Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Dravidian Progressive Conference)(DMK) is an Indian state political party in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry. It is a Dravidian party founded by C. N. Annadurai in 1949 as a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam (known as Justice Party until 1944) headed by Periyar E. V. Ramasamy. DMK was headed by M. Karunanidhi from 1969 until his death on 7 August 2018. He served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times. DMK was the first party other than the Indian National Congress to win state-level elections with a clear majority on its own in any state in India. The head office of the party is called Anna Arivalayam, which is located at Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.Following the 2019 general election, it is currently the Third largest party in the Lok Sabha with 23 seats.
|Leader||M. K. Stalin|
|President||M. K. Stalin|
|Secretary-General||Prof K. Anbazhagan|
|Lok Sabha leader||T. R. Baalu|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Tiruchi Siva|
|Founder||C. N. Annadurai|
|Founded||17 September 1949|
|Split from||Dravidar Kazhagam|
|Preceded by||Justice Party|
|Headquarters||Anna Arivalayam, 367/369 Anna Salai Teynampet , Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India– 600018|
The Rising Sun
|Student wing||DMK Student Wing|
|Youth wing||DMK Youth Wing|
|Women's wing||DMK Women Wing|
|Labour wing||Labour Progressive Federation (LPF)|
|ECI Status||State Party|
UPA (2006–2013) (2016–present)
|National convener||M. K. Stalin|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
23 / 545(currently 541 members + 1 speaker)
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
5 / 18(Currently 242 members)
|Seats in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly|
100 / 234(currently 232 members)
|Seats in Puducherry Legislative Assembly|
3 / 30
DMK traces its roots to the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) formed in 1916, by P. Thyagaraya Chetty, Dr. P.T. Rajan, Dr. C. Natesa Mudaliar and a few others. The Justice Party, whose objectives included social equality and justice, came to power in the first General Elections to the Madras Presidency in 1920. E. V. Ramasami ("Periyar"), 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 experience at the Vaikom Satyagraha made 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 Kazhagham' out of the Justice Party and the Self-Respect Movement at the Salem Provincial Conference. Dravidar Kazhagam, 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 Madras Presidency.
Dravida Munnetra KazhagamEdit
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 Kazhagham, after an aged Periyar married a young woman Maniammai and appointed his young wife 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.
Annadurai, on 17 September 1949 along with Kudanthai K.K.Neelamegam, V. R. Nedunchezhiyan, K. A. Mathiazhagan, N. V. Natarajan called "Aimberum Thalaivargal" (Great Five Leaders) along with M. Karunanidhi then an emerging screenwriter and thousands of others in Robinson park in Royapuram in Chennai announced the formation of the DMK. The name of the party (DMK) was announced by Kudanthai Perunthagai. K. K. Neelamegam.
Self respect movementEdit
DMK's Anti-Hindi agitationsEdit
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) which split from the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949, inherited the anti-Hindi policies of its parent organisation. 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 for changing the name of a town from Kallakudi to Dalmiapuram. They claimed that the town's name (after Ramkrishna Dalmia) symbolised the exploitation of South India by the North. On 15 July 1953, M. Karunanidhi (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and other DMK members erased the Hindi name in 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 Kannadhasan were arrested. In the 1950s DMK continued its anti-Hindi policies along with the secessionist demand for Dravida Nadu. 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 at 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. But the anti-Hindi stance remained and hardened with the passage of Official Languages Act of 1963. The DMK's view on Hindi's qualifications 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."
DMK entered the electoral fray for 1957 State Assembly elections with M Karunanidhi winning the Kulithalai constituency while other seniors members like V. R. Nedunchezhiyan losing from Salem. In 1962 another prominent actor S.S.Rajendran ("SSR") contested in Theni, legislative assembly election, against the then popular congress leader N. R. Theagarajan and won the seat.
C.N. Annadurai's era (1949-1969)Edit
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 state that a single non-Congress party majority was achieved. The electoral victory of 1967 is also reputed to 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.
Self-respect marriages ActEdit
Annadurai legalised Self-respect marriages for the first time in the country. Such marriages were void of priests to preside over the ceremony and thus did not need a Brahmin 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 caused 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 use subsidising of the price of rice for election victory. 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.
Madras State to Tamil Nadu (14 January 1969)Edit
It was Annadurai's government that renamed the Madras State to its present-day form declaring officially as Tamil Nadu. 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 states.
Two language policy (1967)Edit
Anna was instrumental in organizing the World Tamil Conference under the aegis of UNESCO in 1967. Another major achievement of Annadurai's government was to introduce a two language policy 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.
World Tamil conference (1967)Edit
It was during the period of his Chief Ministership that the Second World Conference was conducted on a grand scale on 3 January 1968. Nevertheless, when a commemorative stamp was released to mark the Tamil conference, Annadurai expressed his dissatisfaction that the stamp contained Hindi when it was for Tamil. Annadurai also issued an order for the removal of the pictures of gods and religious symbols from public offices and buildings.
Karunanidhi's era (1969-2018)Edit
M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who was a popular actor and the then party treasurer had played a vital part in popularising the party's ideologies. The political feud between MGR and the party president Karunanidhi emerged as an aftermath of the latter calling himself "Mujib of Tamil Nadu". In 1972, MGR called for a boycott of the party's General Council. With the crisis falling into call for corruption probe by MGR, he was eventually suspended from the General Council. Thus emerged a new party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
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 1989 State assembly elections and Karunanidhi took over as chief minister in January 1989.
