A DMK minister was heard saying that the initiation of Udhayanidhi Stalin into the Tamil Nadu Cabinet was late by a year and a half. He should have been there from the start in May 2021 so the line of succession would have been clear already. Others say that the family is safeguarding its interests by bringing in a successor who will carry forward the Karunanidhi tradition. The most interesting aspect of his inclusion in the Cabinet now is that the date of swearing-in was chosen by his mother Durga who wished to avoid Margazhi, considered inauspicious for various occasions like marriages and events. And hence the hurry to induct him before the Tamil month of Margazhi, famous for Chennai’s music festivals, begins on December 15. CM Stalin may not be willing to accommodate any religious feelings as he goes about his duties as the party’s credo is not faith in God. But he can hardly argue against the wishes of his religious wife Durga whose temple visits are well-recorded. The first lady’s influence can be seen in the tolerance for faith and religion that the DMK shows now even in its official dealings with different religious heads, temples and places of worship. Stalin had studiously maintained that he is not against people following their faith and belief in God.