Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
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The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (transl. Dravidian Progressive Federation, DMK) is a social-democratic and Dravidianist political party in the state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry. It is one of the two main political parties in Tamil Nadu, along with the rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Since the 2021 state election, it has been the ruling party of Tamil Nadu.
|President||M. K. Stalin |
(Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu)
|General Secretary||Durai Murugan|
|Parliamentary Chairperson||T. R. Baalu|
|Lok Sabha leader||T. R. Baalu|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Tiruchi Siva|
|Treasurer||T. R. Baalu|
|Founder||C. N. Annadurai|
|Founded||17 September 1949|
|Split from||Dravidar Kazhagam|
|Headquarters||Anna Arivalayam, Anna Salai, Chennai-600018. Tamil Nadu, India|
|Newspaper||Dinakaran (Daily journal) |
Murasoli (Daily journal)
The Rising Sun (Weekly journal)
Kalaignar TV (TV channel)
|Student wing||DMK Manavar Ani|
|Youth wing||DMK Ilaignar Ani|
|Women's wing||DMK Magalir Ani|
|Labour wing||Labour Progressive Federation (LPF)|
|Membership||DMK Internet Route Admission Membership Card|
|ECI Status||State Party|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
24 / 543
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
10 / 245
|Number of states and union territories in government|
1 / 31
The DMK was founded in 1949 by C. N. Annadurai as a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam (also known as Justice Party until 1944), which was headed by Periyar E. V. Ramasamy. It was headed by Annadurai (as the Secretary-general) from 1949 until his death on 3 February 1969. He also served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 to 1969. Under Annadurai, in 1967, DMK became the first party, other than the Indian National Congress, to win the state-level elections with a clear majority on its own in any state in India. M. Karunanidhi followed Annadurai as the second President of the party from 1969 until his death on 7 August 2018. He also served as the Chief Minister for five non-consecutive terms, in two of which he was dismissed by the Central government. After Karunanidhi's death, his son and former deputy, M. K. Stalin, succeeded his as party president.
At the federal level, the DMK is part of the United Progressive Alliance and is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha. It currently holds 125 seats in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, and the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance holds 159.
Origins and foundationEdit
The DMK traces its roots to the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) founded by Dr C. Natesa Mudaliar in 1916, in the presence of P. Thyagaraya Chetty, Dr P.T. Rajan, Dr T. M. Nair, Dr Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar and a few others in Victoria Public Hall Madras Presidency. The Justice Party, whose objectives included social equality and justice, came to power in the first general elections to the Madras Presidency in 1920. Communal division between Brahmins and non-Brahmin upper castes began in the presidency during the late-19th and early-20th century, mainly due to caste prejudices and disproportionate Brahminical representation in government jobs. The Justice Party's foundation marked the culmination of several efforts to establish an organization to represent the non-Brahmin upper castes in Madras and is seen as the start of the Dravidian Movement.
Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, a popular Tamil reformist leader of the time, had joined Indian National Congress in 1919, to oppose what he considered the Brahminic leadership of the party. Periyar's participation at the Vaikom Satyagraha led him to start the Self-Respect Movement in 1926 which was rationalistic and "anti-Brahministic". He quit Congress and in 1935, he joined the Justice Party.
In the 1937 elections, the Justice Party lost and the Indian National Congress under C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) came to power in Madras Presidency. Rajaji's introduction of Hindi as a compulsory subject in schools led to the anti-Hindi agitations, led by Periyar and his associates.
In August 1944, Periyar created the 'Dravidar Kazhagam' out of the Justice Party and the Self-Respect Movement at the Salem Provincial Conference. The DK, conceived as a movement and not a political party, insisted on an independent nation for Dravidians called Dravida Nadu consisting of areas that were covered under the Madras Presidency.
The party at its inception retained the flag of the South Indian Liberal Federation which had a picture of a traditional type of balance signifying the idea of equality. Its central theme was to remove the degraded status imposed on Dravidians. To communicate this the party adopted a black flag with a red circle inside it, with the black signifying their degradation and the red denoting the intention of the movement to uplift Dravidians.
