Monday, July 22, 2024

M. Karunanidhi’s Legacy: 2G Scam and Divisive Politics

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M. Karunanidhi was a major influence on the political arena of southern India. He amassed great political clout, which remains unaffected by his involvement in the 2G scam. The 2G scam remains one of India’s most notorious corruption scandals. It sheds light on the web of deceit and abuse of power by M. Karunanidhi, leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the former CM of Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi’s involvement in the 2G scam revealed his questionable political practices. His influence over Tamil Nadu was largely impacted by the practice of divisive politics. The tools of regional pride and regional identity were effectively used by him to influence the general public. His political legacy features his involvement in the 2G scam and divisive politics. 

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The 2G Scam: Re-lived

2G Spectrum scam: Case study
PC Lawgic Startum

The 2G scam unfolded between 2007 and 2009. Authorities alleged illegal allocation of 2G spectrum licenses by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology during the tenure of A. Raja (former Telecom Minister). The scam exposed a massive financial irregularity of approximately $25 billion. Investigations revealed that several influential individuals, including M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, were allegedly involved in the scam. Thus, the scam underscores the collusion between politicians, bureaucrats, and corporate entities in a brazen act of corruption.

Karunanidhi’s role in the 2G scam was intensely scrutinized by the authorities. As the patriarch of the DMK and the mentor of A. Raja, M. Karunanidhi faced allegations of encouraging corrupt practices within the DMK. Therefore, the scam exposed the opportunistic politics played by Karunanidhi and his family. It highlighted how the DML leader pursued personal gains at the expense of the nation’s interests. The involvement of his daughter Kanimozhi further tarnished Karunanidhi’s public image.

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In 2017, the court ruled out all allegations against A. Raja and M. Karunanidhi due to a lack of evidence. However, the label corruption and complicity to illegal practices shall forever be associated with M. Karunanidhi and his family.

Continued Influence of M. Karunanidhi and his family in Indian Politics

Tamil Nadu: Will Stalin's reshaping of the DMK pay off and vindicate Karunanidhi's succession plan?
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Despite the 2G scam and the subsequent legal proceedings, Karunanidhi significantly influenced Indian politics. The DMK remains a formidable force in Tamil Nadu due Karunanidhi’s political strategy of ‘divide and rule’.

The party wields considerable power with the masses using the divisive politics model set by M. Karunanidhi.

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Additionally, DMK plays a crucial role in national politics. Karunanidhi’s ability to maintain a loyal voter base and forge alliances with major political parties underscored his enduring influence in Tamil Nadu.

After his death in 2018, his political dynasty was carried forward by both his son M.K. Stalin and his daughter Kanimozhi. M.K. Stalin assumed the leadership of the DMK after Karunanidhi’s passing. Shri Stalin has made significant strides in consolidating the party’s power. The DMK’s recent electoral victories in Tamil Nadu highlights their continued relevance in the state’s politics.

Legacy of M. Karunanidhi

Karunanidhi’s controversial legacies are linked to the 2G scam and his divisive politics. He actively championed regionalism and Tamil nationalism, often employing rhetoric that fueled sentiments of division and exclusion. While his loyal followers supported Karunanidhi, his approach perpetuated a sense of regional identity that hindered national unity. He used his divisive politics as a smokescreen to divert public attention from the corruption and misgovernance that plagued his more than 18 years of administration.

The 2G scam exposed deep-seated corruption of the DMK. It also shed light on the use of divisive politics by M. Karunanidhi for his benefit. Moreover, his involvement in the scandal raised serious questions about his commitment to public welfare and ethical governance. While the legal proceedings for the scam unfolded, Karunanidhi’s influence remained intact. Thereby showcasing the intricate dynamics of power and politics in India. M. Karunanidhi shaped the political discourse in South India by confusing the common man on issues of regional pride and identity. Thus, Karunanidhi remains one of the most controversial leaders of southern India.

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