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Who is Kanimozhi? Interest in the 5-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s slightly less visible child has peaked after his death.
‘Kanimozhi’ is a Tamil name made up of two words – ‘kani’ which means fruit and ‘mozhi’ which means language. It basically translates to a woman who speaks sweetly, or has a way with words. To put it plainly, it is the perfect name for a woman who has at various times worked as a politician, poet, and journalist.
Kanimozhi has definitely inherited her father’s daughter creative penchant, for M.Karunanidhi himself was a famous writer and politician and was often praised for his silver tongue. Seen as Karunanidhi’s ‘literary heir’ (she is his daughter by wife Rajathi Ammal), Kanimozhi is the chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) wing for Art, Literature and Rationalism.
She has done quite a bit while holding this post, including organising work fairs, activities towards women empowerment, working towards the welfare of disabled and transgender people, and coming up with the idea of the Chennai Sangamam, a yearly open Tamil cultural festival. She also assumed office as a Rajya Sabha MP on 25th July, 2013.
But even before she became a politician, she did impressive work as a Tamil poet and a journalist. She even worked as a sub-editor for The Hindu for a while. Her professional success is something that one cannot miss.
It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows though – she was accused in the 2G spectrum case only to be acquitted on 21st December, 2017. But the damage to her reputation had been done, and the episode will likely provide ammunition for her detractors in the future too.
She is flawed, like any other human being. But at a time when there are testosterone-fuelled verbal wars between Karunanidhi’s sons – M.K.Alagiri and M.K.Stalin – over who should succeed their father, one can’t help but wonder if Kanimozhi is a better choice.
Women politicians in general find it harder to establish themselves firmly in the world of politics because of the inherent patriarchy. But we already have a lady who managed to do that in Tamil Nadu – Jayalalitha or as she was fondly called, Amma. She wasn’t perfect, but she was worth looking up to. Maybe, Kanimozhi will be next. Who can say?
Image source: Rajya Sabha TV
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