Over the years, many disagreements arose between Periyar and his followers. In 1949, several of his followers led by C. N. Annadurai decided to split from Dravidar Kazhagam, after an aged Periyar married a young woman Maniammai and appointed her to act as his successor to lead the party, superseding senior party leaders. Until then, E. V. K. Sampath, the nephew of Periyar, was considered his political heir.
The Dravidian philosophy culminated both politically and socially with DMK at the helm of administration. It was the first-ever subaltern movement in the history of sub-continent politics to have political representation from erstwhile lower-castes, and it was a marked move from generations of civic administrators from the upper-caste citizenry. This had a deep societal impact which resulted in increased political participation, which aided the representation of the emergent strata, enriched civic life, and thus strengthened pluralist democracy.
C. N. Annadurai eraEdit
The DMK's first foray into electoral politics, in the 1957 legislative assembly elections, was mixed. While it won 15 seats, many prominent leaders such as Annadurai and V. R. Nedunchezhiyan were defeated. It fared somewhat better in 1962, winning 50 seats and becoming the main opposition.
Anti-Hindi Imposition agitationsEdit
The DMK, which split from the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949, inherited the anti-Hindi Imposition policies of its parent organization. DMK's founder Annadurai had earlier participated in the anti-Hindi imposition agitations during 1938–40 and in the 1940s. In July 1953, the DMK launched an agitation against the Union government's proposed name-change of Kallakudi to Dalmiapuram. They claimed that the town's propsoed new name (after Ramkrishna Dalmia) symbolized the exploitation of South India by the North. On 15 July 1953, M. Karunanidhi (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and other DMK members removed the Hindi name from Dalmiapuram railway station's name board and lay down on the tracks. In the altercation with the police that followed the protests, two DMK members lost their lives, and several others, including Karunanidhi and Kannadasan, were arrested.
In the 1950s, DMK continued its anti-Hindi Imposition policies, along with the secessionist demand for Dravida Nadu, in which it was originally more radical than the Dravida Kazhagam. On 28 January 1956, Annadurai along with Periyar and Rajaji signed a resolution passed by the Academy of Tamil Culture endorsing the continuation of English as the official language. On 21 September 1957 the DMK convened an anti-Hindi Conference to protest against the imposition of Hindi. It observed 13 October 1957 as "anti-Hindi Day". On 31 July 1960, another open air anti-Hindi conference was held in Kodambakkam, Madras. In November 1963, DMK dropped its secessionist demand in the wake of the Sino-Indian War and the passage of the anti-secessionist 16th Amendment to the Indian Constitution. However, the anti-Hindi stance remained and hardened with the passage of Official Languages Act of 1963. The DMK's view on Hindi's eligibility for official language status were reflected in Annadurai's response to the "numerical superiority of Hindi" argument: "If we had to accept the principle of numerical superiority while selecting our national bird, the choice would have fallen not on the peacock but on the common crow."
Formation of State GovernmentEdit
In 1967, DMK came to power in Madras province 18 years after its formation and 10 years after it had first entered electoral politics. This began the Dravidian era in Madras province which later became Tamil Nadu. In 1967, the Congress lost nine states to opposition parties, but it was only in Madras that a single non-Congress party (namely the DMK) won a majority. The electoral victory of 1967 is also reputed to be an electoral fusion among the non-Congress parties to avoid a split in the Opposition votes. Rajagopalachari, a former senior leader of the Congress party, had by then left the Congress and launched the right-wing Swatantra Party. He played a vital role in bringing about the electoral fusion amongst the opposition parties to align against the Congress. At that time, his cabinet was the youngest in the country.
Annadurai legalised self-respect marriages for the first time in the country. Such marriages did not involve priests presiding over the ceremonies and thus a Brahmin was not needed to carry out the wedding. Self-respect marriages were a brainchild of Periyar, who regarded the then conventional marriages as mere financial arrangements which often led to great debt through dowry. Self-respect marriages, according to him, encouraged inter-caste marriages and caused arranged marriages to be replaced by love marriages. Annadurai was also the first to promise to subsidize the price of rice in order to campaign for his election. He promised one rupee a measure of rice, which he initially implemented once in government, but had to withdraw later. Subsidising rice costs are still used as an election promise in Tamil Nadu.
