By Gokul Vannan – IDINTHAKARAI
Published: 09th January 2014 07:48 AM
In a role reversal for the Aam Admi Party (AAP), which had laid conditions for national parties to support its Delhi government, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) coordinator S P Udayakumar has listed out preconditions for extending support to the party in Tamil Nadu.
Udayakumar, who was recently wooed by Aam Admi Partysenior leader Prashant Bhushan to join the one-year-old party, told Express in an exclusive interview that he had submitted a five-point charter to the AAP, including that its local unit must be baptised in Tamil to strike a chord with the masses.
“Using a name like ‘Saadharana Makkal Katchi’ (Common Man’s Party) with the suffix AAP would help us counter local accusation of surrendering to Hindi domination,” Udayakumar said. For the purpose of registration with the Election Commission, however, the name AAP could be retained.
Senior Aam Admi Partyleaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Bhushan and Retired Admiral Ramdass have been trying to rope in Udayakumar as the party’s face in Tamil Nadu, though Christina Samy is the state unit convener.
Udayakumar, nonetheless, made it clear that his insistence on a Tamil name should not be misconstrued that he was against learning Hindi. “Learning any additional language is an added advantage. My belief is that if a party is named in Tamil it would help to connect deeper with the Tamil people,” he explained.
The PMANE leader also wanted the AAP leadership to pronounce its stand on nuclear energy. Besides, he wants the Eelam issue to be addressed.
“During my telephonic conversation with Yogendra Yadav and recent meeting with Prashant Bhushan, I told them that the AAP’s state unit must give importance in issues relating to the Tamil Eelam, recurrent attacks on Tamil fishermen, abuse of the Indian coast in the name of development projects and plundering of beach minerals apart from social justice and minority rights,” he said.
Udayakumar said that he had put forth the same issues when Kejriwal met him at Kuthenkuly in September 2012 to support the anti-KKNPP struggle. But there was no progress after the meeting.
“However, now Yadav has reacted positively. He said that Tamil nationalism can coexist with Indian nationalism. We reiterated to Bhushan that Tamil nationalism does not denote separatist or secessionist sentiments but a stance seeking fair and just treatment of Tamils within the Indian Union,” he disclosed.
Towards this end, the PMANE has insisted that the Aam Admi Party must take into its fold smaller parties that advocate Tamil nationalism and interests of minorities.
“Bhushan expressed concern that supporting Tamil Eelam could create problems because of the Kashmir issue. However, I reasoned with him that Kashmir people are not treated as second grade citizens and are given equal participation in governance unlike the Tamils of Sri Lanka,” Udayakumar said.
While he is willing to work with Christina, Udayakumar wanted some of the members of the PMANE and its supporters to be included in the policy making bodies of the Aam Admi Party’s central and state units. Besides, he wanted autonomy for the state unit.
Read more here — http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/PMANE-Sets-Tamil-Conditions-for-Joining-AAP/2014/01/09/article1990617.ece?pageNumber=3#.Uw_m1vldUpo