Tamil Nadu is a land of monikers and political leaders, film stars, and musicians who are fondly known by their nick names. The latest to enter into the world of monikers is Udayanidhi Stalin, the son of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and the Youth Wing Secretary of the ruling DMK.
Udayanidhi is also a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and elected from the Chepauk assembly constituency in Chennai.
In a public programme at Thanjavur on Monday, the young scion of the Karunanidhi family was addressed by the cadres as ‘Ila Thalaivar’ or Young leader, ‘Moondram Kalaignar’ or third Karunanidhi and ‘Chinnavar’ (the young guy).
The young scion of the Karunanidhi clan called upon the cadres to address him as Chinnavar and henceforth he will be called by the DMK cadres and leaders as Chinnavar.
Dravidian ideologue and the person who created the Dravidian narrative and ideology to both the DMK and AIADMK, late E.V. Ramaswamy Naiker is popular in his moniker, ‘Periyar’ meaning the big man.
The first Dravida Chief Minister of the state, C.N. Annadurai fondly called by the cadres as ‘Anna’ which is even now a name that is being used with reverence by the ‘atheist’ DMK cadres and leaders. Muthuvel Karunanidhi, former Chief Minister and one of the most popular orators and writers of Tamil Nadu were called ‘Kalaignar’ Karunanidhi.
M.G. Ramachandran, matinee idol turned politician and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who formed AIADMK after splitting out of the DMK was called ‘Puratchi Thalaivar’ or revolutionary leader. He was indeed the face of the DMK in the sixties and was a deadly combination with Karunanidhi both in politics and cinema. The duo had fallen out after the passing away of Annadurai in 1969 and MGR floated the AIADMK in 1972. MGR was awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’ posthumously in 1988 after his passing away in 1987.
AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa was popularly known as ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’, revolutionary woman leader and she also lived up to the reputation as a tough Chief Minister who even made the national leadership of the central ruling parties wait at her doorstep. Jayalalithaa was also fondly addressed by party cadres and public alike as ‘Amma’.
Her close aide and former interim general secretary of AIADMK, V.K. Sasikala who is now planning a state-wide tour to regain her lost prominence in Tamil Nadu politics is fondly known as ‘Chinnamma’ or mother’s sister.
In tinsel world also, stars are known by their pet names with Rajinikanth, the most popular actor in Tamil movies being known popularly as ‘Thalaivar’ or leader.
Vijay, the sensational actor of Tamil movies who is a hitmaker in all the movies he acts, is known fondly as ‘Ilaya Thalapathy’ or Young Commander. Ajith, another popular actor is known as ‘Thala’ or again leader after the success of his movies.
South Indian music director, Ilayaraja is known commonly as ‘Isaignani’ or musical genius. He is also referred to as ‘Maestero’ by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A.R. Rahman, Oscar award winner and popular musician is known in Tamil Nadu as the ‘Mozart of Madras’.
In a state full of monikers, Udayanidhi Stalin is the new entrant and will henceforth be addressed by cadres and leaders of the DMK as ‘Chinnavar’