By S. Sivathasan –
A Fresh Dawn
In the destiny of Tamil Nadu, a fresh dawn seems to appear. If there be a benign intervention with stellar support, one has to look for it in human form. In 1996 when power was about to go into unwholesome hands, Rajinikanth blurted out “If Jayalalithaa is voted back to power, even God cannot save Tamil Nadu”. It was not a prophesy but a statement of abject dejection directed at a political personality. A few moons ago, one having occult powers said that a personage of a religious bent will be at the helm in Tamil Nadu. Recently a sage in a foreign land said firmly that Rajini will enter politics. It is anticipated that suspense that he is wont to keep will add drama to his entry. In the weeks to come skeptics are likely to shed their skepticism.
Best of Times and Worst of Times
Of the seven decades of independence that Tamil Nadu handled till now, five came under the Dravidian spell. The disenchanted would call it Dravidian Maayai or delusion. To this writer the time was epoch-making. Achievements overwhelmed setbacks. A great period of comprehensive advance was the hallmark. Economic growth, educational change, social readjustment and cultural resurgence. The landscape changed beyond recognition. It was an era to marvel at. Yet evil too was brought in by those engaged in politics. They were numerous and widespread, evoking continued condemnation. The source of them all is known to the Tamil nation, to India and to the world. It is CORRUPTION; CORRUPTION unmitigated; CORRUPTION unpardonable. Best of times are now the worst of times.
Rise and Fall
In the states of India that emerged with independence, the tasks of nation building were challenging. They threw opportunities for the best in the polity to come forward. But this came about only as an exception. Jyothi Basu in West Bengal, Biju and Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, Modi in Gujarat and Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra lent lustre to the mantle. Tamil Nadu had the advantage of Rajaji, Kamaraj and Annadurai as Chief Ministers. Impeccable integrity marked them all and cast a certain aura to their governance. They lived up to the values of Gandhi, to the aspirations of Nehru and to Patel’s norms of stern administration.
Several of the best professions attracted the well-endowed. Public spirit was eschewed with a sneer; politics is a dirty game they said. From an impoverished catchment that remained, Tamil Nadu generated its political cadres. The leadership that emerged therefrom had its limits to growth. Very astutely Thiruvalluvar pronounced, “Quality of water varies with the attributes of the soil; to a people, wisdom accords with their cultural milieu”. The same sage said “Those of sterling worth will not swerve from their position, even when assailed by a cataclysm”. This was not the enviable record of Tamil Nadu in the last 48 years following Annadurai. The regrettable story is one of filthy lucre luring the generality perched in brief authority. The tragedy is that Tamil Nadu destined for admirable heights, has sunk to lamentable depths.
Modi and Rajini
On Ocober 10, 2014, I wrote in Colombo Telegraph, “Rajinikanth alone commands the requisite popularity to mobilise forces against ADMK and DMK. This he will do in conjunction with the BJP and their joint strength can be formidable… The entry of Rajinikanth will make a difference in the political fortunes of BJP and of Tamil Nadu”.
The two leaders are said to have good blood chemistry. Modi and his team have made overtures to Rajini for joint endeavor. Whether it precedes an election or follows it, mode of governance will be similar. Modi team is well set to assist Rajini and the state. Arun Jaitley, Amit Sha, Jairam Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Venkaiah Naidu, Nirmala Sitaraman and Pon Radhakrishnan are in strategic areas to take the state forward. Over half a century is past since the India – China war and the enactment of the Anti-Secession law. Centre state relations between the two entities are strong. Central support has taken the state to appreciable levels. Greater cordiality will bring forth the prosperity that the state deserves.
‘Young Tamils’ in the Forefront
In the mood of gloom that has enveloped the state for a decade or more, every effort for a successful story was consumed by greed for illicit profit. Every aspect of public life was subordinated to personal advancement. There has emerged a strong revulsion against antisocial happenings. The urge now is for a drastic convulsion in Tamil Nadu politics. Enough is enough with the humdrum and the hackneyed. The listless process of drawing up a diseased piece from a decaying rot is not a choice. Numbers being 100 or groups numbering 2, make no difference. Root and branch destruction of the old and replacing the cancerous with lively young is the need of the hour. This is now the people’s mood. In the French Revolution, the Jacobins said, “Trust nobody beyond 30”. A good norm to guide Tamil Nadu, though not literally. Like ‘Young Turks’ in Turkey a century ago, ‘Young Tamils’ have a mission to accomplish a world to win.
