By S. Sivathasan –
For no less than three years, Tamil Nadu has been inundated with stirring outpourings from speakers of most persuasions; political and religious. They were unleashing their verbal power with penetrating zeal and to knit together a potent power of popular upheaval. From late July to now, in a virtual daily occurrence, a massive stir is changing the mind and mood of Tamil Nadu. It is a transformation that will not stop till the goal is reached. What is the Target? Pulverizing the DMK, weaning away its voter base, relegating it to a nil seat party in Lok Saba in 2024 and making it a non-entity in the following state election in 2026. Beginning the cleansing process from May 2024, of all corrosive features ruining the state, is the laudable ambition as of now.
Surging Strength of Padayatra
The month of September 2023 has seen a marked escalation in the strength and fervour of Padayatra participants. It reached a climax in people’s antipathy towards DMK governance. The arrant nonsense of a state minister’s espousal of Sanatana Dharma has wounded the susceptibilities of Hindus across India. The attitude of quietude manifest in the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Tamil Nadu evoked a spontaneous retaliation. The BJP responded with a strong demand of the Minister’s resignation. The sit-down satyagraha reminiscent of Gandhian days, brought life to a standstill in the specified area at Valluvar Kottam. Its impact was carried far and wide by the electronic media.
DMK Tilts at Sanatana Dharma
A Chinese saying conveys that when you point a finger, a fool looks at the finger, a wise man looks in the direction. So it is with the strident demand for a Minister relinquishing his portfolio, For what reason? For his incompetence in doing nothing and yet remaining in office. The call is from padayatra. Quite evident is the 2nd Phase from the 1st in verve, vigour and strength. No longer can those18 in List 1, accused of swindling in Himalayan proportions retire to somnolence, happy in the thought that some have sent a few listless notices for damages. What is afoot in September will be superseded in October.
No sooner the protest ended, Annamalai spoke from the rostrum to a huge audience of men and women who had become integral to the Yatra as their vocation. Their attention was such as to assimilate every syllable of his speech. The speaker referred to the multiple ways in which the DMK was misinforming and misdirecting the polity in Tamil Nadu. He sought to present an accurate picture of the factual position. Divested of the rigmarole, DMK’s agenda emerges thus:
1. In year 1, once in power, the DMK will oppose Sanatana Dharma;
2. In year 2, they will destroy its roots;
3. In year 3, they will exterminate it;
4. In year 4, ninety % of Hindus will embrace DMK philosophy;
5. In year 5, they will croak in chorus; “Veera vel Vetri vel”.
Can inanity sink to greater depths!? Annamalai bellows, DMK had better realize that modern Tamil Nadu is not the ancient entity.
Scope of Padayatra Widens
To the acceptance of the vast crowd, Annamalai asserted that however strong their opposition was, the police will take no action so long as the DMK was in power. This is the degenerate quality of their governance. It was good for them to know that what happened to Senthil Balaji would happen to the DMK as well. The speaker referred to the stock of lies and distortions let off by the DMK leadership. To bring clarity, the speaker placed in perspective the correct position regarding temples and social issues.
DMK’s Cavalier Attitude to Temples and Assets
The proud boast of the DMK is that since coming into power, it had consecrated in 2 years 1000 temples. This figure is fake since it includes many under private management. The number becomes paltry when it is noted that the total number of temples officially mentioned in the Hindu Affairs Ministry is 44,000. For the maintenance of these temples, a provision of Rs 10 billion was promised. Fulfillment in 2 years was a fraction in Rs 550 million.
An asset of great value and importance to temples and to the community is lands in the custody of the Ministry of Hindu Affairs. The extent is an invaluable 525,000 acres. Out of this total spread across the state, in 2023 the state custodian was left with only 477,000 acres. What happened to the balance is the challenging question. The study and analysis are by Annamalai, presented to thousands of participants in padayatra.
“Three parts of him is ours already, and the man entire upon the next encounter yields him ours” From Julius Ceasar
A memorable line, very appropriate when forecasting election results. The allusion is to a major part of TamilNadu in the grip of BJP now and will hold the whole state soon. Mid-April was the date of poll in 2019 and may be the time for 2024. With super human effort, Annamalai and his untiring lieutenants have stormed the Bastille relentlessly. December 2023 will tell them and also Delhi and Chennai whether going alone is the best course. The day of decision may be January 2024.
To this writer, whatever the decision, the victor seems chosen by more than half the electors who have already decided. The remaining half are in no way vacillating or dithering. They are all caught up in a unique situation. The entry of Annamalai and his distinctive manner of educating the voters of varying strata, about 75 years of political history, presenting the reasons for a declining economy, a well-studied formulation of corruption as the singular cause and directing it wholly on the DMK is knocking the bottom off the monopoly capture of 38 seats out of 39 in 2019.
Three years of unrelenting hammering of the culprit together with daily battering in the unstoppable Padayatra are having a fatal impact on the bribe-reliant ruling party in Tamil Nadu. Every mortal blow is being taken to the populace by multiple electronic media. To the young who are pliant and the middle-aged thirsting for political information the social media is playing its potent part. This great development is brought home to the generality of society by political analysts satisfying all ages of multiple inclinations.
Swing of the Pendulum
In capturing the extent of swing lies one’s sagacity at reasonably fair forecast of results. For the 2024 Lok Saba encounter, preparations are afoot rather early. The earliest appears to be Tamil Nadu. Excepting the write offs, all others are now midway knowing fairly well where they stand. In Tamil Nadu the electioneering entity in the state and the ruling party at the centre are working in tandem. A very good political analyst from TamilNadu, has of late made a robustly independent analysis. On correct steps being pursued it appears, desired results will follow.