Chennai, March 18
The Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) leader and former actor, Seeman is emerging as a new icon in Tamil politics.
After the two Dravidian parties, the DMK and AIADMK entered into political relations with the national political parties, Congress and BJP respectively, there have been whispers from among the hardcore Dravidian groups that they had watered down the ideological part.
Depsite the presence of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) of actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) of seasoned political leader Vaiko, there is a feel among the Dravidian supporters that the two leaders are aged and not in a position to take forward the Dravidian cause.
Seeman has emerged as political leader with aggressive postures and has been a voice of Dravidian forces and in the recent Erode East by-elections, amid the huge victory of Congress, DMK candidate, EVKS Elangovan, the NTK candidate Menaka Navaneethan got 10,827 votes. While the NTK candidate could not muster enough votes to save her caution deposit money, the performance of the NTK was received well by political watchers.
It is to be noted that amid several issues relating to Tamils and Tamil nationalism, the voice of Seeman is only being heard and the leader has already announced that he would be contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha polls on his own. Even the South Indian super star, Kamal Haasan who has floated the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is more likely to contest as part of the DMK, Congress front.
Sources in the NTK told IANS that Seeman is not planning to get a few seats in the 2024 general elections, but trying to make enough grounds for winning a few seats in 2026 Assembly polls.
R. Mukundaraj, Director, Institute of Social and Development Studies, a think tank on South Indian social and political movements and based out of Chennai while speaking to IANS said, "Seeman has been on the fringes of the Political climate of Tamil Nadu since long, but suddenly I think, there is some interest on him. I feel that this is mainly due to Seeman's consistent posturing on Tamil causes while the main stream parties like the DMK and AIADMK which are vouching for the Dravidan and Tamil causes are now more diluted."
He said that as a society, Tamils are very humble people but have fierce pride in their culture and identity, and watering down their ideology will never be acceptable to them.
The votes polled by the NTK candidate Maneka Navaneethan is an indicator that the NTK is slowly but certainly coming up in Tamil politics. Seeman with his aggressive postures has been taking on both the DMK, AIADMK, Congress, and the BJP and is trying to create a space for himself. With Tamil society accepting anyone who is raising Tamil nationalism, there are possibilities of Seeman getting a catapult and lift in the intrinsic politics of Tamil Nadu.
Chennai, March 18