Loud sloganeering against the Congress competed with the bursting of crackers at the DMK headquarters on Tuesday morning as party supremo M Karunanidhi was announcing the decision to quit the UPA and its government at the Centre over the emotive issue of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
As soon as Karunanidhi began reading from a press release in Tamil, crackers went off, followed by drums as elated cadres launched into impromptu dancing.
“It is celebration of freedom from the Congress, which was pulling us down,” said Senthil N, a die-hard DMK worker from Peravallur in north Chennai.
The crackers went on for nearly one and half hours after Karunanidhi’s announcement. Loud cheers greeted his statement that the DMK would not even support the UPA government from the outside. The presence of OB (outdoor broadcast) vans enabling TV crews to beam live pictures of the celebrations motivated the crowd to get even more frenzied as they performed for the cameras.
“It seems as if the party has won a major election and a victory procession is in progress,” remarked an IT professional who came to watch the tamasha. Wondering what the DMK was celebrating, the IT professional who did not want to give out his name said, “These are the pictures the world and the Sri Lankan Tamils will see -- of the firecracker display, distribution of sweets -- when their plight will continue to be what it was.”