Facts from the Past


Relative popularity of political leaders in Tamil Nadu results of a statewide public opinion survey MCC .Magazine, Vol. LI, 1982, pp.47-48
Gift Siromoney and Johnson Varatharaj

Mr M. G. Ramachandran, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is strongly supported by thirty-nine per cent of the people of Tamil Nadu. Mrs Indira Gandhi is strongly supported by twenty-nine per cent of the people.

Mr M. Karunanidhi, the leader of the opposition and a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is strongly supported by twenty per cent of the people. The relative support enjoyed by the different political leaders has not changed very much during the last year. These are some of the findings of a statewide sample survey conducted by the students of the Statistics Department of the Madras Christian College during the second week of January 1982.

A sample of about 1800 adults were carefully chosen taking special care that they represent the entire adult population of the State. One-fifth of the respondents were selected from tiny hamlets, half the number of respondents from villages and the others from small towns, large towns and cities. Student volunteers visited all the districts of Tamil Nadu to meet the respondents. The results were processed by the students with the aid of a computer. The computer results were checked by hand calculations. With reference to each political leader, each respondent was asked to state whether he or she strongly supported the leader, or just had a good opinion of him/her, or strongly opposed him/her, or had not formed any opinion at all about the leader. Each respondent could have a good opinion of more than one leader but was allowed to strongly support only one leader.

Mr M. G. Ramachandran Thirty-nine per cent of the respondents strongly support Mr.M.G. Ramachandran and in addition, twenty-six per cent have a good opinion of him. In contrast to this, thirty-one per cent are strongly opposed to him and three per cent have not expressed any opinion about him.

In the districts of Tirunelveli and Dharmapuri he has much greater support than in other districts but in Kanyakumari he has much less support. Among the poorest of the poor, viz., the agricultural landless labourers, forty-nine per cent strongly support him. He gets good support from different occupational groups. Even among the agriculturists who are landowners and tenant cultivators, thirty-seven per cent strongly support him. Among the professionals, such as teachers and doctors he is strongly supported by twenty-nine per cent. Taking the level of education into consideration, fifty per cent of the illiterates strongly support him but among the college-educated only twenty-four per cent strongly support him. Another thirty-five per cent of the college-educated, however have a good opinion of him. In other words MGR’s backing is mainly from the masses, the poor and the illiterate and in addition he has supporters and well-wishers in all sections of the population.

Now what they say:
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