Equal status is not enjoyed by women in the political arena across the globe. There is always a difference in the opportunities put in front of them. As far as the power hierarchy is concerned women remain at a shallow level and are often powerless due to reasons like lack of awareness, literacy, knowledge, and information. The struggles faced by women cannot be altered if there is no active political participation in the decision-making process.
There are often forces that work as a catalyst to bring in this change. Since the formation of Madras Presidency in 1801 women demonstrations are markedly lesser in comparison with Bombay or Bengal. Though women marched in the rallies, their contribution was insignificant. Women in Madras never joined the revolutionary movement. Being part of the political process gave them a chance to make an entry into the political system.
Modern day political scenario in Tamil Nadu is shrouded by caste politics, dynasty rule, separated on the grounds of religion, caste, and ideologies. In today’s desperate state of affairs, the political system in Tamil Nadu has undergone a drastic transformation leaving a vacuum for dynamic leadership.
Let’s analyze the prospects of some dynamic women who can make it to the throne:
Nirmala Sitharaman: The 54-year-old leader from the BJP is known for her soft and placid demeanor. Born in Tiruchirapalli, a district in Tamil Nadu she is the only women representative from South India in the ministry. She holds the highly prestigious Ministry of Defence and is seen as the face of BJP in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that the state issues are routed through Sitharaman at present. The aim is to infuse new blood into the party.
M K Kanimozhi: A journalist, poet, and politician, she represents the parliament on the DMK ticket. She is the daughter of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi. Having inducted into the Art, literature and rationalism wing, she went on to take become the voice of DMK in Delhi. She has supported Pan-Tamil issues and has organized women empowerment programs. She is married to a Singapore based writer G Aravindaan and has a son Adithyan. Post-illness of her father and the marred political scenario, she has an outside chance of claiming the throne.
Premalatha Vijayakanth: The power couple is always seen together. Premalatha, the wife of prominent actor Vijayakanth and founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in 2006, orchestrated the transition. She steadily moved from backstage strategist to the center stage and became a prominent force in the party. She has the potential to engage the crowd. Her focus was all set on making Vijayakanth the King than the Kingmaker while the others were lobbying for alliances and winning seats. Her campaigning style in raw and direct language made her a center of attraction. Moreover, her uncompromising way of dealing with political opponents speaks of her authority. The way she manages the party post her husband’s illness and the vacancy created by Panruti S. Ramachandran goes to prove her prowess.