20 June, 2021

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Rajani Kanth, Tamil Nadu And BJP

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Sea Change

Power is going a begging in Tamil Nadu with none to seize or to hold. Even as the political persona of the nation is being changed from Delhi, states have to move apace for their benefit and the good of India. A happening more dramatic for the nation is the welcome cataclysm in the economic front. Disinvestment at $10 billion, Japan’s pledge of aid at $ 30 billion, China’s at $ 20 billion and committed investments of $ 42 billion from US, indicate features of initial trends. To make way for developments in the offing, decks are being cleared of medieval lumber; legal and administrative. These are being done with great foresight, dynamism and persistence. Are states fully aware of the sea change that has started sweeping across a large nation? Are they gearing themselves for the challenges that are unprecedented? Is Tamil Nadu measuring up to a situation not of its own making but of Modi’s and of the new BJP government? Is Tamil Nadu political leadership sensitive about losing out if not properly oriented well in time?

Quality of Governance

The forward drive of a people is denoted by the direction they set. It manifests in the attributes the leader possesses, display and transmits. If a state is to become great, the leader needs to set the pace. Absolute selflessness takes the people to laudable heights. Kamaraj and Annadurai were beacons in this sense. To them Tamil Nadu  was foremost in their thinking. What claimed primacy was more the people’s future than their present. On their dedicated effort and the beneficent fallout, the state is being sustained today. Subsequent regimes have certainly done their pedestrian part, but they never matched the state’s expectations or the potential. They live for the day forsaking the future. More woe some are the depths to which the people have been dragged and mired. A merciless wrench is the call of the hour. To be precise and explicit, a regime change.

23400-rajnikant.jpgWhat is the prevailing quality of governance in Tamil Nadu? One devastating act is an index of decay. The Minister of Information in Andhra Pradesh is MSc, PhD. In TN he is 6th standard failed. Why such a dismal selection? An ego centric CM has made TN a CM dependent fiefdom. A Tamil poetess said millennia back “Without ‘HIM’ not an atom can move”. “Without ‘HER’ not an atom can move” is the expression the erstwhile CM relishes. This is not the current dictum. It is the inviolable diktat traded by JJ. A featureless Cabinet, rudderless and motionless has now run aground. A stratagem designed with a   purpose is ready at hand to tout JJ’s indispensability among the masses. It however cuts no ice with higher echelons particularly the judiciary.

How is subservience of the legislature ensured? By the choice of mindless nondescripts who read little, think less and know nothing. In a state replete with intellectuals, Academics, men of Science, students of Literature, captains of Industry and Leaders in society, failures are treated as having premium value. So the legislature so the cabinet. Managing them was never a problem. They could only adore their AMMA. Without her presence they feel orphaned. The erstwhile CM stood like Gulliver in Lilliput where such was the texture of governance.

Price for Mass Support

Allegiance of the masses though counterfeit, demands its price. Pound of flesh to be exact. For fiscal 2014/15, after discounting Salaries, Pensions and Retirement Benefits at Rs 517 billion; funds available for the whole range of governmental work is an estimated Rs 754 billion. From this amount when the allocation of Rs 490 billion amounting to 65% of the above is deducted, the balance available is Rs 264 billion. This amount is supposed to meet capital and recurrent expenditure. Can it? No. Estimated net borrowing this fiscal is Rs 250 billion. (All statistics are from the Budget Speech of Finance Minister TN).

This is the mode for financing populist profligacy. With waste I secured yesterday. With more waste I will appropriate the morrow also. This is the AIADMK philosophy. – The DMK which set the pace in decades past was no different – This cash nexus explains the weeping, wailing, temple rituals, fasting and human chains of inordinate length. Their inane deeds are better understood if the details of resource dissipation are also known. Some of them in 2014/15 are:

Rs 53 billion for free rice to 18.4 million consumers. In addition subsidy for cooking oil, pulses and Pongal gifts.

Rs 20 billion for mixies, grinders and fans. Said to be for poor families. Already benefited 9.5 million families in 3 years. This fiscal 3.5 million families. So 13 million families with 52 million people are poor so far out of 75 million population. By election time all 75 million will be declared poor and gadgets will be thrust upon them!

Rs 16 billion for 11 gifts to school children like, footwear, school books, uniform material etc.

Rs 11 billion for free distribution of computers to 550,000 students.

Resources for development to incentivize job creation have dried up. Investment promotion is in the back burner. Freebies and subsidies are so numerous, even beneficiaries have lost count of them. Street demonstrators in their countless multitude gave the country and the world an idea of the numbers made indolent and dumb. The tip of the iceberg is of Himalayan proportions.

Parties and Ciphers

Since independence, only three political formations made it to the seat of power in Tamil Nadu: INC, DMK and AIADMK. All others being mere piggy backers.

INC: The Congress was never able to revive its fortunes in TN for 48 years since its decisive defeat. A powerful party up to the sixties, became effete in the seventies, moribund in the eighties, got atrophied in the nineties and reached comatose in the current century. It existed beyond its grave in 2011 and faced the inevitable demise that followed. Its fate was known to everybody but itself.

The insensitivity of the Congress to thrusting Hindi on the Tamils was seen as unpardonable. Its imperviousness to name change to Tamil Nadu, isolated it further. The ‘deadness’ of soul on the Sri Lankan Tamil question came on display in recent years and Tamil Nadu drove the last nail on the cross in 2014. Neither resurrection nor reincarnation hereafter says the wisdom of the Tamils.

