Chennai: After ‘thyagam’ and ‘dhrogam’, Tamilnadu politics now revolves around ‘yagam’, for Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is being accused of performing ‘yagna for CM post’ at the Secretariat.
Though OPS has refuted the charge made by DMK president M K Stalin by stating that only a pooja was performed and “if one can become the Chief Minister by performing yagam, all MLAs will do it”, the undeniable fact is that Dravidian parties, whose roots lead to the all-out atheist Dravidar Kazhagam founded by ‘Periyar’ E V Ramasamy, have come a long way from their basic ideology — non-believing.
ONLY ONE, SUPER ONE
The deviation started from C N Annadurai, a direct disciple of EVR. Anna, who floated the DMK after his break-up with DK, gave a twist to Periyar’s rustic atheism when he said “Onre Kulam, Oruvane Devan” (One Community, One God). His thambis only overtook him and there has been no looking back since.
SCHOOL & TROLL
The same M Karunanidhi who asked “in which school did Lord Rama study” and chided a Minister for walking on fire in a temple festival, was trolled for wearing yellow shawl. There was even a claim that ‘Kalaignar’ was prescribed to wear yellow by astrologers since his original name was Dakshinamurthy, which denotes a God with yellow dress.
AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran’s devotion towards Goddess Mookambika was on open secret and the former Chief Minister even gifted a golden sword to Her. When MGR was unwell, his supporters offered prayers in places of worship (of all faiths), a trend which continued till the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi in recent years.
AMMA + NATHIGAM = AATHIGAM
But the big twist to Dravidian leaders turning devotees came in the Jayalalithaa era, as the AIADMK supremo made no bones about her bhakti. She openly visited temples, offered prayers and remained a staunch Vaishnavite till her last breath.
STALIN’S SHOW UP
Last year, DMK president M K Stalin accepted honours given by priests of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, but declined their invitation to enter the temple. During his visit to Srirangam, Stalin stopped at the entrance of the Renga Renga gopuram, where a few priests waiting there presented him with the prasadam, shawl and a garland. He then offered sugarcane and jaggery to an elephant.
DMDK chief Vijayakanth, who is from the temple town of Madurai, is known for his temple visits along with his family. He was many a time seen with thiruneeru (holy ash) on his forehead. While MDMK supremo Vaiko had to deny a claim that he had converted to Christianity and was reading the Bible twice a day. Following the claim by an evangelist, Vaiko had said, “I am not a Christian. I respect all religions and my daughter-in-law has a pooja room in which you can see images of all Gods.” He also added: “My brother and I regularly contribute to the maintenance of the Vinayagar temple in my village.”
Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman grabbed the attention of many when he announced Lord Muruga as his muppaattan (forefather) and started performing rituals. But his critics alleged he was a Malayalee Christian and was involved in such “attention diversion” tactics to hide his identity.
TAILPIECE 1: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is mostly seen with a smile on his face and vibuthi on his forehead, is not included in this article
TAILPIECE 2: Both Dravidam and Dheivam start with ‘D’ and end with ‘M’.