Following in the footsteps of one of his mentors and rationalist leader late EVR Ramaswamy, popularly known as Periyar, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Thursday vowed to wear only black shirt henceforth, attributing the "misdeeds" of ruling AIADMK behind his decision.
The 88-year-old DMK leader, who had announced a human chain protest in black attire against the "anti-people policies" of the Jayalalithaa government on Friday but later changed it to a door-to-door pamphlet distribution campaign, said the police had not permitted the originally planned protest.
Writing in party mouthpiece 'Murasoli', Karunanidhi recalled that he was the first person to enroll into a "Black Shirt Division," of Periyar's Dravidar Kazhgam.
"I had announced leading the human chain protest tomorrow. Yes, I had planned to wear black shirt. But this government did not give permission. Doesn't matter. I will start wearing black shirt against the misdeeds of this government from today.(I) will wear it forever," he said.
Periyar used to wear black shirt as a mark of protest and defiance in his decades-long struggle against social evils including casteism and since then wearing black shirt in Tamil Nadu political circles has been synonymous with defiance.
Though having worked as comrades for long on social issues, Periyar and another veteran CN Annadurai and Karunanidhi parted ways later to make the political plunge and floated the DMK.
Karunanidhi recalled that even AIADMK MLAs had at times come to the Tamil Nadu Assembly in blackshirt to protest certain issues when his party was in power.
The DMK chief also questioned the rationale behind declining permission for tomorrow's protest and sarcastically asked if the decision was taken "sympathising with my age and health."