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Decode Politics: Government to ideology to archaeology, what is Stalin’s ‘Dravidian Model’

Announcing the new international airport at Hosur on Thursday, Chief Minister M K Stalin again spoke of a “Dravidian Model of Governance”.

“Since the establishment of our Dravidian Model of Governance, Tamil Nadu has been advancing in all sectors,” he said, adding that the state is implementing various long-term plans to transform Hosur into a major economic development hub by developing modern infrastructure.

Days earlier, after the DMK-led alliance swept Tamil Nadu in the recent Lok Sabha elections, winning all the 39 seats in the state, Stalin called the win a resounding mandate to this ‘Dravidian Model’.

Stalin’s project

Since he became CM for the first time, climbing out of the large shadow of his father M Karunanidhi, Stalin has courted a distinct image of himself as an upholder of “Dravidian interests”. This serves him well to position himself and his party in staunch opposition to the BJP and its ideology.

Soon after he took charge in May 2021, Stalin added the words “Belongs to Dravidian Stock” to his Twitter profile. This phrase harked back to a speech made by C N Annadurai, one of the founders of the DMK, in Parliament 59 years ago.

On completion of a year in government, Stalin first floated the claim to a ‘Dravidian Model of Governance’, releasing newspaper advertisements, including in the national capital, talking about the same.

In January 2023, this framing was at the centre of a flare-up between the DMK government and Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi after the latter skipped two portions referring to “Dravidian Model of Development” during his customary speech at the start of an Assembly Session.

After the Tamil Nadu Budget was presented in 2023, Stalin said it “was a complete example of the Dravidian Model”. “When

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