|President||M. K. Stalin|
|General Secretary||Durai Murugan|
|Parliamentary Chairperson||T. R. Baalu|
|Lok Sabha leader||T. R. Baalu|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Tiruchi Siva|
|Treasurer||T. R. Baalu|
|Founder||C. N. Annadurai|
|Founded||17 September 1949|
|Split from||Dravidar Kazhagam|
|Preceded by||Justice Party (1917–1944)|
367 & 369, Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai - 600018, Tamil Nadu, India
|Newspaper||Murasoli (Daily journal) |
The Rising Sun (Weekly journal)
Kalaignar TV (Television channel)
|Student wing||DMK Manavar Ani|
|Youth wing||DMK Ilaignar Ani|
|Women's wing||DMK Magalir Ani|
|Labour wing||Labour Progressive Federation (LPF)|
|ECI Status||State Party|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
24 / 543
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
10 / 245
|Seats in State Legislative Assemblies|
139 / 4,036
|Number of states and union territories in government|
1 / 31
|(The Rising Sun)|
|Articles related to|
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (transl. Dravidian Progressive Federation; abbr. DMK) is a political party based in the state of Tamil Nadu where it is currently the ruling party having a comfortable majority without coalition support and the union territory of Puducherry where it is currently the main opposition.
It is also one of the two main political parties in Tamil Nadu, along with the rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Since the 2021 state election, it has been the ruling party of Tamil Nadu. The DMK was founded on 17 September 1949 by the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu C. N. Annadurai (Anna) as a breakaway faction from the Dravidar Kazhagam headed by E. V. Ramasami (Periyar). DMK was headed by Annadurai as the general secretary from 1949 until his death on 4 February 1969. He also served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 to 1969. Under Annadurai, in 1967, DMK became the first party, other than the Indian National Congress, to win the state-level elections with a clear majority on its own in any state in India. M. Karunanidhi (Kalaignar) followed Annadurai as the first president of the party from 1969 until his death on 7 August 2018. He also served as the Chief Minister for five non-consecutive terms, in two of which he was dismissed by the central government. After Karunanidhi's death, his son and former deputy, M. K. Stalin (Thalapathy), succeeded as the party president.
At the federal level, the DMK is part of the United Progressive Alliance and is the third-largest party in the Lok Sabha. It currently holds 125 seats in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, and the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance holds 159.
The DMK traces its roots to the South Indian Liberal Federation (Justice Party) founded by Dr C. Natesa Mudaliar in 1916, in the presence of P. Theagaraya Chetty, P. T. Rajan, T. M. Nair, Arcot Ramasamy Mudaliar and a few others in Victoria Public Hall Madras Presidency. The Justice Party, whose objectives included social equality and justice, came to power in the first general elections to the Madras Presidency in 1920. Communal division between Brahmins and non-Brahmin upper began in the presidency during the late-19th and early-20th century, mainly due to caste prejudices and disproportionate Brahminical representation in government jobs. The Justice Party's foundation marked the culmination of several efforts to establish an organization to represent the non-Brahmin upper castes in Madras and is seen as the start of the Dravidian movement.
Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, a popular reformist leader at that time, had joined Indian National Congress in 1919, to oppose what he considered the Brahminic leadership of the party. Periyar's participation at the Vaikom Satyagraha led him to start the Self-Respect Movement in 1926 which was rationalistic and "anti-Brahministic". He quit Congress and in 1935 he joined the Justice Party.
In the 1937 elections, the Justice Party lost and the Indian National Congress under C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) came to power in Madras Presidency. Rajaji's introduction of Hindi as a compulsory subject in schools led to the anti-Hindi agitations, led by Periyar and his associates.
In August 1944, Periyar created the 'Dravidar Kazhagam' out of the Justice Party and the Self-Respect Movement at the Salem Provincial Conference. The DK, conceived as a movement and not a political party, insisted on an independent nation for Dravidians called Dravida Nadu consisting of areas that were covered under the Madras Presidency.
