The contribution of the leaders of the Dravidian movement, including Periyar, Anna, Kalaignar and many others, was permanent and the legacy of the movement was the ascendancy of the federal idea and a whole new democratic language of connecting with the masses, said N. Ram, editor-in-chief, The Hindu, here on Tuesday

Speaking at a function organised to release the political biography of Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, ( Stalin: Mootha Pathirikaiyalar Paarvaiyil) written by veteran journalist Solai, Mr. Ram said people with no political experience were promoted because they were born into a political family, but this was not the case with Mr. Stalin.

Stating that Mr. Stalin was a link between the new and the old generations of the Dravidian Movement, Mr. Ram said he had never lost touch with his roots.

He also had a word of praise for author Solai who, he said, had maintained a critical distance from his subject and placed everything in context, focussing on many traits of Mr. Stalin. “One of the more important traits was his accessibility,” he added.

Social sector services

Tamil Nadu is a well-administered State that is able to deliver on a range of social sector services, especially in rural areas. Mr. Stalin should keep this in mind and build on this base, he said.

Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said though many considered Mr. Stalin as an enemy, he never treated anyone as his enemy.

“Ordeal of Emergency”

“When he went through the ordeal of Emergency, languishing in jail, he did not think that one day he would achieve the present position. His commitment to the ideology was so firm, he never expected anything in return,” said Mr. Veeramani, who was the first person to meet Mr. Stalin in Central prison, Chennai.

Actor Kamal Hassan said the book was not about an individual, but about a voice heard from Tamil Nadu when Emergency was declared.

Chairman and Managing Director of the Indian Express (Madurai) Limited Manojkumar Sonthalia said being the son of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was only a “visiting card,” and Mr. Stalin achieved the position through hard work and dedication. Managing director of Maalai Murasu S. Balasubramania Adithan said Mr. Stalin’s life was a lesson for the younger generation.

R.R. Gopalji of the Dinamalar said there was a need to write a second volume of the book. Managing Director of the Vikatan group B. Srinivasan, Nakkheeran Editor Gopal, Exnora founder M.B. Nirmal, managing director of the Kumudham group P. Varadarajan, writer Indumathi, poet Tamizhachi Thangapandian, and Sabapathy Mohan, Vice–Chancellor Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, were among those who participated.

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