1991 election was held on the backdrop of DMK government dissolved within 2 years of formation due to pressure from Rajiv gandhi, in the same year Rajiv was killed by Human bomb during 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 favour 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, the alliance winning all 40 seats including Puducherry. This enabled 7 ministerial posts in the Central government and 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 2014 Lok Sabha election DMK failed to win any seats; however, by vote percentage it was second only to AIADMK.
2016 state assembly elections gave DMK 89 MLA's. The most number for an opposition party in the history of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.
M. K. Stalin era (2018–present)Edit
Karunanidhi passed away on August 7 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.
Elections under M.K Stalin's PresidencyEdit
In the 2019 Indian general election, the party formed a alliance with Congress, as a part of the UPA. Despite a poor showing nationwide for the alliance, the DMK won 37 seats in the Lok Sabha, out of 38 seats contested. That total gave the party the 3rd most amount of seats, behind only the BJP and Congress parties.
DMK, from its inception, wanted to have a separate independent state for the Dravidians. C. N. Annadurai wanted a separate Dravida Nadu but the DMK changed its stance with the Chinese invasion in 1962 and suspended its demand for the length of the war and supported India for raising funds for the war. When the war ended, nationalistic feelings were so strong that DMK gave up the separate Dravida nation idea.
The Anti-Hindi agitations of 1965 forced the central government to abandon its efforts to use Hindi as the only official language of the country; still Hindi usage continued as Indian government employees are asked to write as much as 65% of the letters and memoranda in Hindi.
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 true federal system.
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 from leader and scriptwriter M. Karunanidhi’s 1950s play "Udaya Suryan", and is intended to signify the "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people.
Tamil Nadu General ElectionEdit
Tamil Nadu Assembly ElectionEdit
|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|
- % votes polled:
List of Chief MinistersEdit
Chief Minister from DMK (Tamil Nadu)Edit
- C. N. Annadurai (6 March 1967 – 3 February 1969)
- M. Karunanidhi ( 10 February 1969 - 4 January 1971), (15 March 1971 - 31 January 1976), (27 January 1989 - 30 January 1991), (13 May 1996 - 13 May 2001), (13 May 2006 - 15 May 2011)
Acting Chief Minister from DMK (Tamil Nadu)Edit
- V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (4 February 1969- 9 February 1969)
Chief Minister from DMK (Puducherry)Edit
List of Deputy Chief MinistersEdit
List of Leaders of OppositionEdit
- V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (1962 - 1967)
- M. Karunanidhi (1977-1980) (1980-1987)
- K. Anbazhagan (2001-2005)
- M. K. Stalin (2016- )
The DMK party runs two newspapers, one each in English and Tamil, namely "The Rising Sun" (weekly journal) and "Murasoli" (daily) respectively. 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. In 2001, the former chief secretary, K.A. Nambiar, and a host of others were arrested on charges of corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. Karunanidhi and DMK party members were also charged under Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, but no prima facie evidence was found against him and his son M K Stalin.
Connections with LTTEEdit
The interim report of 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
DMK has been accused by opponents, by some members of the party, and by other political observers of trying to promote nepotism and start a political dynasty along the lines of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Vaiko, who quit the DMK, has been the most vocal. Political observers say that Vaiko was sidelined as he was seen as a threat to M.K. Stalin and other family members.
Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own. Stalin was an MLA in 1989 and 1996 when his father Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister, and became Chennai's 44th mayor in 1996. In 2009, he was made the Deputy Chief Minister.
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.
Another son of Maran's, Dayanidhi Maran, served as Union Minister for Communications and IT portfolio. Dayanidhi was withdrawn from the because Dinakaran (a newspaper run by the Maran brothers) had shown the result of a public poll which read Dayanidhi Maran as the successor to Karunanidhi. This created a bloody violence in the Madurai branch of Dinakaran office, causing the death of three employees.
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. So far, the case has not been appealed in a higher court to identify and punish the perpetrators of the crime. His daughter Kanimozhi is a member of Rajya Sabha.
Involvement in 2G caseEdit
DMK has been facing allegations regarding 2G spectrum case. The case was brought into limelight in 2010 when case filed against Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja had been reported. 2G licenses were issued to private telecom players at throwaway prices in 2008. The CAG estimated on the basis of 3G auction that the 2G Spectrum case had cost the government ₹1.76 lakh crore (equivalent to ₹3.0 trillion or US$43 billion in 2018) (short scale). Rules and procedures were flouted while issuing licenses. The CBI in the Supreme Court has since indicated that the factual loss is around ₹30,000 crore (equivalent to ₹500 billion or US$7.3 billion in 2018). One of the party's TV channel stations, Kalaignar TV was raided by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers in connection with the 2G Spectrum case on 19 February 2011. Karunanidhi's daughter MK Kanimozhi arrested and sent to Tihar jail on 20 May 2011 for alleged kickbacks in 2G case. She has been arrested for the illegal transfer of money to the DMK's official channel Kalaignar TV. DMK MP A Raja is the prime accused in 2G case and sent to Tihar Jail. Kanimozhi was subsequently released on bail on 29 November 2011 On 21 December 2017 IN THE COURT OF O. P. SAINI: SPL. JUDGE, CBI (04) (2G SPECTRUM CASES), NEW DELHI acquitted all the members, including former telecom minister A. Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
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