Coimbatore continues to be suffocated by the dust and din raised by the Dravidian storm-troopers showing up at the World Classical Tamil Conference. More than half a million ordinary Tamils would visit the conference premises even as almost 1/4th of the Tamil TV audience would remained glued to the idiot box beaming live images of the proceedings. If there was a gold standard for politically motivated social engineering and propaganda this Conference certainly measures up to it.
A preview of the conference proceedings and speakers indicate the unashamed one-sidedness in deciding what perspectives would be aired. By restricting invitations to historians that belong exclusively to the cabal in favor of granting the parenthood of Indus valley civilisation to proto-Dravidian roots DMK is now laying the (psuedo)intellectual foundations for a bolder Dravidian ideaology.
It does not cease with gaining academic legitimacy. Just as it was in the earlier Dravidian movement the entire film and literary society is also being co-opted into the political discourse. Media barons, literary personalities and the film faternity have been accorded due importance in exchange for their undying loyalty to the Dravidian cause.
Political observers feel that we now witness a carefully orchestrated renewal of ethnic fervour and linguistic chauvinism before the leadership of DMK is passed on. If that was indeed the intention the old guard has done well to ensure that its progeny would not inherit a moth-eaten, largely irrelevant socio-political discourse.
While the 20th century movement was premised on both percieved victimhood and dividend-rich social reform programs the new movement of this century is looking to move into a bolder, identity-assertive mindset amply fed by a welfare state.
Instead of heaping choicest abuses on the powers that be of the DMK we, the Indian right, would do well to learn the art of renewing out-dated socio-political narratives to suit the taste of our electorate.
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