By S. Sivathasan –
Come Independence and India will unfailingly step into peace, repose and prosperity. This was a rational expectation of the millions who toiled for freedom. Their thoughts centred around economic growth to recast their social texture. This however was not to be. The challenges and their complexities were far too many. For a massive land mass with diverse history, ethnicity and linguistic differences, multiplication of states became imperative. The Madras Presidency required language-based divisions and the state of Madras was created anew as one among four in 1956. This state changed into Tamil Nadu subsequently in January 1969.
It was widely thought that the new state welded by history, language, culture and tradition; wisely led by a respected political leadership at the centre would take the state to Himalayan heights. By 1970 however a watershed came about. Though social change and economic advance were clearly evident, very many sectors suffered serious degeneration. As of now, for no less than 53 years, all political formations let the state sink. Into what? Into the mire of Bribery, Corruption, Money Laundering, Benami Transfers, Dynastic Politics and Nepotism.
State and Centre Act in Unison
Not everyone can tolerate, much less live with the political and social fabric tearing at all the seams. India brought in the BJP with Modi at the helm. The transformation was infectious and many a state caught the mood. Tamil Nadu has had the advantage of nurturing in the last three years, an emerging leader in K. Annamalai who has displayed all attributes of political maturity. He has sagaciously identified all the six cancerous guilts in a single banal political party – DMK. The first list of 18 personages afflicted by the allurement of plain stealth was published in List 1 and put in the public domain. Even as it does its paces, List 2 is on its way for perusal by the polity. While the lists are on track for due process, the Enforcement Directorate and the Judiciary take their course.
Padayatra Creates an Upsurge
As per the steps laid down by Annamalai, the first major one in Padayatra; En Mann En Makkal is on course. It was launched in Rameswaram by the Home Minister on July 29th. Preceding the march, the people’s mind in Tamil Nadu was well prepared by the Thondar – cadres – of the BJP and their leader. The reach was extensive for 3 years and intensive since July. In phase 1, the Yatra or march extended to 182 kilo meters, covering 41 electorates. In all of them Annamalai’s speeches and close interaction were remarkable. Representations collected were 10,000. Multi-media, particularly electronic conveyed them all instantly to a global audience.
The most salient message was the quantum leap of Modi’s achievements in 9 years, surpassing what successive Congress governments had delivered in their total tenure since 1947. The common citizen is now at the central focus of the government in Delhi, having the conviction that their concerns are heeded. Conversely the Prime Minister is fortified by the confidence of people’s abiding support. So asserted Annamalai before 17 percent of the electorates he has already mingled with and addressed in the sweltering heat of the summer months. Most importantly he has transmitted to the voters and to the youth the passion in his own mind.
High Visibility Phenomena
Purchased voters held captive by a proven corrupt DMK is wilting by the day and melting away en masse. Public exposure of the negative streaks of the ruling party and its unrealizable promises, has knocked the base off its fake popularity prating. As destructive have been its poor performance and growing unpopularity, declining Foreign Direct Investment and well known bad financial management recording the highest Public Debt for any state in the country.
The mass upsurge and the shift in allegiance to the BJP have shaken the DMK out of its wits. Constant mass transfers of Collectors, Deputy Collectors and senior Police Officers by a doddering CM, display the fear that Padayatra has infused. Timorous flights, East to West and self-confessed sleepless nights are a confirmatory testament. Annamalai emphasized that for far too long negative approaches had pervaded the thinking of the Congress. The result was failure to resolve national issues when in power. Nothing is possible, had become its credo. In contrast was Modi’s conviction that anything was realizable and the voting populace gravitating towards him.
Cynosure for All India – Jammu Kashmir
The most forceful and striking achievement in Modi’s Second Term was ending and curing the festering sore that was Kashmir. The integration was executed like Patel handling Hyderabad and Krishna Menon integrating Goa. Kashmir was left to the strong hand of Amit Shah to become a de facto part of India.
With remarkable statesmanship, Modi consolidated the unification to the acceptance of the Kashmiris. Abolition of Article 370 paved the way for the Pundit emigres to return to their homeland. In the three years of unprecedented development, infrastructure has been brought on par with that of India. It is reported that capital expenditure in the state since integration is six times the average for the rest of India. This makes amends for decades of malign interruption by Pakistan. The physical face of a transformed Jammu-Kashmir together with the contented countenance of men, women and children convey the excellence of Modi administration.
Phase 2 in the Offing
If the month of August displayed an awakening in Tamil Nadu, the rest of the year will reveal the steady demise of the noxious DMK. The above change was brought about by the impassioned speeches of Annamalai which also created that strange connect between the speaker and the listener. The snowballing effect will become impressive with every passing month.
On 3rd September, Phase 2 of the Padayatra will be resumed from Tenkasi. After a spate of marches and speeches this phase will conclude on 27th September. The impact of the yatra will be increasingly felt till the final day of decision making