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From Haryana to Gujarat to Maharashtra, numerous Indian states have been witness to protests by backward classes pressing for quotas and reservations. In stark contrast is the exemplary case of Tamil Nadu, which has managed to effectively integrate economic and development agenda for the backward classes into state policy. In the fifty years of rule between them, M. Karuna From Haryana to Gujarat to Maharashtra, numerous Indian states have been witness to protests by backward classes pressing for quotas and reservations. In stark contrast is the exemplary case of Tamil Nadu, which has managed to effectively integrate economic and development agenda for the backward classes into state policy. In the fifty years of rule between them, M. Karunanidhi, MGR, and J. Jayalalithaa—the iconic leaders of Tamil Nadu politics—managed to effectively transform institutions and structures to deliver a social welfare agenda in the state. Was it pure charisma on part of these leaders that gave us the unusual story of politicians and bureaucrats working hand in hand to implement a social agenda? Written by S. Narayan, who as part of the administration was both a witness to and a participant in these developments, this book is an intimate narrative on the Dravidian years of Tamil Nadu. At an important juncture of Tamil Nadu politics, it also makes us wonder: With no charismatic leader in the horizon, who can take the state forward?


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From Haryana to Gujarat to Maharashtra, numerous Indian states have been witness to protests by backward classes pressing for quotas and reservations. In stark contrast is the exemplary case of Tamil Nadu, which has managed to effectively integrate economic and development agenda for the backward classes into state policy. In the fifty years of rule between them, M. Karuna From Haryana to Gujarat to Maharashtra, numerous Indian states have been witness to protests by backward classes pressing for quotas and reservations. In stark contrast is the exemplary case of Tamil Nadu, which has managed to effectively integrate economic and development agenda for the backward classes into state policy. In the fifty years of rule between them, M. Karunanidhi, MGR, and J. Jayalalithaa—the iconic leaders of Tamil Nadu politics—managed to effectively transform institutions and structures to deliver a social welfare agenda in the state. Was it pure charisma on part of these leaders that gave us the unusual story of politicians and bureaucrats working hand in hand to implement a social agenda? Written by S. Narayan, who as part of the administration was both a witness to and a participant in these developments, this book is an intimate narrative on the Dravidian years of Tamil Nadu. At an important juncture of Tamil Nadu politics, it also makes us wonder: With no charismatic leader in the horizon, who can take the state forward?

46 review for The Dravidian Years: Politics and Welfare in Tamil Nadu

  1. 5 out of 5

    Naveen Kumar

    Tamilnadu owes its development to Periyar and self-respect movement. Over the 50 years of Dravidian rule, Tami Nadu has grown into a model state for the rest of states in Indian union. There is a desperate need to revive Periyar's Dravidian ideology in the state at present.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gowtham

    என்றும் நன்றியுடன் 😍

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Anandh

    This book was written by Mr.Narayan. But WHY? Unfortunately, I was not able to find any answer whatsoever in any of the 9 chapters in this book. As a person who is born and brought up in the state of Tamil Nadu, I was deeply interested in knowing the historical causative forces that shaped the state as we have it now. There are many areas of human development index where this particular state is leaps and bounds ahead of all other states in the country put together. There are many academic writing This book was written by Mr.Narayan. But WHY? Unfortunately, I was not able to find any answer whatsoever in any of the 9 chapters in this book. As a person who is born and brought up in the state of Tamil Nadu, I was deeply interested in knowing the historical causative forces that shaped the state as we have it now. There are many areas of human development index where this particular state is leaps and bounds ahead of all other states in the country put together. There are many academic writings of economists and sociologists that tries to explain this phenomenon. But none too approachable for a layman like me. They speak in numbers and jargons, nor were able to find the link with the ideology that created the fertile ground for such a development. So it was with a great deal of interest that I picked up this book from my shelf. Alas, I was disappointed is an understatement. The initial chapters are a mere repetition of history that adds nothing much to the existing literature, except for the fact that it is from the author's POV. The chapters then moves into reading of numbers just like anything else that I have read so far, steering away completely from the theme. However, there are some interesting snippets of information about the AIADMK rule of MGR, which gave me some relief from the monotony. But I had to plod through the pages just for the sake of finish reading it. Quite apart, this is the second book that I read in recent past that is replete with editorial mistakes. I was able to notice many jarring SPELLING mistakes, ill formed sentences, ill structured arguments. I do not know what the editors were doing. It is more disappointing to see this happening in an Oxford publication.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Manikandan Thenmozhi

    An insight from former civil servant about TN and how bureaucracy contributed to progress which made TN a developed state . Administration machinery's commitment towards growth of the state was not recognised when we talk about factors attributed to it . He emphasised on these points . Though I differ in perception of him with respect to few matters , as whole , book is good starter for reading pertains to TN

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kiran Gowtham

    Good insider account on administrative machinery of TN. Politically neutral.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Krishna

  7. 5 out of 5

    Conrad Barwa

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kr Vignesh

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sathish Natarajan

  10. 4 out of 5

    prosenjit chatterjee

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pallavi Thirunavukarasu

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gokulnath

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shankar Ganesh

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mathur Sathya

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bala Aramvalarthaan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aditya

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ram Kumar

  18. 4 out of 5

    MOHAN

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mani sv

  20. 4 out of 5

    ramkumar

  21. 4 out of 5

    Arjun Charles

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jude Sathyan G

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nakhul

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gopal R

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rajeeb Baruah

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shrikant Naidu

  27. 4 out of 5

    ram

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shashank Sourav

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ram

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ramchander

  31. 4 out of 5

    Abdul Basidh

  32. 4 out of 5

    Aravindh Kumar

  33. 5 out of 5

    Manivel

  34. 5 out of 5

    Srikant Sastri

  35. 4 out of 5

    raju pp

  36. 5 out of 5

    Nikita

  37. 4 out of 5

    Senthil

  38. 5 out of 5

    Karthik Sankaranarayanan

  39. 5 out of 5

    Prasanna Srivatsav

  40. 4 out of 5

    Sai Lakshmikanth

  41. 4 out of 5

    gopiram ramachandran

  42. 5 out of 5

    Mad Mopper

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ravishankar Ayyakkannu

  44. 4 out of 5

    Nagaprakash Nagaprakash

  45. 4 out of 5

    Vishu Mahajan

  46. 5 out of 5

    Naveen Varshan

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