CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday wrote to 37 leaders of various State and national parties, including AICC president Sonia Gandhi and chief ministers of several States, and invited them to nominate representatives to establish the All India Federation for Social Justice, an initiative driven by DMK to protect the interests of the oppressed.
India’s unique, diverse, multi-cultural federation is under threat from bigotry and religious hegemony, he wrote in the letter. “These forces can only be fought if all who believe in equality, self-respect and social justice unite.”During his address in a webinar on January 26, Stalin announced he would launch the federation soon, by bringing leaders of oppressed classes from across the country together. The federation, he said, will strive to achieve the principles of federalism and social justice at the national level.
The letter has been sent to CMs such as Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, Uddhav Thackeray of Maharashtra, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, K Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of AP, Hemant Soren of Jharkhand, and N Rangasamy of Puducherry. The letter has also been sent to O Panneerselvam, coordinator of the DMK’s arch-rival AIADMK.
Besides Sonia Gandhi, the letter has gone to national leaders including Lalu Prasad Yadav of RJD, Farooq Abdullah of J&K National Conference, Sharad Pawar of NCP, D Raja of CPI, Sitaram Yechury of CPM, HD Deve Gowda of JDS, and N Chandrababu Naidu of TDP.
Although the DMK chief has reached out to leaders of parties allied with the BJP, such as Rangasamy of Puducherry and Amarinder Singh of Punjab Lok Congress, he did not send the letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, one of the forerunners of social justice since the VP Singh era. Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Party president T Velmurugan, a DMK ally, is also conspicuously absent. No BJP leader is among the addressees.
Stalin issues call for unity
Recalling the DMK’s struggle to achieve OBC reservation in All India Quota (AIQ) in medical courses, Stalin wrote, “DMK has reaffirmed its commitment for social justice at every turn, as exemplified by our recent politico-legal battle to obtain 27% OBC reservations in the State-contributed seats to AIQ in medical and dental courses across the country.
However, reservations are not sufficient to ensure social justice.” “The time has finally arrived to stand together as a true Union of States to achieve the objectives. We must unite with the same conviction and purpose as we did to establish the Mandal Commission.
In each State, the oppressed classes are yearning to have the doors of opportunity opened to them,” he wrote. “At this crucial juncture when repressive forces are challenging the progress made in the social justice front over decades, it is vital that all progressive forces join hands to protect the interests of the oppressed,” said the letter.