The party at its inception retained the flag of the South Indian Liberal Federation, which had a picture of a traditional type of balance signifying the idea of equality. Its central theme was to remove the degraded status imposed on Dravidians. To communicate this, the party adopted a black flag with a red circle inside it, with the black signifying their degradation and the red denoting the intention of the movement to uplift Dravidians.
Over the years, many disagreements arose between Periyar and his followers. In 1949, several of his followers led by C. N. Annadurai decided to split from Dravidar Kazhagam, after an aged Periyar married a young woman Maniammai and appointed her to act as his successor to lead the party, superseding senior party leaders. Until then, E. V. K. Sampath, the nephew of Periyar, was considered his political heir.
The Dravidian philosophy culminated both politically and socially with DMK at the helm of administration. It was the first-ever subaltern movement in the history of sub-continent politics to have political representation from former lower-castes, and it was a marked move from generations of civic administrators from the upper-caste citizenry. This had a deep societal impact which resulted in increased political participation, which aided the representation of the emergent strata, enriched civic life, and subsequently strengthened the pluralist democracy.
The DMK's first foray into electoral politics, in the 1957 legislative assembly elections, was mixed. While it won 15 seats, many prominent leaders such as Annadurai and V. R. Nedunchezhiyan were defeated. It fared somewhat better in 1962, winning 50 seats and becoming the main opposition.
See also: Anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu
The DMK, which split from the Dravidar Kazhagam in 1949, inherited the anti-Hindi Imposition policies of its parent organization. Founder C.N. Annadurai had earlier participated in the anti-Hindi imposition agitations during 1938–40 and throughout the 1940s.
In July 1953, the DMK launched an agitation against the Union government's proposed name-change of Kallakudi to Dalmiapuram. They claimed that the town's proposed new name (after Ramkrishna Dalmia) symbolized the exploitation of South India by the North. On 15 July, M. Karunanidhi (later Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) and other DMK members removed the Hindi name from Dalmiapuram railway station's name board and protested on the tracks. In the altercation with the police that followed the protests, two DMK members lost their lives, and several others, including Karunanidhi and Kannadasan, were arrested.
The DMK continued its anti-Hindi Imposition policies throughout the 1950s, along with the secessionist demand for Dravida Nadu, in which it was originally more radical than the Dravida Kazhagam. On 28 January 1956, Annadurai, along with Periyar and Rajaji, signed a resolution passed by the Academy of Tamil Culture endorsing the continuation of English as the official language. On 21 September 1957, the DMK convened an anti-Hindi Conference to protest against the imposition of Hindi. It observed 13 October 1957 as "anti-Hindi Day".
On 31 July 1960, another open air anti-Hindi conference was held in Kodambakkam, Madras. In November 1963, DMK dropped its secessionist demand in the wake of the Sino-Indian War and the passage of the anti-secessionist 16th Amendment to the Indian Constitution. However, the anti-Hindi stance remained and hardened with the passage of Official Languages Act of 1963. The DMK's view on Hindi's eligibility for official language status were reflected in Annadurai's response to the "numerical superiority of Hindi" argument: "If we had to accept the principle of numerical superiority while selecting our national bird, the choice would have fallen not on the peacock but on the common crow."
In 1967, DMK came to power in the Madras State 18 years after its formation and 10 years after it had first entered electoral politics. This began the Dravidian era in the Madras province, which later became Tamil Nadu. In 1967, the Congress lost nine states to opposition parties, but it was only in Madras that a single non-Congress Party (namely, the DMK) won a majority. The electoral victory of 1967 is also reputed to be an electoral fusion among the non-Congress parties to avoid a split in the Opposition votes. Rajagopalachari, a former senior leader of the Congress Party, had by then left the Congress and launched the right-wing Swatantra Party. He played a vital role in bringing about the electoral fusion amongst the opposition parties to align against the Congress. At that time, his cabinet was the youngest in the country.
