At 94, K. Anbazhagan, fondly known as Perasiriar (Professor) in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam circles, and his party leader M. Karunanidhi, remain the torch-bearers of Dravidian ideology.
Neither age nor frail health prevents him from hitting the campaign trail. The spinal cord surgery that he underwent recently forces him to depend on a few aides to walk or get onto the platforms built for public meetings. But he is undeterred. The spirit that he imbibed from DMK founder C.N. Annadurai makes him traverse the length and breadth of the State, he says.Secret of success
“It is the basic ideals and principles of the Dravidian movement and the DMK that helps me remain energetic and address election rallies and meet cadres even at this age,” he tells The Hindu , even as he prepares for another round of campaign in the region.
As Mr. Karunanidhi, he too hails from Tiruvarur district in the Cauvery delta. A native of Kattoor near Tiruvarur, Mr. Anbazhagan was elected general secretary of the DMK. One of the founding members of the party, he was among the 15 persons elected to the Assembly when the DMK contested for the first time in 1957. He has been a regular at the hustings since then, though he has opted out of the elections this time.
The nonagenarian has carved a niche for himself in public speaking. The sizeable crowd did enjoy every bit of his oratorical skills at a public meeting at Bheema Nagar in Tiruchi on Wednesday. His speech revolved around the struggle of Dravidian stalwarts in ensuring equality among all sections of society.
“We need to understand that if we enjoy equal rights and self-respect today, it is because of the hard-fought struggle against oppression and suppression. But Tamils have been treated worse than worms by the present-day rulers. We need to rise up against it,” Mr. Anbazhagan says.Packed calendar
Braving the scorching sun, he has addressed several public meetings since April 19. He says his calendar is lined up with a series of meetings until May 9.