At a time when Indians stuck in Ukraine are facing a crisis amidst the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, the Tamil Nadu-based Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been caught yet again fanning the regional North-South divide even as the Indian government is putting all its effort to evacuate all the stranded citizens in the war-torn country. The evacuation of students from Ukraine is now caught in the dirty politics as MK Stalin-led DMK has now claimed that the Indian government favours North Indian students over the South Indians during the ongoing evacuation from Ukraine.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin had demanded that students from Tamil Nadu should be given priority over students from other states in evacuating.
Speaking at a Times Now debate, DMK spokesperson A Saravanan claimed that the North Indian students are being given priority over others by the Indian government. However, the DMK spokesperson did not provide any evidence to back his claim.
Defending the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to send four legislators to Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovakia to evacuate stranded Tamil students, the DMK leader said that the Stalin-led government decided to initiate its own evacuation, bypassing the centre, as there was a language barrier. The DMK spokesperson also claimed that the Indian embassy officials in Ukraine are only speaking Hindi, giving preference to North Indian students.
These alarming unverified claims being made by the DMK comes just days after a few alleged stranded students from Tamil Nadu had also made a similar claim. The alleged students had claimed that the Indian government was prioritising the evacuation of the North Indian students while making them wait for their turn despite empty seats.
In addition, the left-liberal journalists are also putting out misinformation about the ongoing evacuation process and at the same time are also peddling pro-DMK propaganda to claim that the centre has failed to evacuate the Tamil Nadu students from Ukraine and it was only due to the intervention of the Tamil Nadu government, students are being taken out of Ukraine safely.
Worryingly, the entire propaganda against the centre over the evacuation process started just after the Tamil Nadu government announced its intentions to bring back Tamil Nadu students stuck in Ukraine on its owqn. Ever since then, unverified claims have been made on social media platforms that the centre is discriminating against Tamil Nadu students by giving preference to the South Indian students.
Another point to note is that the other four states in the south – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa, have no qualms about the evacuation process being carried out under the coordination of the Ministry of External Affairs. However, it is strange that it is only the DMK-led Tamil Nadu government, an ally of the Congress party, that has problems with the centre over evacuation.
MK Stalin uses the Russia-Ukraine war to fan the North-South divide in India after Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Union of States’ remark
Last week, the DMK, an ally of the Congress party, had used the Russia-Ukraine war to fan the North-South divide in India. After the DMK-led government decided to send four legislators to Europe to help Tamil Nadu students, MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, tried to pull a PR stunt by sharing a letter that he had written to the External Affairs Minister urging him to help the Tamil students with more alacrity than other students.
At first glance, this letter looked like a cheap PR student by the Tamil Nadu government in alliance with the Congress party, however, several wondered if there is more than meets the eye given the statements being made by Rahul Gandhi himself.
On March 3, MK Stalin had written to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar requesting to “increase the number of Tamil students to be evacuated from Ukraine by focussed intervention”. He had claimed that number Tamil students evacuated is less compared to overall evacuations, and therefore more Tamil students should be brought back.
Wrote to Hon'ble @DrSJaishankar requesting him to increase the number of Tamil students to be evacuated from #Ukraine by focussed intervention and sought MEA clearances for the team proposed by GoTN to coordinate with the Indian embassies in Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. pic.twitter.com/175b3qthcB— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) March 3, 2022
In February 2022, Rahul Gandhi – the scion of Gandhi Parivar ignited a massive debate in the country by questioning the very idea of India as a ‘nation’. Speaking in the Parliament on the motion of thanks to President’s Address in Lok Sabha, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi claimed that India was just a “union of states” and not as a nation.
In his speech, Rahul Gandhi insisted that the power arrangement between the states and the centre is of a “negotiation” and insinuated that India did not have a single national identity, instead, the idea of India rose from an agreement or a negotiation between the provincial units. The Gandhi-scion also brought the reference of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, imagining them to be distinct entities and asserted that the ruling dispensation treated these constitutional units as its kingdom.
In this light, the actions of Stalin appear far more sinister than a simple PR stunt as it is evident that MK Stalin has no concern for INDIAN students who are stuck in war-torn nations and are trying to make their way back as the Indian government does everything conceivable to bring them back home.
Further, he is more concerned solely about Tamil students because he seems to believe that the regional identity of these students is far more important than their national identity.