Annadurai legalised self-respect marriages for the first time the country. Such marriages did not involve priests presiding over the ceremonies, and thus a Brahmin was not needed to carry out the wedding. Self-respect marriages were a brainchild of Periyar, who regarded the then conventional marriages as mere financial arrangements which often led to great debt through dowry. Self-respect marriages, according to him, encouraged inter-caste marriages and caused arranged marriages to be replaced by love marriages.
Annadurai was also the first to promise to subsidize the price of rice in order to campaign for his election. He promised one rupee a measure of rice, which he initially implemented once in government, but had to withdraw later. Subsidising rice costs are still used as an election promise in Tamil Nadu.
It was Annadurai's government that renamed Madras State to Tamil Nadu, its present day name. The name change itself was first presented in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of the Parliament of India by Bhupesh Gupta, a communist MP from West Bengal, but was then defeated. With Annadurai as chief minister, the state assembly succeeded in passing the bill renaming the state. Another major achievement of Annadurai's government was to introduce a two language policy[which?] over the then popular three language formula. The three language formula, which was implemented in the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, entitled students to study three languages: the regional language, English and Hindi.
In 1969, Annadurai unexpectedly died. M. Karunanidhi was elected as his successor, defeating rival candidate V. R. Nedunchezhiyan. Karunanidhi would continue to head the DMK until his own death in 2018.
In the 1970s, M. G. Ramachandran (M.G.R.), a popular actor and the party treasurer, resulting in a political feud between M.G.R. and the party president Karunanidhi. In 1972, M.G.R. called for a boycott of the party's General Council. The crisis led to a call for a corruption probe by M.G.R. where he was a treasurer, and he was eventually suspended from the General Council by the high power committee of DMK. He then created the new party named All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Karunanidhi died on 7 August 2018, leaving the party in the hands of his son, M. K. Stalin. Stalin had been appointed as the working president in January 2017 when his father's health started declining, and had previously been named heir apparent by his father. Stalin thus became the second DMK president since the party's inception. On 3 February 2020, M. K. Stalin announced that Prashant Kishor was signed up as a party strategist for the upcoming 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.
On 25 March 2018, the DMK held a statewide conference in Erode and M. K. Stalin released five slogans at the conference. They were:
M.K. Stalin formed the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu under the United Progressive Alliance in the centre and led the alliance in the 2019 general election. M.K. Stalin and his alliance in Tamil Nadu won 39 out of 40 seats in the parliament and 12 out of 21 in the Assembly with a 52% vote share. The DMK-led alliance won the 2019 Tamil Nadu local body elections under the Secular Progressive alliance.
The DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance won the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election. The alliance won 159 seats out of 234 seats with 46% vote share.
The Anti-Hindi Imposition agitations of 1965 forced the central government to abandon its efforts to use Hindi as the only official language of the country. However, Hindi usage has continued as Indian government employees are asked to write as much as 65% of the letters and memoranda in Hindi.
After The Emergency invoked by Indira Gandhi, more state powers like education and medical care were moved from state control to national control. At the state conference in Trichy after the death of C.N. Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi announced the adoption of the "state autonomy" principle to advocate for state self-governance. In April 1974, the DMK government brought in a resolution in the House urging the centre to accept the Rajamannar Committee recommendations on state autonomy and amend the Constitution of India to pave the way for a truly federal system.
The DMK reconstituted the disabled persons welfare board to Differently Abled Persons Departments and the changed official terms for transgender individuals to more respectful terms like Thirunangai and Thirunambi.
The party's election symbol is the "sun rising from between two mountains", with a black and red flag often pictured. The symbol was inspired by the leader and scriptwriter M. Karunanidhi's 1950s play Udaya Suryan, and is intended to signify the "rising" spirit of the Dravidian people.
