Vai. Gopalsamy வை. கோபால்சாமி (born May 22,1944) in Kallingappatti,Tirunelveli District (Tamil Nadu)to a Telegu speaking Kamma Naidu family studied M.A(Economics) and B.L and has won
Gold Medal in Economics and Best Speaker award in St. Xavier’s College;
First Prize in Inter-Collegiate-Tamil Oratorical Competitions, 1964-65 and 1965-66, representing Presidency College, Madras;
Best Orator Award in Law College, Madras,1969
From his college days he associated with DMK and was the State Joint Organiser, DMK Students wing in 1970 and was the Propaganda-Secretary, DMK Party for Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts in1977-79.
During 1978-96 - for 18 years Vaiko was member of Rajya Sabha (three terms)representing DMK as he was formerly seen as the ideological protege of the DMK's M Karunanidhi.
He has also been elected to the Lok Sabha twice -
1) For the 12th Lok Sabha (10 March 1998 - 26 April 1999) representing MDMK's Sivakasi constituency and
2)For the 13th Lok Sabha(10 October 1999 - 6 February 2004)representing MDMK's Sivakasi constituency
Vaiko formed Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)( மறுமலர்ச்சித் திராவிட முன்னேற்றக் கழகம்) in 1994 (when he was was forced out of the Parent body on false charges and was expelled by the DMK leadership and the general council endorsed this decision)
Vaiko was elected General Secretary with Mr. L.Ganesan, Pon.Muthuramalingam (Dist. Secy Madurai) Gingee Ramachandran (Dist Secy South Arcot) as Chairman and Deputy & Secretary respectively and Mr.M.Kannappan being made Treasurer.