DMK functioning president MK Stalin said he would welcome any effort by the South Indian states to generate a demand for a separate country. The comment comes within a week of two southern Chief Ministers whining that the south contributes more in taxes to the Centre than it gets in return. However, Stalin’s comment had a more secessionist tone to it.
“If it (this type of scenario) comes, it would be welcome. We expect that such a situation arises,” Stalin said in Erode, The Hindu reported. This was in response to a question within the rising sentiment that the southern countries should come together to demand a separate state of ‘Dravida Nadu’ (Dravida Country).
This is very different from the sentiments expressed by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Siddaramaiah had complained in a column on Friday that the southern countries are subsidising the northern countries, and that there’s no incentive for development. He’d said the increasing stress on population as a keystone of policy making had devalued decades-worth of largely successful efforts in the southern countries to bring the arrival rate under control.
Naidu and Rao had complained about the fact that their states essentially give money to Centre and get little in return.
But Stalin’s comments have a different resonance. The DMK, which was founded in 1949, had the introduction of a separate country of Dravida Nadu among its key goals. It’d dropped this idea as a key plank of the party in 1962, in light of the 1962 war with China.
The DMK’s idea of Dravida Nadu entails the creation of a separate country for the people of the ‘Dravida race’, an idea that those in the south are racially different from the ‘north Indian Aryans’. Genetic science has since comprehensively debunked this claim of racial difference.
Even if the DMK had held Dravida Nadu as a target, it had done little to expand its own base out Tamil Nadu, largely keeping to its pro-Tamil rhetoric.
The DMK had alternatively also suggested a separate unit made up of the southern countries that would continue to remain part of India, but would like autonomy in governance and finance.