It was Annadurai's government that renamed Madras State to Tamil Nadu, its present day name. The name change itself was first presented in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament of India by Bhupesh Gupta, a communist MP from West Bengal, but was then defeated. With Annadurai as chief minister, the state assembly succeeded in passing the bill renaming the state. Another major achievement of Annadurai's government was to introduce a two language policy[which?] over the then popular three language formula. The three language formula, which was implemented in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, entitled students to study three languages: the regional language, English and Hindi.
Karunanidhi's leadership (1969–2018)Edit
In 1969, Annadurai unexpectedly died. M. Karunanidhi was elected as his successor, defeating rival candidate V. R. Nedunchezhiyan. Karunanidhi would continue to head the DMK until his own death in 2018.
In the 1970s, M. G. Ramachandran (MGR), a popular actor and the party treasurer, called himself "Mujib of Tamil Nadu" resulting in a political feud between MGR and the party president Karunanidhi. In 1972, MGR called for a boycott of the party's General Council. The crisis led to a call for a corruption probe by MGR where he was a treasurer, and he was eventually suspended from the General Council by the high power committee of DMK. He then created the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which aligned with the Congress.
Elections under Karunanidhi's presidencyEdit
- In 1977, DMK lost the Assembly elections to MGR's AIADMK, and stayed out of power in the state till 1989. After MGR's death in December 1987, AIADMK split into two factions between Janaki (MGR's wife) and Jayalalithaa. DMK returned to power in the 1989 State assembly elections and 3rd time Chife Minister Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi took over as chief minister in January 1989.
- in the 1991 election which was held with the backdrop of DMK government dissolved within 2 years of formation due to pressure from Ex Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi From Leading Sport Alliance Samajwadi Janata Party Prime Minister Chandrasekhar Otherwise 356 Dissmise DMK Period. In the same year Rajiv was killed by Human bomb during the election campaign. Due to DMK's pro-Tamil stance and the dismissal of the state government, mid-way by Rajiv, people's presumption was against DMK, and the sympathy wave in favor of AIADMK–Congress alliance and the DMK was deprived of any seats in the Parliament.
- In the 1996 state elections, DMK came to power on strength of corruption charges against J.Jayalalithaa and the alliance with Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), headed by G.K. Moopanar and supported by cine actor Rajinikanth. However, in 2001, the AIADMK, on strength of a strong alliance and the incumbency factor against DMK, came back to power in the state assembly elections.
- In the 2004 parliamentary elections, DMK formed an alliance with Congress, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and swept a grand Victory, and the alliance won all 40 seats including Puducherry. This enabled DMK to hold 7 ministerial posts in the Central government and gave influential power to DMK.
- Two years later in 2006, the same alliance won in the state assembly elections and the DMK for the first time formed a minority government in the state with help from Congress. M Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of the state for the fifth time. The DMK-Congress alliance was also successful in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
- In the 2011 Assembly elections, held in the wake of the 2G case and allegations of nepotism, the DMK won only 23 seats, 127 seats less than earlier.
- In the 2014 Lok Sabha election DMK failed to win any seats; however, by vote percentage, it was second only to AIADMK.
- The 2016 state assembly elections gave DMK 89 MLAs. This was the most number for an opposition party in the history of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.
M. K. Stalin’s leadership (2018–present)Edit
Karunanidhi Passed away on 7 August 2018, leaving the party in the hands of his son, M. K. Stalin. Stalin had been appointed as the working president in January 2017 when Karunanidhi's health started declining, and had previously been named heir apparent by his father. Stalin thus became the second DMK president since the party's inception. On 3 February 2020, M. K. Stalin announced that Prashant Kishor was signed up as a party strategist for the upcoming 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.
- Let's keep an eye on the Kalaignar's command
- Let us grow and admire Tamil
- Let's crush the power pile
- Let us protect the humanity from extremism
- Let us grow a prosperous Tamil Nadu
M.K. Stalin formed the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu under the United Progressive Alliance in the centre and led the alliance in the 2019 general election. M.K. Stalin and his alliance in Tamil Nadu won 39 out of 40 seats in the parliament and 12 out of 21 in the Assembly by-election with 52% vote share. The DMK led alliance won the 2019 Tamil Nadu local body elections under the Secular Progressive alliance.
