THE HINDU TODAY EDITORIAL 29 AUGUST 2018 WITH VOCAB
Father to son: on Stalin as DMK president
As DMK president, Stalin has no challengers from within, but faces a new mix of rivals
In appropriating(अपनाना/हड़पना) the political legacy(पैत्रिक सम्पत्ति) of his father M. Karunanidhi, and emerging(आने वाला) as the undisputed (अविवादित) leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, M.K. Stalin faced the greatest challenge from within his immediate family than from the wider party organisation. That he was Karunanidhi’s son helped him in ways small and big right through his political career,but Mr. Stalin also needed to beat back the challenge from his elder brother, M.K. Alagiri. In the event, his elevation (बुलंदी/ऊंचाई) as the president of the DMK on Tuesday was an uncontested(निर्विरोध) process as Mr. Alagiri had been expelled(खारिज) from the party in 2014 on the suggestion of Karunanidhi himself. However, the general council meeting in Chennai that elected him president served as an opportunity for Mr. Stalin to demonstrate(प्रदर्शन करना) his support within the organisation. Many of the middle-rung leaders who had earlier proffered allegiance(राज्य-निष्ठा) to Mr. Alagiri fell in line, and backed Mr. Stalin’s claim to the leadership of the party. While Mr. Alagiri is putting up a fight from outside the party by alleging (अभिकथन करना) misuse of party funds and assets(संपत्ति) and calling for a rally on September 5 in Chennai, he is politically isolated(अलग-अलग) now. Unless Mr. Stalin leads the DMK to successive electoral defeats, Mr. Alagiri cannot hope to win back any support within the party. Evidently, he overplayed his hand, failing to see his finesse opportunity while Karunanidhi was still alive. Mr. Stalin, in contrast, played the waiting game, never violating(भंग करना) party discipline or exceeding his brief. Mr. Alagiri’s irrational impulse(प्रेरणा) lost out to Mr. Stalin’s studied patience.
For Mr. Stalin, the real worry is not his brother but his political opponents. While the Lok Sabha election is less than a year away, the election that matters most for him, the Tamil Nadu Assembly election, is not due for another three years. Mr. Stalin must be hoping that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government of Edappadi K. Palaniswami will not survive that long, being pulled as it is in different directions by dissidents and an overbearing prospective ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The DMK, having firmed up its alliance with the Congress, would normally have been the favourite to win against a divided AIADMK, but the entry of film actors Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth into electoral(निर्वाचक) politics has introduced new variables into the political mix. As he said after his election, Mr. Stalin will need to reinvent(फिर से सामने लाना) himself and the DMK. The Dravidian ideology can do with a reboot of rationalism; and the DMK will have to align its short-term electoral interests with a long-term vision of the development path for Tamil Nadu. As his father did before him, Mr. Stalin must rely(भरोसा करना)on a wider cross-section for support and advice rather than a coterie(मंडली). In the midst of the political churn(आंदोलित होना), he will have to find his moorings(लंगर).