Former Chief Minister and president of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) M. Karunanidhi on Sunday came down heavily on those who were opposed to the Dravidian movement and said those voicing such criticism had no regard for Tamil language and sentiment.

Addressing the newly elected office-bearers at various levels of the party’s youth wing at Maraimalai Nagar, Mr. Karunanidhi, while joining issue with a “friend from the film fraternity who had come down heavily on the Dravidian movement”, said certain forces were out to tarnish its image.

“Even today, some people have very bitter feelings about the movement,” he remarked. He stated that a statue to honour eminent Tamil scholar U. Ve. Swaminatha Iyer had the word ‘Dravida’ inscribed on it.

Likewise, the word ‘Dravida’ found mention in the national anthem as well as in the invocation to Tamil penned by Sundaram Pillai and adopted as the state’s anthem. He wondered if those opposing the movement and sharply criticising it could ignore these facts.

Those opposing and criticising the Dravidian movement were also against Tamil language, sentiments of Tamil people and also stood against Periyar E.V. Ramasamy and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai. “We should boycott those who ignore and criticise the Dravidian movement,” he said.

Stating that future of the State and the party rested on the shoulders of the cadre belonging to the youth wing, he reminded the newly elected office-bearers that theirs were not posts, but a responsibility. He commended the party’s treasurer M.K. Stalin as one who rose up the ranks in the party and said the youth in the organisation should decide what his future role should be.

Addressing the huge gathering, former Deputy Chief Minister and party’s treasurer, M.K. Stalin said that over 1 lakh cadre were interviewed and finally appointed to the different posts in all the districts of the State. The process began in December and was completed in 9 months. More than 5,000 party cadres were appointed in the various posts in the youth wing.

Former Finance Minister and deputy general secretary of the party K. Anbazhagan also spoke.