July 02 2020
At memorial, leaders urge Stalin to lead secular forces
31 August 2018

Call on DMK president to carry forward Karunanidhi’s legacy, strengthen the idea of an inclusive India

National leaders who participated in the memorial meeting for M. Karunanidhi on Thursday called upon DMK president M.K. Stalin to carry forward his father’s legacy by uniting and leading secular forces against the BJP at the Centre.

“Who is going to lead the flock? Stalin, I tell you. Lead us to the nation that Gandhi could not take us and your father could not take us. Please take my children and grandchildren to an India where we can live with honour and dignity and walk with freedom. Nobody can point a finger at you and say who are you,” said Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah in a rousing speech.

“We are living in an era of dictatorship. Unless we fight the dictatorship, there will be no peace. If you really want to remember the man (Karunanidhi), then fight for the nation,” he said.

The former J&K Chief Minister, however, conceded that Mr Stalin had a tough task ahead of him. “I do not know what tomorrow holds for us. One day the change will come. These dictators will disappear. We must think together and walk together and fight the fascist forces . Unless we do it, we will not be able to follow the path of the great man (Karunanidhi).” Alleging that people were being divided along caste and religious lines by the BJP government, much against the wishes of those who ousted the British, Mr. Abdullah warned that unless leaders unite, the nation would go down rapidly.

Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Like a true son of his true father, Mr. Stalin will stand up like his father (did) in 1975 (opposing the Emergency).”

“So under the leadership of Stalin, we all here together, so many political parties, will fight oppression and discrimination of the worst kind that India has ever faced,” he said.

Mr. Azad said that had Karunanidhi not been a true democrat, he would not have opposed the Emergency. “But what is happening today? If Emergency was bad, the government at the national level is worse. There may not be Emergency, but mush worse things are being done. Had he not been sick in the last four years, he would have reacted strongly against centralisation of all powers,” the Congress leader added.

CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also urged Mr. Stalin to strengthen the movement to save the pan-Indian consciousness and the idea of inclusive India that was under attack. “It was the idea Kalaignar was committed to and without it none of us will exist. It is expected of him (Stalin) not only by the people of Tamil Nadu, but by all the secular forces across the country.”

‘Legacy of Periyar’

Mr. Yechury said Karunanidhi inherited the legacy of Periyar and Anna of individual respect, federalism, social justice, rationalism, equality and prosperity for all. “Today exactly the opposite is happening. Instead of inclusion, we are seeing exclusion,” he said.

Pointing out that two types of citizenship — Indian citizen and inferior Indian citizen — had been created, he said respect and homage should be paid to Karunanidhi for redoubling the resolve to save and strengthen the idea of India.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy and national council secretary D. Raja, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien were among those who participated.



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