raising its voice against making Hindi the official language of India is a famous struggle.
  • In fact, the MDMK asserts that Tamil should be made one of the official languages as it is one of the oldest languages in the country.
  • The party observes that reservations for the socially minor communities should be enhanced as this would lead to social justice movement, which is a primary aspect of the MDMK.
  • The MDMK believes that the rivers of Kerala should be re-directed to Tamil Nadu through channels and tunnels, so that irrigation in the state can be carried out without shortage of water.

Contact Details

Official Website of MDMK:
Head-Office Address of MDMK: Thaayagam, Egmore, Chennai - 600008
Email Id: [email protected]

Last Updated on March 10, 2015