MK's 'Black Shirts Brigades' to take on Jayalalitha govt

Undeterred by the AIADMK government’s refusal for a human-chain protest in Tamil Nadu against the Jayalalitha regime’s “anti-people policies and inefficiencies,”  DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi asked his party cadres to turn into “black shirts brigades” (BSB).

The move is on the lines of DMK’s parent organisation Dravidar Kazhagam’s(DK) late leader Periyar who announced the formation of BSB in September 1945 to highlight the “darker sides of socio-economic realities.”

Karunanidhi said he initially intended to wear “black shirt only for a day on October 5” as part of the “human chain protest” against the AIADMK regime’s acts of omission and commission, including foisting “false cases” against DMK leaders, district secretaries and cadres. “But the police refused permission, so to protest the widespread distress and suffering of the people under this regime, I shall wear black shirts for all days,” he contended.

Sharing the dais with DK leader K Veeramani on Thursday, Karunanidhi said switching over to “black shirts” was not new to him. “I was the first person to enlist for the black shirts brigades when Periyar first announced in 1945,” he recalled.

While Karunanidhi’s sartorial change sent shock waves within the DMK, some even fearing this could be his way of warning sparring second level party leaders by identifying himself with the DK culture, DMK Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu told Deccan Herald that the change-over to “black shirts is only for our Thalaivar (leader) and for party cadres it is limited to this agitation.” 

Karunanidhi launched the “pamphleteer campaign” by the DMK’s BSB at his Gopalapuram residence on Friday morning, handing over 30,000 pamphlets highlighting the “repressive and anti-democratic acts of the AIADMK regime” to be distributed to residents of the Thousand Lights segment.

All senior leaders, including K Anbazhagan, M K Stalin and MPs T R Baalu and T K S Elangovan joined the agitation in their own areas. The women were led by Kanimozhi.

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