The DMK leadership, and the people of Chennai are gravely concerned about Karunanidhi’s health, as he battles for his life at the hospital. The party may as well start planning life after Karunanidhi, for the public’s best interest.
Close family members and senior leaders of the party are busy finalising the arrangements to face any eventualities taking into account the advanced age of Karunanidhi, the five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The DMK has convened a meeting of its general council, the highest decision making body of the party, in the second week of August. It is widely believed that Stalin may be elevated as president of the party in this edition of the general council meeting.
The question going around the party followers is where their leader would be interred. Former Chief Ministers CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa have been buried at Marina Beach in Chennai. But what stands out against this honour for Karunanidhi is that Annadurai, MGR and Jayalalithaa died in office while he is only a former Chief Minister. People close to Karunanidhi had quoted him as telling that he would like to be buried near the tomb where Annadurai had his final resting place.
Karunanidhi’s dream could be realised only if the present Tamil Nadu Government allows the DMK to fulfil their leader’s wish. The DMK itself was against the burial of Jayalalithaa at the Marina Beach and had got some of its supporters to file PIL in Madras High Court challenging the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to build a memorial for her at Marina.
The Ministry of Environment and Finance of the Union Government has to approve the request by the DMK and then the State Government has to give green signal for the same.
“Taking into account the politically explosive situation in Tamil Nadu where the DMK is always on a course of agitation against Chief Minister Edappady Palaniswamy on a number of issues, getting clearance for such a honour for Karunanidhi is anybody’s guess,” said a commentator who did not want his name to be quoted.
Environmentalists are unanimous in their opposition to a move like this. “Asia’s longest and beautiful landscape should not end up as a graveyard. There is no guarantee that such demands would not be made in future for other political leaders for which there is no dearth in the State,” said an environmentalist of repute.
Writer: Kumar Chellappan
Source: The Pioneer