I meant Sarva Adhikari, not dictator: M K Stalin

M K Stalin said the media had missed the spirit of his remarks and had hijacked its semantics for its own ‘compulsions’.

Chennai: After heavy trolling in the social media for his reported ‘dictator remarks’ at the DMK’s general council here recently, the party president and opposition leader in the Assembly M K Stalin said the media had missed the spirit of his remarks and had hijacked its semantics for its own ‘compulsions’.

Clarifying what he spoke at the general council, Stalin in a letter to party cadres here on Tuesday said, that after having told erring party cadre to ‘mend themselves’ in the interests of keeping the DMK organisation in tact, he had added that, “not for me personally, but in the overall interests of the party I would wield power as a dictator would.”

But this did not mean he had warned of turning DMK into an authoritarian structure, Stalin further clarified. Observing that the media had ignored several other important issues discussed at the party’s general council meeting, it chose to pick on this one word ‘dictator’ and floated debates, posing, “Is Stalin becoming a dictator?”

Stalin said he understood the media’s “compulsions”, for they cannot freely criticise the actions of the ruling AIADMK, as the television media in particular faced competition from ‘Arasu Cable TV’. And if the media dared to be critical of the BJP, “they could even lose their broadcasting license”, he underscored.

Hence, it was possible that the media thought “they could take liberties with the DMK”, as it was now the only party that took up day-to-day people’s issues. The DMK has always been a “democratic organisation and you know that I have been functioning in that spirit,” Stalin emphasised to drive home that such attention-diverting tactics should be ignored.

Stalin also drew from the DMK’s history to show that how under the leadership of late C N Annadurai, who endeared himself as ‘Anna’ (elder brother) to the masses, and at other times, the party had nominated ‘Sarva Adhikaris’ (one vested with all powers to give directions and instructions) whenever a major agitation was launched, to ensure that such stirs did not go out of control. During the anti-Hindi agitation for instance, Periyar had nominated Anna as ‘Sarva Adhikari’ to lead the agitation in a disciplined way, so that it did not get derailed.

“Anna neither took up any arms, nor let loose any repression on the party cadre, but bind them through love and knowledge to keep the agitation within bounds,” Stalin clarified, adding, “we will continue to travel on the path shown by Anna and Kalaignar (late M Karunanidhi).”

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