In the 1957 poll, the DMK was not recognized by the Election Commission. The party was grouped as independents and was not united by its rising sun symbol and was forced to contest under the rooster symbol.
|Year||Party leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage of votes||Popular vote||Outcome|
|1957||C. N. Annadurai||
2 / 41
7 / 41
25 / 39
23 / 39
1 / 39
|22||37.84%||6,758,517||Opposition/Central Government Alliance Support|
16 / 39
2 / 39
0 / 39
|2||33.78%||8,918,905||Lost/Central Government Alliance Support|
0 / 39
17 / 39
6 / 39
12 / 39
16 / 39
18 / 39
0 / 39
|2019||M. K. Stalin||
24 / 39
|Year||Party leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage of votes||Popular vote||Outcome|
|1957||C. N. Annadurai||
15 / 205
50 / 205
137 / 234
184 / 234
48 / 234
37 / 234
24 / 234
150 / 234
2 / 234
173 / 234
31 / 234
96 / 234
23 / 234
89 / 234
|2021||M. K. Stalin||
133 / 234
|Year||Party leader||Seats won||Change in seats||Percentage of votes||Vote swing||Popular vote||Outcome|
2 / 30
3 / 30
14 / 30
5 / 30
9 / 30
4 / 30
7 / 30
7 / 30
7 / 30
3 / 30
2 / 30
|2021||M. K. Stalin||
6 / 30
|Term in Office|
|Assumed Office||Left Office||Time in Office|
|27 July 1969||7 August 2018||49 years, 11 days|
|Acting||M. K. Stalin
|4 January 2017||27 August 2018||1 year, 235 days|
|2||28 August 2018||Incumbent||4 years, 118 days|
|1.||C. N. Annadurai
|1. (17 September 1949- 24 April 1955)
2.(25 September 1960 – 3 February 1969)
|19 years, 139 days|
|2.||V. R. Nedunchezhiyan
|1. (24 April 1955 - 24 September 1960)
2.(4 February 1969 – 16 May 1977)
|8 years, 101 days|
|17 May 1977 – 7 March 2020||42 years, 295 days|
|9 September 2020 – Incumbent||2 years, 106 days|
|1||C. N. Annadurai
|6 March 1967 – 13 January 1969||680 days|
|1||C. N. Annadurai
|1. 06 March 1967 - 03 February 1969
2. 14 January 1969 – 3 February 1969
|20 days (in total 700)|
|2||V. R. Nedunchezhiyan (acting chief minister)
|(4 February 1969 – 9 February 1969)||5 days|
|1. (10 February 1969 – 4 January 1971)
2. (15 March 1971 – 31 January 1976)
3. (27 January 1989 – 30 January 1991)
4. (13 May 1996 – 13 May 2001)
5. (13 May 2006 – 15 May 2011)
|4||M. K. Stalin
|7 May 2021– Incumbent||2021–present|
|1||M. O. H. Farook
|(17 March 1969 – 3 January 1974)|
|2||M. D. R. Ramachandran||(16 January 1980 – 24 June 1983)|
(8 March 1990 – 3 March 1991)
|3||R. V. Janakiraman
|(26 May 1996 – 21 March 2000)|
|Member||Position in government||Party position|
|M. K. Stalin||Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MLA from Kolathur||President|
|Duraimurugan||Minister for Water Resources, MLA from Katpadi and
Leader of House Tamil Nadu legislative Assembly
|T. R. Baalu||Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister for ship and roadways|
|K. N. Nehru||Minister for Municipal Administration, MLA from Tiruchirappalli West||Principal Secretary|
|I. Periyasamy||Minister for Co-operation, MLA from Aathoor||Deputy General Secretary|
|K. Ponmudy||Minister for Higher Education, MLA from Tirukkovilur||Deputy General Secretary|
|A. Raja||Member of parliament (Lok Sabha) and Former Union Minister||Deputy General Secretary|
|Anthiyur P. Selvaraj||Member of parliament, Former State Minister for Handloom||Deputy General Secretary|
|R. S. Bharathi||Former Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha), Former Chairman of Alandur Municipality||Organization Secretary|
|T. K. S. Elangovan||Former Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha)||Official Spokesperson|
|J. Helen Davidson||Former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Kanniyakumari||Women's Wing Secretary|
|Dr. T R B Rajaa||Member of Legislative Assembly from Mannargudi||IT wing Seceratary|
||Youth wing Secretary|
|CVMP Ezhilarasan||Member of Legislative Assembly from Kancheepuram||Students' Wing Secretary|
|Karthikeya Sivasenapathy||Environment wing Secretary|
|Kanimozhi NVN Somu||Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)||Medical Wing Secretary|
|M M Abdulla||Member of parliament (Rajya Sabha)||NRI Wing Secretary|
