She is in the middle of a political career that had a meteoric rise six years ago, but suffered a mercurial fall within a short span of time when she was arrested in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scandal.
In seeking re-election to the Rajya Sabha, Kanimozhi has expressed her keenness to entrench herself in politics despite her prospects being a little dicey at the moment as her Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led by her father M. Karunanidhi is short of numbers.
Asked why she decided to contest the election when she could have waited to re-enter Parliament on a more conducive occasion, Ms. Kanimozhi said: ‘As the leader’s daughter, I should prepare to take risks.”
“In politics, you cannot shy away from risks. I should treat victory and defeat with equanimity. We cannot ask anyone else to enter the fray when there is uncertainty. So I decided to contest,” Ms Kanimozhi told The Hindu.
A journalist by vocation, she was a latecomer to politics. Even when she entered politics, she did it with much hesitation, as the party organisation was under the control of her two half-brothers M.K. Stalin and M.K. Alagiri.
An unassuming person, she was actively involved in literary activities, advocated the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils, campaigned against the death penalty, particularly Afzal Guru, who was hanged recently, and was part of a social forum Karuthu which provided a platform for diverse opinions.
The DMK’s victory in the 2006 Assembly elections brought her to the fore. She hogged the limelight by organising Chennai Sangamam, a festival that created opportunities and provided a platform for various art forms, particularly folk arts in Tamil Nadu. Impressed by her organising skills, Mr Karunanidhi, who was not fully happy with her political entry, declared that she was the true inheritor of his literary skills. She stood with her half-brothers when the family went through turbulent times in the wake of the 2007 attack on Tamil daily Dinakaran’s office in Madurai that led to a temporary divide in the family and kept the Maran brothers out of favour. After it was clear that her emergence in the organisation was for the good, her brothers reconciled themselves to coexist.
While the launch of a satellite channel Kalaignar TV benefited the DMK as a whole, it snatched away any promise Kanimozhi had of a political career. Along with A. Raja, she bore the brunt of the adverse effects of the 2G spectrum scandal. She has been charge-sheeted in the case.
“The crisis made me stronger,” she said while talking about the 2G spectrum case and her days in prison.
Ms Kanimozhi said her father and party treasurer M.K. Stalin had decided that she should contest the election and she obliged. Asked about the prospects of getting support from Desiya Murpokku Kazhagam leader Vijayakant, who has 22 votes (after seven MLAs switched their loyalty to the ruling party), she said a decision could be taken only by the DMDK and she could not foretell anything now.