Kashi Tamil Sangamam – BJP’s grand entry into Tamil Nadu

Inch-by, inch, brick-by-brick the Dravida-Maya of DMK is being dismantled by the BJP

Inch-by, inch, brick-by-brick the Dravida-Maya of DMK is being dismantled by the BJP
Inch-by, inch, brick-by-brick the Dravida-Maya of DMK is being dismantled by the BJP

Kashi Tamil Sangamam event

The Kashi Tamil Sangamam (KTS) event, conducted with much fanfare is a daredevil entry by the Bhartiya Janata Party into Tamil Nadu. Fiery speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at this function that Lord Shiva spoke Sanskrit and Tamil has evoked controversy in Tamil Nadu.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rattled

The Bharatiya Janata Party pushing the cultural heritage of Tamil in an aggressive way has put the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies in a tight spot.

The event in Kashi had a tremendous political impact thousands of kilometers away in Tamil Nadu. Kashi Tamil Sangamam, a cultural event opened by Narendra Modi in Varanasi had a telling effect on the DMK and its allies. Narendra Modi’s speech at this function kindled Hindutva feelings for this deeply religious state, the reason being Modi quoted epic Tamil scriptures to prove his point that Lord Shiva spoke both Sanskrit and Tamil.

KTS is an ongoing celebration of Azadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav

15 pontiffs from different Aadheenams (in Hindi it is Peetam) of Tamil Nadu, who wore saffron collar robes sat along with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Interestingly, Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Yogi both bowed down before these 15 pontiffs. This video and photo went viral in Tamil Nadu. Moreover, 2500 school/ college students from all districts of Tamil Nadu went to Banaras in three special trains thanks to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai in collaboration with Banaras Hindu University. Ilaiyaraaja, the music maestro of Bollywood performed in orchestra taking stanzas from Shri Rudram. All Tamil TV News channels telecast Varanasi function live.

Different strokes for different states

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech touched upon the unique heritage of Tamil Nadu, its history, and Parampara. It is a known fact that the BJP adopts different approaches to different states. In UP, the BJP used the bulldozer to tell effect. Enforcement Directorate was deployed in Maharashtra, Delhi, and West Bengal. Another unique style is being deployed in Jharkhand. In Telangana, BJP went on a direct onslaught on the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (now BRS) of K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Special plan for Tamil Nadu

For Tamil Nadu, the BJP and its leaders have taken the Tamil language and the Tamil culture to get a grand entry into the state. This is paying dividends for the BJP. The Look-South policy of BJP is about to go into higher gear based on the decision taken by the Hyderabad National executive.

DMK’s internal strife

When we deliberate about the BJP, the other side of the picture is too gloomy. DMK is having internal strife. Each leader in DMK is expressing divergent views that have confused Tamil politics. Narendra Modi visited Tamil Nadu four times in six months. Amit Shah makes it a point to touch down one district in Tamil Nadu in any of his tours to southern states. What does it indicate? The carpet-bombing style of 45 Central ministers zeroing in on Tamil Nadu, hopping up from one district to another in Tamil Nadu, holding the feet of the ruling DMK alliance to the fire, has caused much heartburn to the Justice-Party-origin-DMK.

BJP’s Look-East paid dividends

In 2019 BJP formulated a Look-East policy and got Tripura and West Bengal. Got a bumper harvest of 25 Members of Parliament (MP)s from the East. Now in 2024, the BJP is ready with a Look-South policy. Hence the deployment of a huge contingent of Central BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu.

The state politics of Tamil Nadu is now taking an interesting turn, in a rather mercurial way. Sharp criticisms are hurled against each other. Modi was shown black flags. But not now.

AIADMK is in deep trouble

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is in deep trouble. Factionalism, legal issues, and other caste-based turf wars are bleeding the party from within. After Jayalalitha, the AIADMK is now split into three or four segments with the two significant ones duking it out for the party symbol of two leaves, a la the Shiv Sena, fighting for the bow and arrow the election symbol.

Both MGR and Jayalalitha’s pet poll symbol is two leaves. With each faction claiming it, the symbol also ran into difficulties.

BJP exploiting the situation

Both Shiv Sena and AIADMK are looking for relief from Election Commission. Needless to say that arm-twisting of these two by the BJP cannot be sidestepped. If the TN opposition parties’ politics are disappointing, the ruling party DMK is doing no better. The utterances of M K Stalin and Durai Murugan are shocking.

DMK General Secretary Durai Murugan in a public meeting conceded that BJP’s exponential growth in Tamil Nadu is not good for Dravidian culture. DMK is grappling with dynast issues. Its leader M K Stalin claims that he does not get sleep as party leaders express divergent views and get into personality clashes between DMK stalwarts. M K Stalin told the DMK cadre to look at his fragile health. “I do not get sound sleep, as I keep worrying what would engulf me the next morning from my Ministerial colleagues,” claimed Stalin.

DMK ministers feel neglected

This expression did not go well with the DMK allies. Senior DMK ministers feel neglected. The influence of Stalin’s son on the younger lot of DMK ministers is significant. Stalin is introducing his son Udhayanidhi Stalin into the party as well as in the government. The resentments are more from the old timers in the party, who may feel that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Stalin’s Dad M Karunanidhi but are now being ignored.

The 2024 Lok Sabha and 2026 State Assembly elections are a testing time for DMK

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan or PTR said that the cooperative department lacked transparency. In return, the concerned minister, I Periyasamy, hit back saying that people are satisfied with the functioning of his department. In a remark that invited the wrath of his colleagues, PTR said the cooperative department lacked transparency, that he was “dissatisfied” with its functioning and that the department still had more room for improvement. PTR also spoke about how mobile ration shops could be made more “reliable”. Minister Periyasamy fired back saying people and Chief Minister M K Stalin are satisfied with the functioning of his department. This controversy could have been avoided. Insiders speculate that many more such skirmishes are in the offing.

BJP out-Tamiling DMK’s Tamil affinity

BJP has cloned the DMK style of inspiring Tamil culture, Tamil language, and Tamil outreach, and with these three angles, it has cornered the DMK.

It has taken the Tamil language into its fold, snatching the Tamil narrative of the DMK. This has rattled the three key allies VCK, CPM, and Congress of M K Stalin. DMK allies are desperate that BJP is curbed in Tamil Nadu, but every attempt of theirs is making the BJP stronger.

Voters disappointed

Voters of Tamil Nadu feel disappointed with the DMK for not fulfilling their electoral promises of freebies, reduction of fuel prices, 1000 rupees for every woman, and many more. The DMK chief M K Stalin openly admitted that he was unable to fulfill such promises due to the Centre not releasing the GST funds, which is untrue, and a debating topic for another day.

BJP filling the vacuum

With stalwarts like Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi no more in Tamil politics, and Rajnikant taking sanyas from spiritual politics, Kamal Hassan unable to take off, the BJP has moved in to fill the vacuum. Whichever side you may look at BJP, all is well for it and everything is a gain. The Look-South policy of the BJP is getting brighter with every passing day.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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R Rajagopalan is a veteran journalist. He reported Parliament proceedings for Dinamani and Vaartha. Since 1980. A well known face in English TV debates. He Widely traveled with Presidents and Prime Ministers.
R Rajagopalan



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