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Political History of Tamil Nadu: Dravidian Parties Rule

Dravidian Parties Rule

In the general elections of 1967, the congress party was defeated. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam formed the government.

The provision of affordable universal housing for poor, precursor to food security (Rice scheme) and establishment of Slum Clearance Board have substantially improved and received support among the urban poor people also. Significantly, the government renamed the State from Madras to Tamil Nadu in the year 1969. The other major achievements of the party were:

A. Nationalisation of Bus routes larger than 75 miles.
B. Waiver of Tuition fee for poor students of all castes in pre-University and pre-technical courses.
C. Second World Tamil Conference was organised.
D. Supply of subsidised rice for people of Tamil Nadu.

Dravidian Rule in Post – Independence Tamilnadu

For the past 62 years Dravidian parties have been ruling Tamilnadu. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam decided to enter electoral politics in 1957 and gave up its “Dravida Nadu” demand consequent to Chinese aggression of Indian territories and to overcome newly amended electoral laws. It won a majority in 1967 elections. Annadurai ruled for a brief period (1967-69), yet he renamed Madras state as Tamilnadu, passed civil marriages act, rejected three language policies of central government and enforced a two languages (English & Tamil) policy in Tamilnadu.

For the first time, he introduced a subsidized rice (one measure one rupee) scheme. His successor M.Karunanidhi continued his legacy. In 1972, M.G.Ramachandran founded his own Dravidian Party (All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – AIADMK). He captured power in 1977 and retained the same till his death in 1987. Thereafter, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam under M.Karunanidhi and Selvi J. Jayalalitha of All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led ministries in alternative elections. Besides, these two, there are a few other Dravidian parties like Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

More than, six decades of Dravidian rule contributed remarkably to the development of Tamil. They steadfastly protected the interest of Tamil language, Tamil people and Tamilnadu. A number of welfare schemes were introduced to alleviate the suffering of common people. They ensured food security through subsidized and later free rice schemes, nutritious meal scheme, free education until under graduate level, free electricity for farming, abolition of cycle rickshaws and manual scavenging , cradle baby scheme for the abandoned children, and welfare boards for various unorganized workers, and even for transgender. As a remedy to ruinous caste conflicts, ‘Samathuvapuram’ and ‘Uzhavarsanthai’ were created.

Free electricity was provided to huts, slum clearance board met the housing requirements of slum dwellers. The phenomenal increase in industrial activity increased the opportunities for youth; as a result of these developments Tamilnadu registered a high ranking in HDI (Human Development Index). Today, Tamilnadu is in prominent position in promoting automobile industries, electronics, and in pharmaceutical industries. it’s new economic zones are attracting huge investments. Tamilnadu’s achievements in infrastructural development are acclaimed by all. Roads, harbours, electrification and availability of skilled labour facilitate industrial development.

There has been a manifold increase in the number of schools of different categories. There is a manifold increase in the number of universities. Tamilnadu has exclusive universities for women, engineering and technology, law, medicine, siddha medicine, sports etc. Promotion of Tamil language, through tamil university, ulaga tamil araichi niruvanam, world tamil conference and ulaga tamil semmozhi conference, and script reforms, led to all-round advancement of tamil language.

The Dravidian parties since the days of Annadurai have been championing the cause of secularism and autonomy of the states. The Dravidian parties have also been contributing substantially to national politics. Dravidian political stream continues to be formidable in Tamilnadu.

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