DMK goes on PR overdrive to defend Kalaignar ‘pen’ memorial

A day after state PWD Minister EV Velu justified the Rs 80 crore pen memorial, saying that the memorial for former chief minister M Karunanidhi was already planned and it is not a new project as is projected by some media
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: Functionaries of the ruling DMK on Monday worked overtime to subtly defend the proposed ‘Pen’ memorial for former chief minister M Karunanidhi. As critics and Opposition parties went public against the proposal, the DMK got busy on social media, defending the memorial.

A day after state PWD Minister EV Velu justified the Rs 80 crore pen memorial, saying that the memorial for former chief minister M Karunanidhi was already planned and it is not a new project as is projected by some media, the party’s functionaries took a veiled dig at critics opposing the project by popularising the hashtag #Kalaignarinpena (Karunanidhi’s pen). Deputy coordinator of the DMK media wing R Rajiv Gandhi tweeted, “The stroke of your pen and signature had the capacity to change the arrogance of the group who believed that fate was everything. The henchmen group is panicking.”

Posting a similar loaded message without going into the details of the project, state Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu, in a message on his official Facebook page said, “It was after the essay that Kalaignar was attacked in Puducherry before Periyar took him to Erode to write for Kudiyarasu magazine.” Posting an image of a fountain pen, the Minister tweeted, “The pen shown in the image is not the lost pen (of Gandhi). It was the sword in the hand of Kalaignar. It was the intellectual weapon that shaped many a great literary piece. If my memories with Kalaignar were a time capsule, the pen is my lifetime pride,” the Minister tweeted. Their defense irked even a few sympathisers who were critical of the ecologically sensitive project.

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