|1.||T. G. Venkatraman
|Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
|1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
14 November 1997 10 December 1997
|H. D. Deve Gowda|
|Minister of Commerce and Industry
Minister of Urban Development Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
|13 October 1999 – 9 November 2003
6 December 1989 10 November 1990 1 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
|H. D. Dewe Gowda I. K. Gujral|
|3.||T. R. Baalu
||Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Ministry of Shipping Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister of State for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy
|22 May 2004 – 22 May 2009
13 October 1999 21 January 2004 10 January 1998– 18 March 1998 1996–1998
|Minister of Communications and Information Technology||16 May 2007 – 14 November 2010
23 May 2004 – 17 May 2007 30 September 2002 – 21 May 2004 13 October 1996 – 29 September 2000
|H. D. Deve Gowda|
|Minister of Textiles||28 May 2009 – 12 July 2011
22 May 2004 – 16 May 2007
|6.||S. S. Palanimanickam
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice||2004–2013|
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment||2004–2013|
|10.||V. Radhika Selvi
|Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs||2004–2013|
|11.||M. K. Alagiri
|Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers||13 June 2009 – 20 March 2013|
|Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment||28 May 2009 – 20 March 2013|
|13.||M. Kannappan||Minister of State (Independent Charge) of New and Renewable Energy||13 October 1999 – 30 January 2004||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
There are two major parties that have been formed as a result of splits from the DMK, such as
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party runs two newspapers, one in English and one in Tamil, namely The Rising Sun (weekly journal) and Murasoli (daily journal), respectively.
Kalaignar TV is a channel started on 15 September 2007 and managed by Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and Dayalu Ammal, the daughter and wife of Karunanidhi. The sister channels of Kalaignar are Kalaignar Isai Aruvi (24×7 Tamil music channel), Kalaignar Seithigal (24×7 Tamil news channel), Kalaignar Sirippoli (24×7 Tamil comedy channel), Kalaignar Chithiram (24×7 Tamil cartoon channel), Kalaignar Murasu(24×7 Tamil movie channel) and Kalaignar Asia.
Indira Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government in 1976 based on charges of possible secession and corruption. The DMK government has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam drainage project.
The interim report of the Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations.
Karunanidhi's nephew, Murasoli Maran, was a Union Minister; however, it has been pointed out that he was in politics long before Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister in 1969.
Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. He was appointed as Mayor and later as Deputy CM of TN. But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own.
Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi has been appointed as the Rajya Sabha MP twice in 2007 and 2013. Karunanidhi's nephew's son Dayanidhi Maran has been appointed as the central Minister.
Karunanidhi's grandson, son of Stalin Udhayanidhi Stalin, has been elected as the MLA of TN assembly.
Karunanidhi has been accused of helping Murasoli Maran's son Kalanithi Maran, who runs Sun TV Network, India's second largest television network. According to Forbes, Kalanidhi is among India's richest 20, with $2.9 billion.
It has been pointed out that Karunanidhi has hesitated to take action against his erring family members.
Karunanidhi is also accused of allowing Azhagiri to function as an extraconstitutional authority in Madurai. The Dinakaran newspaper case was handed over to the CBI. But the District and Sessions court acquitted all the 17 accused in that case.
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