The Anti-Hindi Imposition agitations of 1965 forced the central government to abandon its efforts to use Hindi as the only official language of the country. However, Hindi usage has continued as Indian government employees are asked to write as much as 65% of the letters and memoranda in Hindi.
After The Emergency invoked by Indira Gandhi, more state powers like education and medical care were moved from state control to national control. At the state conference in Trichy after the death of C.N. Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi announced the adoption of the "state autonomy" principle to advocate for state self-governance. In April 1974, the DMK government brought in a resolution in the House urging the centre to accept the Rajamannar Committee recommendations on state autonomy and amend the Constitution of India to pave the way for a truly federal system.
The DMK reconstituted the disabled persons welfare board to Differently Abled Persons Departments and the changed official terms for transgender individuals to more respectful terms like Thirunangai and Thirunambi.
The party's election symbol is the "sun rising from between two mountains", with a black and red flag often pictured. The symbol was inspired by the leader and scriptwriter M. Karunanidhi's 1950s play Udaya Suryan, and is intended to signify the "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people.
In the 1957 poll, the DMK was not recognized by the Election Commission. The party was grouped as independents and was not united by its rising sun symbol and was forced to contest under the rooster symbol.
Parliament General elections in Tamil NaduEdit
|Year||Party leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage of votes||Popular vote||Outcome|
8 / 41
7 / 41
25 / 39
23 / 39
1 / 39
|22||37.84%||6,758,517||Opposition/Central Government Alliance Support|
16 / 39
2 / 39
0 / 39
|2||33.78%||8,918,905||Lost/Central Government Alliance Support|
0 / 39
17 / 39
6 / 39
12 / 39
16 / 39
18 / 39
0 / 39
|2019||M. K. Stalin||
24 / 39
Tamil Nadu Assembly electionEdit
|Year||Party leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage of votes||Popular vote||Outcome|
15 / 205
50 / 205
137 / 234
184 / 234
48 / 234
37 / 234
24 / 234
150 / 234
2 / 234
173 / 234
31 / 234
96 / 234
23 / 234
89 / 234
|2021||M. K. Stalin||
133 / 234
|Year||Election||Votes polled||Seats won|
|Year||Election||Votes polled||Seats won|
|1984||8th Lok Sabha||97,672||0|
|1989||9th Lok Sabha||157,250||0|
|1991||10th Lok Sabha||140,313||0|
|1996||11th Lok Sabha||183,702||0|
|1998||12th Lok Sabha||168,122||1|
List of presidentsEdit
|27 July 1969 – 7 August 2018||49 years, 11 days|
|2.||M. K. Stalin
|28 August 2018 – Incumbent||3 years, 53 days;|
List of general secretariesEdit
|1.||C. N. Annadurai
|17 September 1949 – 3 February 1969||19 years, 139 days|
|2.||V. R. Nedunchezhiyan
|4 February 1969 – 16 May 1977||8 years, 101 days|
|17 May 1977 – 7 March 2020||42 years, 295 days|
|9 September 2020 – Incumbent||1 year, 41 days|
List of chief ministersEdit
|1||C. N. Annadurai
|6 March 1967 – 13 January 1969||680 days (2–Year's)|
|1||C. N. Annadurai
|14 January 1969 – 3 February 1969||20 days (in total 700)|
|2||V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (acting chief minister)
|(4 February 1969 – 9 February 1969)||5 days|
|1. (10 February 1969 – 4 January 1971)
2. (15 March 1971 – 31 January 1976)
3. (27 January 1989 – 30 January 1991)
4. (13 May 1996 – 13 May 2001)
5. (13 May 2006 – 15 May 2011)
|6863 days (19–Year's)|
|4||M. K. Stalin
|7 May 2021– Incumbent||(2021–Present)|
|1||M. O. H. Farook
|(17 March 1969 – 3 January 1974)|
|2||M. D. R. Ramachandran||(16 January 1980 – 24 June 1983)|
(8 March 1990 – 3 March 1991)
|3||R. V. Janakiraman
|(26 May 1996 – 21 March 2000)|
Current office bearers and prominent membersEdit
|Member||Position in government||Party position|
|M. K. Stalin||Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Former Deputy Chief Minister and MLA from kolathur||President|
|Duraimurugan||Minister for Water Resources, MLA from Katpadi||General Secretary|
|T. R. Baalu||Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister for ship and roadways||Treasurer and Party Lok Sabha Leader|
|K. N. Nehru||Minister for Municipal Administration, MLA from Tiruchirappalli West||Principal Secretary|
|R. S. Bharathi||Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha), Former Chairman of Alandur Municipality||Organization Secretary|
|I. Periyasamy||Minister for Co-operation, MLA from Aathoor||Deputy General Secretary|
|Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan||Former Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment||Deputy General Secretary|
|Anthiyur P. Selvaraj||Member of parliament, Former State Minister for Handloom||Deputy General Secretary|
|K. Ponmudy||Minister for Higher Education, MLA from Tirukkovilur||Deputy General Secretary|
|A. Raja||Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister||Deputy General Secretary|
|T. K. S. Elangovan||Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha)||Official Spokesperson|
|Kanimozhi Karunanidhi||Lok Sabha Deputy Leader for DMK MPs crew,
Member of Parliament from Thoothukudi
|Women's wing Secretary|
|Palanivel Thiyagarajan||Minister for Finance and Human Resource Management, MLA from Madurai Central||IT wing Seceratary|
|Udhayanidhi Stalin||Member of Legislative Assembly from Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni||Youth wing Secretary|
|Karthikeya Sivasenapathy||Environment wing Secretary|
|T R B Rajaa||Member of Legislative Assembly from Mannargudi||NRI Wing Secretary|
List of union cabinet ministersEdit
|1.||T. G. Venkatraman
|Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
|1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
14 November 1997 10 December 1997
|H. D. Deve Gowda|
|Minister of Commerce and Industry
Minister of Urban Development Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
|13 October 1999 – 9 November 2002
6 December 1989 10 November 1989 1 June 1996-19 March 1998
|H. D. Dewe Gowda|
|3.||T. R. Baalu
||Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Ministry of Shipping Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister of State for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy
|22 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
13 October 1999 21 December 2003 10 January 1998– 18 March 1998 1996–1998
|Minister of Communications and Information Technology||16 May 2007 – 14 November 2010
23 May 2004 – 17 May 2007 30 September 2002 – 21 May 2004 13 October 1996 – 29 September 2000
|H. D. Deve Gowda|
|Minister of Textiles||28 May 2009 – 12 July 2011
22 May 2004 – 16 May 2007
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment||2004–2013|
|10.||V. Radhika Selvi
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs||2004–2013|
|11.||M. K. Alagiri
|Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers||13 June 2009 – 20 March 2013|
|12.||M. Kannappan||Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy||13 October 1999 – 30 December 2003||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
Splits and offshootsEdit
There are two major parties have been formed as a result of splits from the DMK, such as
Kalaignar TV is a channel started on 15 September 2007 and managed by Kanimozhi and Dayalu Ammal, the daughter and wife of Karunanidhi. The sister channels of Kalaignar TV are Isaiaruvi (music channel), Seithigal (news channel), Sirippoli (comedy channel), Kalaignar Asia, and Chithiram (Tamil cartoon channel).
Indira Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government in 1976 based on charges of possible secession and corruption. The DMK government has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam drainage project.
Alleged connections with LTTEEdit
The interim report of the Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations.
Allegations of nepotismEdit
Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. He was appointed as Mayor and later as Deputy CM of TN. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own.
Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi has been appointed as the Rajya Sabha MP. Karunanidhi's nephew's son Dayanidhi Maran has been appointed as the central Minister. Karunanidhi's son-in-law has been appointed as the central minister in the 2000s.
Karunanidhi's grandson, son of Stalin Udhayanidhi Stalin, has been appointed as the MLA of TN assembly.
Karunanidhi has been accused of helping Murasoli Maran's son Kalanidhi Maran, who runs Sun Network, India's second largest television network. According to Forbes, Kalanidhi is among India's richest 20, with $2.9 billion.
It has been pointed out that Karunanidhi has hesitated to take action against his erring family members.
Karunanidhi is also accused of allowing Azhagiri to function as an extraconstitutional authority in Madurai. The Dinakaran newspaper case was handed over to the CBI. But the District and Sessions court acquitted all the 17 accused in that case.
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