Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M K Stalin on Saturday said, “Those who impose one language, one religion and one culture are the enemies of India’s unity.” He said, “We cannot give them any space. Strong states are the basis of federalism.”
Stating that ‘Uniformity is not Unity’, Stalin said, “You can never achieve unity by uniformity. The only way for India to thrive is to have strong, autonomous States.” He recalled that the DMK founder and former Chief Minister C N Annadurai had pointed out “uniformity is different from unity”.
In a virtual interaction from Chennai at the Conclave India 75 — The State of Affairs — Federalism, Freedom and Forward, organised by a Kerala-based media group, he also reiterated his view that “India is not a single Government but a Union of Governments. ‘Union’ is not a wrong word. It has found a place in our Constitution. India can be saved only by saving all the States.”
Ever since he took over the reins of the Tamil Nadu Government last year, Stalin has been referring to the Government of India as the “Union Government” as opposed to the widely used “Central Government”. The BJP in Tamil Nadu has been opposing the usage of the term “Union Government” but the DMK and its allies have argued that the country has been described as a “Union of States” in the Constitution. Besides, the Centre too has been referring to Cabinet members as “Union Ministers.”
Adverting to other issues, he accused the BJP of running “parallel governments” through its Governors.
“We have to govern our States even as we face all these hurdles and fulfil the needs and expectations of the people as well,” he said adding, he was still hopeful as the long history of India and the fraternity among the Indian people would protect the country.
Recalling the words of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Stalin said whether it was long-term or short term interests, democracy alone would be appropriate for India. “Let us dedicate ourselves to save democracy,” he said, pointing out Nehru respected the diversity in India and believed the country could be saved only by strengthening federalism, state autonomy, secularism, equality, fraternity, socialism and social justice.