Karunanidhi – From Kingdom to Doomdom

Karunanidhi might have gone against the wishes of his father by grappling the party president’s post, taking it away from the desired successor of C.S. Annduari, Nedunchezian back in 1969 but has rarely let his family down thereafter. His government that has served the people of Tamil Nadu on and of for over three decades now is truly made by the people, for the people and is of the people but of his family!

The DMK seems like a family gathering rather than a political party. The party is growing weed on the sons, daughters and the cousins in the family. Coming under the influence of the trend of political dynasty set by the Nehru-Gandhi family, Karunanidhi too tried to start his own legacy by promoting his sons. Karunanidhis’s eldest son, M.K. Azhagiri is a cabinet minister whereas his third son, M.K Stalin, after getting elected to the General committee of DMK he has served as the Deputy Chief Minister and Home minister of Tamil Nadu. His daughter (from his second wife), Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha member on whom Karunanidhi has pinned many of his new hopes and aspirations regarding the party, her arrest regarding the 2G scam is a story on another level itself.

There is no need for the others in the family to feel left out. Kalanidhi Maran, Dayanidhi’s brother is the owner of Sun TV. Sun TV is the largest media conglomeration in India, covering over twenty TV channels; forty-five radio stations; two newspapers; four weekly magazines and an airline (SpiceJet). The long list doesn’t end just yet. His second wife, Dayalu owns a sixty percent stake in Kalaignar TV. The rest of the stake is covered by the rest of Karunanidhi’s minions. His grandson owns the Red Giant Movie production house.

Karunanidhi and family can well beat the Prince of Whales at owning assets. But the family is not selfish, they share. As a favour in return of crores of worth of property and fixed assets, Karunanidhi distributed coloured television sets in selected areas in Tamil Nadu in 2007 along with 2 kg of rice (per household), LPG burners, gas connection and marriage assistance scheme. Their kind gestures reach the media (I mean they own half of the media world, so why wouldn’t it?) and rarely the households, but at least they try!

Sarcasm apart, enticing the voter with immoral bargains is just pitiful but something the party loves to indulge in. Unfortunately (for the DMK) such unscrupulous practices have neither worked in the past, nor do they work today. The people of Tamil Nadu have not only raised questions but given the DMK a well deserved answer, by bringing the AIADMK back into power, in these May elections. The defeat of the DMK beleagured with controversies regarding the allocation of the 2G spectrum was rather foreseeable. The latest development regarding the 2G scandal or shall I say the family scandal, is regarding Dayanidhi Maran, the Union Textiles minister. He may be asked to step down from his ministry on the basis of the testification given by C Sivasankaran (owner of Aircel) that he was forced into selling his company to a Malaysian based entrepreneur in order for Aircel to obtain license under the 2G spectrum. Aircel were alloted fourteen liecenses for mobile network right after an 800 crore worth largesse to Sun TV.

Karunanidhi’s ages old companion and comrade, the Congress has also left the party to sink alone. The break-up was bound to happen after A Raja’s resignation, arrest of Kanimozhi and now this! Why does the song, what goes around, comes around keep coming to my mind? Well sooner or later we all have to reap what we sow. The entire Annadurai clan can thus one fortunate day chill together behind the bars. And as a token of appreciation, the people of Tamil Nadu can send them a coloured television set!

Himanshi Chaudhary