India Today Politics

India Today issue dt November 1, 1999
Nov 1, 1999


M K Stalin, 47
Mayor of Chennai, DMK Heir-Apparent

He was just over 22 when M.K. Stalin -- the son of thalaivar (leader) M. Karunanidhi -- was beaten up in jail so brutally during the Emergency that a fellow prisoner died trying to save him. When he emerged, Stalin found his father and party desolate. The rival AIADMK had won over the key youth vote. So Stalin, secretary of the newly founded DMK youth wing, was asked to woo them back. He did, to great effect. Today, Karunanidhi is chief minister again and Stalin is still building ground. He's been mayor of Chennai since 1996, and that job profile is almost certain to upgrade to state politics in the tradition of dynasty. Stalin is already being billed as the new Dravida hope, his father's successor.

-L R Jagadheesan




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