DMK manifesto to include memorial for Dalit warrior
(By Our Special Correspondent)
Chennai, April 16 : The DMK’s 2001 Assembly election manifesto, to be released here on Tuesday, will include a commitment to build a “Mani Mandapam” (memorial) for the legendary freedom fighter from the Dalit/Devendra Kula community, Veeran Sundaralingam, at his native villave, Gavarnagiri in Tuticorin district, the party president Mr. M. Karunanidhi said today. “Though as Chief Minister I cannot make an announcement during election time, bound by the model code of conduct for political parties, as president of the DMK I can say that the plea by the Puthiya Tamizhagam leader, Dr. K. Krishnasamy, to build a memorial for Sundaralingam will be included in our poll manifesto,” Mr. Karunanidhi said here.
He was participating in a function organised by the PT to mark the death anniversary of Veeran Sundaralingam. Mr. Karunanidhi earlier unveiled a portrait of the freedom fighter, who had headed a suicide squad of Verrapandia Kattabomman in their fight against the British imperialists. Veeran Sundaralingam “is not only remembered for his daring and courage, but also his supreme sacrifice,”said Mr. Karunanidhi.
Dr. Krishnaswamy said the PT’s poll alliance with the DMK was not based on any quid pro quo. The Dalits only yearned for “friendship, brotherhood and equality,” he said.
The Makkal Tamil Desam president, Mr. S. Kannappan, and the Tamizhaga Muslim United Jamaat leader, Mr. J. M. Haroon, were among those who participated.