Twice in recent times the youth of Tamil Nadu rose in their multitude and shook the state to its foundations. In April 2013, this writer wrote in Colombo Telegraph ‘Youth of Tamil Nadu in Ferment’,thus; “With the Congress vacating political space, the Dravidian formations face the onslaught from the students, the youth and the politically conscious. What started as a movement for social reform in the fifties, morphed into a political party, got bifurcated in the seventies for reasons of corruption is now mired deep in corruption and is without direction… A coherent political philosophy is yet to evolve, but a new vibrant political formation with a decisive mandate will make its impact in the counsels of Delhi”. In January, 2017 Jallikattu brought out the frustrations of the Tamil polity in a veritable revolt. Youth spearheaded it and won its demand in legislative form from Chennai and Delhi.
Tamil Nadu is now poised for challenging times. No longer will new wine be poured into old bottles. Neither will pillows be changed for a chronic headache. The old order is terminally down with cancer all over. Can anybody, a Tamil or any Indian prepare a negative list to display cancer-free ie corruption-free areas? Hitherto corruption was treated only in films, cartoons and election meetings. The pot called the kettle black. The coming election, a battle royal will put the Chera, Chola, Pandiya fights among skirmishes. Un satiated lust for money will not let go power. Those habituated to it, need to be pushed off stage by youth power.
Rajinikanth and his Dramatic Entry
At a point of time when known faces in the two political parties are seen only as corrupt or without a vision or unpatriotic or incompetent, the need for a new formation is dire. In this situation Rajinikanth ventures to come forward. The two parties are tainted absolutely with corruption in its most objectionable form. In this darkest hour, one with honesty, in public perception is needed. As recently as in May 2017, without mincing words, Rajini declared “if I come into politics, no one with thoughts of making money through politics should come anywhere near me. If anyone already in my circle entertains such ideas, such persons should immediately leave me”. Has anyone with public appeal ever said so in the past in a bid to insulate oneself from the pernicious influence of money makers? He has stated very candidly that no immediate family member, his wife or children or in laws can have any influence on him. Inability to say this and to live by it has been the bane of so called politicians of all hues of Tamil Nadu.
Immense popularity with a massive Fan Club is the indispensable requirement in Tamil Nadu to enter politics. Why? Muscle power decides. Rajini has it with youth in numbers. It has become so since independence and more so after money became the deciding factor. Four decades ago party men queried the DMK leadership about accounts. They were roughed up fascist fashion and bloodied as seen from pictorial evidence. Unable to tolerate such injustice MGR split the DMK and eclipsed it. He had the stature deriving from popularity, fan following and earned wealth. In 2017, history is repeating itself. Fake sycophancy built up through unearned money is ruling TN, though the impostor is behind bars.
To do good to the citizens of Tamil Nadu, mere learning or political wisdom do not suffice. Most fundamental is to get elected to the highest office. To do so the CM aspirant needs to steer through the monstrous Scylla and Charybdis of the Dravidian formations, that have tasted power and money and are lusting for more. Rajini and his following alone have the resources and the might to withstand the evils of brutish power. Rajini is thus the only ELECTABLE who can move forward. If this truism is grasped, no purpose is served in talking about issues which are simply non-issues.
Advantages Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has gained several distinctions to make the people proud of their state and heritage. They speak the world’s oldest living language – Tamil. World’s oldest anicut is yet operational in Tanjore. Temples at Rameshvaram, Madurai, Chithambaram, Tanjore, mamallapuram and Sri Rangam are engineering, architectural and sculptural marvels. In modern times are: 133ft Thiruvalluvar statue in granite in Kanniyakumari, Golden Temple of exquisite beauty at Sivapuram and the largest Sivan statue at Coiamputhur.
On the economic front, Tamil Nadu has the second largest State GDP, is second largest exporter of IT – software and hardware, largest consumer of gold in India, has India’s largest auto hub and in addition is the most urbanized state in India. In exploiting solar and wind energy, TN ranks first in India. India stands first in the world in diaspora remittance at around $70 billion. Tamil Nadu is foremostin remittance in India. As the medical capital of India, Tamil Nadu draws more than 35% of foreign medical tourists. In tourism too she stands first in attracting both foreign and local tourists. The above and many more embellishments bespeak the people’s greatness, past and current. The DNA is yet there.
What brought them about? Social infrastructure; educational institutions, medical services and many more. Physical infrastructure of every description. Services including administration and banking. A single click is enough for the state’s Head of Government to draw on the best of talent. Standing to benefit are; Tamil Nadu and India.
Honesty and Integrity
Is there a need to think or talk of omniscience manifesting in a single leader? In all disciplines Tamil Nadu has a surfeit. What are tragically non-existent today in politics and governance in Tamil Nadu are PLAIN HONESTY and UNIMPEACHABLE INTEGRITY. A leader who can bring them about can take advantage of the assets and lead the state to adorable heights.