Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other AIADMK leaders meet DMK working president M K Stalin to inquire about his father and party chief M Karunanidhi's health at Kauvery hospital, in Chennai on Monday.
Political differences notwithstanding, tall leaders of Tamil Nadu – C Rajaji, K Kamaraj, C N Annadurai, M G Ramachandran (MGR) and M Karunanidhi – maintained cordial relations with each other.
Though Karunanidhi and MGR bickered with each other after they parted ways, the duo maintained their personal ties and would extend courtesies when they met at public functions. Though ideologically divergent, Kamaraj and Annadurai showed political courtesies to each other while they were in power at different times.
But, the political courtesies that were the hallmark of Dravidian culture took a nosedive after J Jayalalithaa was thrust into politics after the demise of her mentor MGR, who founded the AIADMK, in 1987.
For the next 29 years, Tamil Nadu politics lacked political culture with leaders becoming very personal while attacking their rivals and not even making a courtesy call even while their opponents were admitted to a hospital due to ill-health.
Though Karunanidhi was known for accommodating allies and maintaining cordial ties even with political rivals, his relationship with Jayalalithaa was cold and rigid.
Both seemed to have hatred for each other and never came eye-to-eye after they became political adversaries in the late 1980s and they went after the other’s pet projects when they came to power.
And to end the personal rivalry, DMK working president M K Stalin took the first step by leading a high-level party delegation to Apollo Hospital when Jayalalithaa was admitted in 2016.
The DMK also paid rich tributes to Jayalalithaa when she passed away and its top brass paid last respects to her at the Rajaji Hall on December 6, 2016.
The political maturity shown by Stalin has now been reciprocated by the AIADMK leadership with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and senior Cabinet colleagues visiting DMK chief M Karunanidhi at the ICU of the Kauvery Hospital.
On Thursday when Karunanidhi's health witnessed a “slight decline”, Panneerselvam led a delegation to the DMK chief's residence and enquired about his health with Stalin.
Political analysts welcomes the development and wants the political parties to continue the “matured political culture”.