interview | D. RAVIKUMAR Lok Sabha Election 2019

‘We see PMK as a unit of Sangh Parivar’

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D. Ravikumar

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D. Ravikumar  

VCK alleges that its rival in Villupuram antagonised non-Vanniyar castes

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi general secretary and writer D. Ravikumar, who is contesting from Villupuram (Reserved) Parliamentary constituency on the DMK’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol, is hoping that the perceived absence of chemistry between the PMK and the AIADMK cadres will help him in a big way. In an interview with The Hindu,he launched a full scale attack on the PMK and its brand of politics. Excerpts:

This is a direct contest between the PMK and VCK in Villupuram. What do you think will its wider significance be?

We see the PMK as one of the Sangh Parivar units and defeating it is our goal. If the BJP uses hate campaign against religious minorities, the PMK also uses the same tactic against Dalits. They both are violent. They are being guided by the RSS people. Since 2016, the VCK has been urging the secular forces to unite to defeat the BJP.

The PMK is in a seemingly strong alliance headed by the AIADMK in Villupuram, the latter’s stronghold….

The PMK has antagonised non-Vanniyar castes, including Naidus, Reddiars and Mudaliars. The land ownership in villages has changed and non-Vanniyars have been pushed to a scenario where they can’t do any business. The AIADMK’s alliance has no chemistry on the ground. The PMK-DMDK animosity is well-known…so is the antagonism between AIADMK leader C. Ve. Shanmugam and the PMK. Had they fielded an AIADMK candidate, it would have been tough for us. Also, it was the PMK that exposed the AIADMK so well and now its leaders singing a different tune making it clear that they are doing so because of some other deal that the party has struck.

Cash appears to play a major role in elections…

Elections have become costly and a fountain of black money. The government should start funding elections. Even environmentally, imagine how many vehicles and fuel is used in campaigning throughout India. Unless there are electoral reforms, only rich people can contest. Smaller parties like ours and candidates who want to work for the public will be at a disadvantage.

Will power-sharing in states continue to be VCK’s strong point?

VCK conceptualised the slogan of power sharing in the 2016 Assembly elections. We believe that power-sharing is important. In many States, like in West Bengal, when the CPI(M) was in power, they accommodated the CPI and the Forward Bloc. Power sharing is a form of democratisation of power. We are not saying ‘Give power to us’ but asking to be inclusive. We are not keeping this as a pre-condition.

What is the significance of this election as far as Dalit politics is concerned?

Dalit parties have somehow compromised with the BJP. There is no genuine Dalit voice for 30 crore people in Parliament. We have a duty in the larger sense. We need a charismatic leader like Thirumavalavan in Parliament to be the voice of Dalits.

There is a perceived anti-Dalit sentiment in Tamil Nadu. Do you believe the Lok Sabha polls will reflect that sentiment?

There has been an orchestrated hate campaign, particularly by the PMK, which has polluted the atmosphere in the State. But we don’t believe that there is an anti-Dalit sentiment throughout Tamil Nadu. This is a liberal State — there have been many reformers — starting from Ramanujar, Vallalar to Periyar in the political sphere. It is my wish that the PMK once again takes up issues of social justice even if it is for political opportunism. It shouldn’t get caught in politics of hate. It will destroy the PMK as a party.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:35:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/we-see-pmk-as-a-unit-of-sangh-parivar/article26751245.ece

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