DMK and Dravida Nadu independence demand

DMK, Dravida Nadu and D.B.S. Jeyaraj

K.J. Trivedi and Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, July 2003 (ID. 2003-07-01)
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BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation

DMK - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

(EDITOR's NOTE: We received an e-mail from K.J. Trivedi telling us that an article we published several years ago contained factual errors. We contacted the author of the article. Trivedi's e-mail and the author's (Thanjai Nalankilli's) response stating and proving that there was no error are published below)

K.J. Trivedi's Comments:

Thanjai Nalankilli wrote in a TAMIL TRIBUNE article that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) won 50 seats in the 1962 election running on the demand of independent Dravida Nadu. I thought it was true. Then I came to read an article by another Tamil writer D. B. S. Jeyaraj published in May 2000 Sunday Leader. It exposes Thanjai Nalankilli's lie. D. B. S. Jeyaraj states clearly that DMK abandoned the independence demand before the 1962 election and that was why it was able to win 50 seats.

Thanjai Nalankilli's Response:

Mr. D, B. S. Jeyaraj is a good writer. I have read many of his articles in Frontline and Sunday Leader. They are well written articles. However, even writers of Mr. Jeyaraj's caliber make mistakes occasionally. That is the case here. Mr. Jeyaraj's statement is wrong and my statement is correct.

I wrote in the April 1999 issue of TAMIL TRIBUNE, "Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK's) dramatic success of winning 50 state legislature seats in the 1962 general election on the platform of independence from India scared Hindi politicians. The then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru quickly passed a law banning any party or individual voicing "secession from India" (that is, independence from India) from contesting in elections. Immediately, the DMK dropped its independence demand."

Mr. D. B. S. Jeyaraj wrote in the May 14, 2000 issue of the Sri Lankan publication Sunday Leader, "The DMK that had 15 seats in 1957 won 50 in 1962 after they dropped separatism." 

Which statement is correct? My statement is correct. You do not have to trust me. Here are the facts.

1) The 1962 general election for the Madras State Legislative Assembly was held between February 17 and February 24, 1962. (Tamil Nadu was called Madras State in 1962. The name "Madras State" was changed to "Tamil Nadu" in 1968).

2) DMK abandoned its "independence for Dravida Nadu" demand in 1963, well over a year after the 1962 election, after the Indian Parliament passed the Sixteenth Amendent to the Indian Constitution that prohibited those who advocate separatism from running for public offices (such as Indian parliament and state legislative assembly). Here are the specific dates and information. The DMK Central Committee (Maththiya Seyarkuzu) met on November 3, 1963 at the DMK Office in Royapuram. Mr. Nedunchezian presided. The central committee voted unanimously to drop its demand for independent Dravida Nadu, in view of the 16-th  Amendment to the Indian Constitution.

The record is clear. DMK dropped its "separatist demand" (independent Dravida Nadu demand) more than a year after the 1962 election. So my statement is correct.

Mr. Jeyaraj cannot say that DMK had abandoned its Dravida Nadu demand informally before the 1962 election. That is not correct either. DMK stood by the Dravida Nadu demand during and after the 1962 election, until the Sixteenth Amendment to the Indian Constitution. Here are the facts.

1) DMK founder and General-Secretary C. N. Annadurai (popularly known as Arinjar Anna) spoke about the need for independent Dravida Nadu in the Upper House  of the Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha). Remember, Anadurai was elected to the parliament only AFTER the 1962 election; before 1962 he was a member of the State Legislative Assembly.

2) DMK organized a "Dravida Nadu Independence Festival" (Dravida Nadu Viduthalai Vizaa) in Chennai City (called Madras City at that time) on September 22, 1962 (seven months after the 1962 election). Over 200000 people participated in the procession organized as part of that festival.

So the facts are clear. DMK dropped its "separatist demand" (independence for DravidaNadu demand) more than a year after the 1962 election. DMK won 50 seats in the 1962 election while it was still openly advocating its independent Dravida Nadu demand.


Why Freedom (Independence) for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule?, TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999. (This is the article K.J. Trivedi refers to in his comments).

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