Interview with Dr.k.Veeramani
DravidarKazhagam (DK) president K Veeramani was an early supporter of Sasikala taking over the AIADMK. In a chat with The Times of India, he gives his reasons
You support Sasikala becoming general secretary of the AIADMK. Why?
To be very open, the brahminical press wanted to see that the AIADMK’s leadership did not get away from the brahmin hold. This ploy has been defeated by the AIADMK general council and executive council by selecting Sasikala whose association with the leadership of the party is more than 30 years old. There simply was no alternative suggested for Sasikala. For the AIADMK, she was the Hobson’s choice. Her speech proved she could deliver.
But there are many criticisms of Sasikala’s family…
People talk about Sasikala’s family members standing around Jayalalithaa’s body. Even for rationalists, when someone dies, so many people and family members come and cry. They cannot be asked to go away.
Blood relations will always be there. Let us wait and see the role of Sasikala’s family. If they interfere, people have the option of defeating the ruling party at any point. This is a democracy.
But will people accept her?
Why do you want to pre-judge it? Time alone will tell. We can surmise but we cannot be good judges.
You have said that you see the AIADMK as a Dravidian party and you want to protect it...
Definitely. Periyar’s influence is still present in the Dravidian parties.
But some say that a lot of those who support the AIADMK have affinity towards Congress and BJP
That is the biggest joke of the year. Will Venkaiah Naidu and the BJP come for the ‘Veeravanakkam Day’ held for anti-Hindi martyrs, in which both the DMK and the AIADMK participate?
The ideological foundation of the BJP is the RSS which is for a unitary state. They are also against reservation. But the Dravidian parties support reservation. Only as a political expediency the BJP concedes on reservation.
So you say the DMK and the AIADMK aligned with the BJP only for political reasons?
Yes, only for politics and power. Once they become a political party, more than principles, political expediency is the hallmark. As far the DK is concerned, we don’t support anyone who is with the BJP.
The Dravidian movement is the DK. But the press distorts the picture by talking about the political parties. When they seceded from the DK and became a political party they no longer are a unit of the DK.
Yet, DK is the parent organisation. The parties’ principles were taken from the Dravidian movement.
The irony is that even though Jayalalithaa was a brahmin, we were able to safeguard our basic principle, reservation, when 69 per cent reservation was challenged. It was the DK that gave the model for the bill that the AIADMK government passed in the state assembly in 1994.
So you say Jayalalithaa was very much a Dravidian politician...
Yes, naturally. No state other than Tamil Nadu enjoys the IIX Schedule protection of 69 per cent reservation. An exclusive legislation was passed by Jayalalithaa, unlike in other states, though she was a brahmin. Narasimha Rao, another brahmin, was the PM in whose time Parliament passed it. President Shankar Dayal Sharma who gave the assent was also a brahmin. All this because public opinion was strong.
There is a new leadership in the Dravidian parties. Should the movement be any different in the future, should it evolve?
Dravidian movement is a rationalist movement. Rationalism is scientific outlook. Can you ask this question to science? How can we decide the course of science?
But politically, focusing on the DMK and the AIADMK, should their politics change?
The political approach should be a human approach. There should be no personal vendettas. Earlier, the members of the two Dravidian parties would not even meet each other in functions.
M.K.Stalin (DMK) went and inquired about Jayalalithaa’s health when she was in the hospital. Also, when Kalaignar was in hospital, Thambidurai and Jayakumar went to the hospital on behalf of the AIADMK. These are positive developments.
The second thing the DK is very particular is that self-respect should not be short-changed at any cost. Prostrating before anyone should be stopped. We will have a campaign about it.
But it seems AIADMK members fall at Sasikala’s feet also...
It’s psychological. If there are four or five people, and the first person prostates before the leader, all the others who want something from the leader would prostrate. That is not out of respect or admiration.
There is a Tamil saying, ‘The one who falls at your feet would also trip your feet.’ You have to be careful.
Courtesy: The Times of India