Chennai, April 6: DMK leader once would start speeches asking people if they wanted their children to call them “Mataji and Pitaji” in Hindi instead of “Amma and Appa” in Tamil. But now times have changed with their election posters springing up here in Hindi featuring party leader Dayanidhi Maran wearing a Rajasthani turban, in a bid to attract voters from the north.
The poster also features the pictures of DMK president M.Karunanidhi, his son M.K.Stalin and Maran’s father, the late Murasoli Maran.
However when people started to question DMK’s stand on Hindi, the posters were taken off.
Even Karunanidhi recited a Hindi verse “Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai, Aapas Mein Bhai Bhai,” while starting his election campaign late last month in Central Chennai where Maran is seeking re-election.
Tamil Nadu had witnessed violent protests against Hindi before and after Independence, spearheaded first by Justice Party and later by DMK, which resulted in several deaths.
The anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 was a major catalyst for DMK coming to power in 1967 overthrowing the Congress government.
The DMK party was against the three language formula.
The Thalamuthu Natarajan Maligai – a state government building was named after the death of Thalamuthu and Natarajan during the anti-Hindi agitation.
“The building now has many Hindi speaking people working in several central public sector undertakings. Now the irony is Dayanidhi Maran’s poster in Hindi. It only shows world is round and life comes to a full circle,” Chidambaram, who used to be a DMK sympathiser, told IANS.