Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi

1991: Rajiv-Karunanidhi Duel of Words!

A. Muthuraman

TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2001 (ID.2000-05-03)

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DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Dravidian Progressive Party)

This month (May 2001) marks the tenth anniversary of the unfortunate and tragic assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu by a Sri Lankan Tamil lady who was raped by Indian soldiers sent to Sri Lanka by Rajiv Gandhi to put down the armed struggle of the Sri Lankan Tamil minority for their rights. The year 2001 also marks the tenth anniversary of the 1991 Tamil Nadu State Assembly elections. 

These two events bring to mind the duel of words between Rajiv Gandhi (of the Congress(I) party) and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi (of the DMK party) during the 1991 election campaign. Rajiv Gandhi took a dig at Karunanidhi at a Congress(I) election rally in Tamil Nadu. He asked sarcastically, "Why are you hiding behind those dark glasses, Mr. Karunanidhi?" (referring to the sunglasses Karunanidhi often wears). Reply came at the next DMK campaign rally. Karunanidhi is a renowned orator and writer with a sharp tongue when need be. Karunanidhi shot back, "Yes, I do wear dark glasses but I am not a coward like Mr. Rajiv Gandhi to wear a bullet proof vest!" When the end came for Rajiv Gandhi, the bulletproof vest did not save him. The explosive that the woman suicide bomber wore around her belly blasted him and her to pieces.


Book-06:The Image Trap : M G Ramachandran in Film and Politics by M.S.S. Pandian

Book-13: Daughter of the South-biography of Jayalalitha

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