Within the party, he has already emerged as a “leader” in his own right
Amidst an avalanche of criticism, DMK’s youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin became a new minister in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet on Wednesday, which might well mark the beginning of a new era for the 68-year-old party that has been in and out of power since 1967 when it first set up a government at Fort St George. While an army of naysayers in social media came down on chief minister and party president, M.K. Stalin, like a wall of bricks for perpetuating “dynasty”, there was not a murmur of dissent within the party. Nor was the party in general perturbed by the cynicism, saying that it has faced so many doubters.
In the youth camp, there is an eruption of euphoria and a sigh of relief as the youth brigade sees 45-year-old Udhaynidhi aka Udhay Anna as the future head honcho of the party dominated by seniors having their own regional and other fiefdoms. For Udhay has endeared himself to the youth by hobnobbing with the rank and file since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when he embarked on a state-wide campaign and then by enrolling members to the youth wing that he came to spearhead subsequently.
Within the party, he has already emerged as a “leader” in his own right as it has been quite some time since aggrieved cadre started approaching him to settle disputes and fix organisational matters. He has also managed to bridge the generation gap in the party leadership, where most leaders, with the exception of a few, hail from an old school of thought, making it difficult for the younger generation of cadre to relate to them and take the party forward.
For the widespread criticism, Udhay has a reply: “I shall prove myself through my actions.” For the elderly, he is the grandson of M. Karunanidhi, the supreme leader they revered. For the youth he is one who can dream, think and talk like them. For the party that needs a unifying leader, he is the future hope.