‘I will fight for women empowerment’, Kanimozhi

When chief minister M. Karunanidhi announced the DMK decision opting for his poet daughter Kanimozhi as one of the two nominees of the party for the Rajya Sabha, he brought to close one of the longest political speculations in recent times in Tamil Nadu.

A well-known public face albeit on the Tamil literary-cultural platform, Ms Kanimozhi is a reluctant entrant to politics and has kept herself busy with socio-cultural and literary engagements besides being a doting mother to a very demanding seven-year-old Adityan. Even a couple of months back, she was against  a political career, but circumstances have obviously pushed her to take up a political career.

Interestingly, AIADMK supremo Ms Jayalalithaa too had been a reluctant entrant to politics, pushed to the center-stage by her matinee hero M. G. Ramachandran, when he needed a young and bright face to campaign for his party. And she too had her debut in public life through the Rajya Sabha, impressing the ‘elders’ of the Capital with her English oratory. With a Masters in Business Economics, Ms Kanimozhi can be expected to perform just as well, drawing from her huge advantage of growing up in the shadow of one of the shrewdest politicians in post-independent India.

Incidentally, both the women did their schooling in the famous Presentation Convent, Church Park, in the city. “This is my first step into active politics. I am overwhelmed by the confidence reposed in me by my party and leaders. I will perform to my best ability, taking up issues of the poor, fighting for women’s empowerment and the 33 per cent reservation for them,” said Ms Kanimozhi, reacting to her father’s announcement of the party’s decision to send her to the Rajya Sabha.

Asked whether she would be the DMK’s voice in Delhi—many in the media have predicted she would fill the vacuum of ‘discredited’ nephew Dayanidhi Maran—Ms Kanimozhi shot back, “I don’t have to be the party’s voice or representative at the Centre as there are enough voices there.”

What are the chances of her becoming a Minister, since the DMK is still keeping one Cabinet berth vacant after Mr Maran’s exit? “I am not open for Cabinet berth and I don’t think the party will say that either,” replied the 39-year-old poet activist, arguing that it would be unfair to read too much into her turning to politics and concluding it as yet another instance of dynastic politics, since “we have grown up with politics” and social work inevitably led to political career at some point in life.

Though she and her father have discounted the possibility of her getting into the Central Cabinet, speculation continues strong that Ms Kanimozhi could be sworn in before the end of the year. But what she perhaps holds as a bigger priority at the moment is to complete what she calls the magnum opus of her life, a documentary on the literary-social-political innings of her father.