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The DMK Years

The DMK Years

Ascent, Descent, Survival

R Kannan
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On 17 September 1949, C.N. Annadurai (Anna) founded the DMK after his split with Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy. The DMK slowly but surely caught the imagination of the Tamil masses. In 1962, faced with the prospect of a ban, the party shed its separatist agenda and in 1967, the DMK attained power for the first time in Tamil Nadu. Since then, it has remained a potent political force, first under M. Karunanidhi and recently under M.K. Stalin, who succeeded him.

Weathering many a political storm, including the 1972 split when its mascot, M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) broke away levelling corruption charges, its ejection from power in 1976 during the Emergency, the second dismissal in 1991 for its alleged dalliance with the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, and the debilitating split in 1993, the party has proved resilient. It was voted back to power in Tamil Nadu in 2021.

The DMK’s pioneering public distribution system and welfare populism have been a model for other states. Of late, the party has touted its ‘Dravidian Model’ of development as a viable national alternative. Its renewed emphasis on Tamil cultural nationalism and cooperative federalism aims to counter the current majoritarian political narrative.

Yet, seventy-five years later, the DMK is more than ever under assault from caste and ultra-nationalist elements and persisting charges of unjust enrichment and dynastic politics.

At this pivotal moment in history, as the ethos of Indianness is being redefined, veteran political observer and commentator R. Kannan explores the trajectory of the DMK and its future direction. Drawing on a substantial body of first-hand accounts, The DMK Years narrates the story of the party objectively and in its entirety, making this volume essential to understanding the contours of Tamil Nadu politics.

Imprint: India Viking

Published: Jul/2024

ISBN: 9780670097890

Length : 752 Pages

MRP : ₹1299.00

The DMK Years

Ascent, Descent, Survival

R Kannan

On 17 September 1949, C.N. Annadurai (Anna) founded the DMK after his split with Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy. The DMK slowly but surely caught the imagination of the Tamil masses. In 1962, faced with the prospect of a ban, the party shed its separatist agenda and in 1967, the DMK attained power for the first time in Tamil Nadu. Since then, it has remained a potent political force, first under M. Karunanidhi and recently under M.K. Stalin, who succeeded him.

Weathering many a political storm, including the 1972 split when its mascot, M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) broke away levelling corruption charges, its ejection from power in 1976 during the Emergency, the second dismissal in 1991 for its alleged dalliance with the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, and the debilitating split in 1993, the party has proved resilient. It was voted back to power in Tamil Nadu in 2021.

The DMK’s pioneering public distribution system and welfare populism have been a model for other states. Of late, the party has touted its ‘Dravidian Model’ of development as a viable national alternative. Its renewed emphasis on Tamil cultural nationalism and cooperative federalism aims to counter the current majoritarian political narrative.

Yet, seventy-five years later, the DMK is more than ever under assault from caste and ultra-nationalist elements and persisting charges of unjust enrichment and dynastic politics.

At this pivotal moment in history, as the ethos of Indianness is being redefined, veteran political observer and commentator R. Kannan explores the trajectory of the DMK and its future direction. Drawing on a substantial body of first-hand accounts, The DMK Years narrates the story of the party objectively and in its entirety, making this volume essential to understanding the contours of Tamil Nadu politics.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

R Kannan

R. Kannan is currently an adjunct faculty at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he teaches a course on international organizations and serves as a Dean Rusk International Law Centre Council member. In a nearly three-decades-long career, he served as a political and peacekeeping official with the United Nations in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Kosovo—all breakaway countries from Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia. Kannan’s biographies of the Dravidian icons, Anna (C.N. Annadurai) and MGR (M.G. Ramachandran), have also been brought out by Penguin Random House India. He writes and talks about Indian politics and international affairs.

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