For the love of Dravidam, Tamil and books

When President Ramnath Kovind visited TN for the centenary of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly last year, a choosy Chief Minister MK Stalin had gifted the book “Multiple facets of my Madurai” authored by Manohar Devadoss.
For the love of Dravidam, Tamil and books
Chief Minister MK StalinPTI

CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin’s penchant for anything ‘Dravidian’ and ‘Tamil’ is a political conjecture no one would dispute in Tamil Nadu. Stalin does not spare any opportunity to either popularise the pride of the Dravidian movement, an offshoot of which is his party or demonstrate his commitment to its ideals. Presenting books related to the Dravidian movement or Dravidian model of governance or Tamil civilization to his guests or VIP hosts is one of his way of doing it with elan. Whether it is the President of India or Union Ministers or even his alliance party leaders, the CM makes it a point to only gift books inclined to his ideological moorings.

When President Ramnath Kovind visited TN for the centenary of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly last year, a choosy Chief Minister MK Stalin had gifted the book “Multiple facets of my Madurai” authored by Manohar Devadoss. So impressed by the CM’s choice of literature that CPM MP from Madurai, Su Venkatesan, a Sahitya Akademi winner himself, responded by tweeting, “What could make me happier than this. A book on Madurai.”

Stalin’s intention was more evident when he presented books to BJP leaders and Union Ministers. He chose “Porunai: River civilization, a book published by TN govt to profile the ancient Tamil civilization on the banks of Tamirabarani River to Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, who is a proponent of Saraswati civilization.

Stalin’s unflinching loyalty to ‘Dravidam’ does not differentiate between ideological nemesis and allies. A couple of months ago he had gifted “Journey of a civilization: Indus to Vaigai” authored by former civil servant cum historian R Balakrishnan to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Another instance of Stalin’s celebration of Tamil pride was witnessed during Governor RN Ravi’s assumption of office. The CM chose “Keeladi: An urban settlement of the Sangam age on the banks of River Vaigai” and “Madras-Chennai: A 400-year record of the first city of modern India” to Governor.

“A Dravidian journey - Glimpses into Tamil Nadu’s transition to a post-agrarian society by professor J Jeyaranjan, chairman of the State Planning Commission, was another Dravidian book presented to half a dozen non-BJP leaders during the inauguration of the DMK office in New Delhi.

“The Dravidian Model: Interpreting the political economy of Tamil Nadu by A Kalaiyarasan and M Vijayabaskar” and “Dravidian Years” by S Narayan and Karunanidhi - A life penned by AS Panneerselvam are some of his favorites presented so far.

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