Writer Jeyamohan has written an article explaining why he is against the Dravidian movement in Tamilnadu. It takes real guts to write such an article in today's scenario, but Jeyamohan has always been known for his independent views.
To summarise the article, he faults the Dravidian movement for
- diluting the Dalit empowerment movement till the 1980s
- just paying lip service for Tamil development and indulging in superficial stuff like World Tamil Conferences while little or no literary and archaeological research has taken place after these parties came to power.
- for claiming credit for work done by people like U Ve Saminatha Iyer, Marai Malai Adigal, Thiru Vi Ka, Ma Po Sivagnanam and others who were not connected to (and in some casess against) the Dravidian movement.
I agree with most of his comments. However, despite all this, Tamils have been consistently voting for the Dravidian parties for the past 40 years. I myself have voted DMK in all the elections since I started voting. Whatever Rahul Gandhi tries in Tamilnadu, it is hard to see any one other than M K Stalin become the CM in 2011. So, what makes the Dravidian parties tick in Tamilnadu?
Economic Prosperity. Even the worst critics of Dravidian movement can't refuse the fact that TN is amongst the developed states in the country. One of my grouses is that the mushrooming of Matriculation schools since 1970s killed Tamil as medium of instruction in TN. No one sends his kids to Tamil medium schools in TN if he can afford to put them in Matriculation schools. Not only the cities, the craze for Matriculation schools is prevalent even in small towns and villages. We now have a generation of Tamils who can hardly read Tamil. But, this proliferation of Matriculation schools (of dubious quality) led to a generation of English speaking Tamils who found it easier to be employed. Given a choice between employment probability and pride of language, employment wins hands down.
Tamilnadu has institutionalised corruption. Every one knows it, but has become indifferent to it. The common refrain is , "Both parties are corrupt, but the DMK at least gets the infrastructure put in place. So what if they take their x %, let's treat it as their service charge".
So despite all their shortcomings, the Dravidian parties continue to rule TN. We have accepted all their sins and misdeeds. This sounds pernicious, but that's how things are.