SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Rhetoric, Ideology and Alliances: Future of Dravidian Politics, Post-Tamil Nadu Elections 2021

IMG -  Rhetoric, Ideology and Alliances: Future of Dravidian Politics, Post-Tamil Nadu Elections 2021
Various Speakers

Date: 16 June 2021Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 16 June 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event

Speakers: Dr Andrew Wyatt (Bristol University), Dr Gilles Vernier (Ashoka University), Dr Ezhilan Naganathan (DMK MLA), Selvam Dharanidharan (OPAG),

Prof M Vijayabaskar (Madras Institute of Development Studies)

South Asia’s national elections are known for their high pitch drama, emotional investment, demonstration of wealth, internecine conflict among contesting political parties, and competition between an array of new promises. The recent Assembly elections (April/May) over various phases in the Indian states brings into sharper focus regional power contestations opposing the majoritarian BJP as the ruling parliamentary party. Following the 16th Legislative Assembly election held in April, to elect representatives from the 234 constituencies in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, speakers will reflect on past trends in Tamil political culture, the emergence of partisan alliances based on Dalit identity, an increased presence of Hindutva populism, corruption, governance and developments in the state emerging from caste-based alliances.

  • Dr Andrew Wyatt (Senior Lecturer, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol) focuses on party politics, religion and caste in 'Dravidian politics and 2021 elections'.
  • Dr Gilles Vernier, (Senior Visiting Fellow at CPR and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Co-Director, Trivedi Centre for Political Data, Ashoka University; Co-convenor of the CPR-TCPD Dialogues on Indian Politics) speaks on the 'Recomposition of the DMK elite'.
  • Dr Ezhilan Naganathan, DMK MLA, Tamilnadu and Consultant physician speaks on the 'Inclusive Dravidian model of development'.
  • Selvam Dharanidharan, Co-Founder of Oxford Policy Advisory Group is also the Youth Leader to the World Democracy Forum and United Nations. He will speak on 'Past Present and Future of Dravidian Ideology'.
  • Prof M Vijayabaskar (Madras Institute of Development Studies) speaks on the 'Developmental Challenges, Post Election 2021.'
  • Observer Comments: Dr Prabhu Rajendran, Vice-chairman of the World Tamil Organisations UK (WTO-UK).
  • Chair and Discussant: Dr Sanjukta Ghosh (SSAI)

The event is in aid of the collective fundraising towards the Tamilnadu Chief Minister Covid Relief Fund, donations to CMPRF - Government of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund (


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Organiser: SOAS South Asia Institute

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