DMK: This political formation never lived up to its name. It had no base outside Tamil Nadu. Its separatist ideology was never shared by any of the other three Dravidian states. The party itself never believing in separation espoused the cause only vaguely and feebly. Support in Tamil Nadu was at best lukewarm. Separation was but rhetoric and it was so till the Anti-Secession Laws were enacted. Thereafter DMK could indulge in only social reform.

After 52 years, with massive changes in the Indian political and economic landscape, there is no renewal of DMK’s political philosophy but only placid existence. Merely to cultivate family fortunes as identified universally and incontrovertibly by the people. Piggy backing on other parties and inviting others to piggy back on itself is now the professionalized strategy to have some share of the spoils. Lok Sabha election taught a lesson but DMK refuses to learn. It is going the way of the Congress – inevitable doom. Its days are past.

AIADMK: Did this formation ever have an All India sweep as per its name? Was there a Dravidian scope if it ever had an ideology? Having no traction or any kinetic energy, it floated on anti-DMK venom and swam in anti-Karunanidhi vitriol. Very soon neither will exist. What were the JJ government’s recent exploits?

Converting the modern Legislative Assembly building into a hospital and relapsing into a decadent anachronistic building.

Like the barbarians destroying Rome because they couldn’t understand it, she virtually destroyed the multi-billion rupee Chennai Library completed in 2011. Reputed to be one of the best and most modern in South Asia, it very nearly experienced the ignominy of conversion into a Wedding Hall. Invitation cards were even sent for the first wedding. The wise and firm hand of Chief Justice Iqbal saved it. It had such features as 150 E-Journals, internet, conference venues and a Seminar Hall for 1000. An unlettered minister who saw it wanted it for amusement like weddings because he had never been inside a library.

To quote just one more among hundreds, JJ’s evil eye that fell on the Rs 145 billion, 45 km Chennai Metro had no way of stopping it though Karunanidhi initiated it. Funded by the Central Government, JICA and TN Government, it was too much for lesser minions to touch. She had to make do with stopping the feasibility study of multi-billion dollar Phase II for three and a half years. Such is her love of TN and her concern for commuter interests.

Change and Development

“We must live with change as a partner in our lives”, Nehru said quite often. In the last fifty years, Tamil Nadu has certainly seen growth economically and socially. Substantial at times and not so great at others. Nascent energy of the DMK had made its imprint. Now people look to more impressive development relative to other states and advancing countries. Is the incumbent government in TN moving in step? Not by any standard will be the chorus.

A German academic opened my eyes in 1990 when he pointed out that the problem in unified Germany was that “East Germans had lost their capacity to think independently for 60 years – 1930 to 1989”. Even now Tamils are learned in more than adequate numbers. They are kept outside the pale. To bring them on board a new regime should be in place. Then IAS can deliver. IPS can police. TN can prosper.

Rajani Kanth’s Likely Debut

Those who have a world to win remain unruffled till a timely strike. This is the substance of Valluvar’s wisdom. The writer is inclined to think that for once a serious offer will be buttressed with persuasion by Modi. In the event of the Supreme Court upholding the verdict, Rajani Kanth will be disposed towards accepting it. Why now? The political configuration in Tamil Nadu is substantively and irretrievably different. This tectonic shift has   taken half a century to develop and the process yet remains to complete itself.

A captive Chiang Kai Shek was released by the Communist captors because he was found to be the best rallying point for nationalist Chinese. This was essential to stand against the offensives of US and Japan and to defeat them. In like manner Rajani Kanth alone commands the requisite popularity to mobilise forces against AIADMK and DMK. This he will do in conjunction with the BJP and their joint strength can be formidable.

In this situation of flux, the environment is aflush with an authentic report that Modi is keen to draw Rajani Kanth into the BJP fold. Will he respond positively is the speculation. In what position is BJP in Tamil Nadu vote wise? It won an encouraging 7.5 million votes equal to 18.5 % of total votes polled. BJP at central governance with Modi at the helm are very positive factors for state elections to turn in BJP’s favour in 2016 May. The economic turnaround with two years of governance will loom as the profoundest game changer. With JJ convicted by the trial judge for the crime of corruption, her image stands deeply dented. When the appeal court upheld the judgment, it is doubly ruined. In this context the entry of Rajani Kanth will make a difference in the political fortunes of BJP and of Tamil Nadu.

What Tamil Nadu needs today is liberation. People have to get the feel of it. All patriotic forces must coalesce in this common endeavour.

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Latest comments

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    [Edited out]

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      ela kolla

      Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I say it is unfair. These peace prizes should have been awarded to MR and GR every year since winning the war in 2009. This is blatant racism and should be a conspiracy to undermine this thrice blessed island.

      Here is the news:

      Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize 2014
      Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Kailash Satyarthi of India

      By Harriet Alexander, and Jessica Winch10:09AM BST 10 Oct 2014
      Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

      The prize was awarded jointly to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi from India, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
      “The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim – an Indian and a Pakistani – to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” the judges said in a statement.

      The awarding of the prize to the two campaigners was celebrated widely on social media.

      Last year the award was given to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.

      Mr Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.

      Malala, now aged 17, was living in Pakistan’s Swat Valley when she was shot in the head by militants in October 2012 as punishment for her high profile campaign to encourage girls to go to school.

      But a year later she was living in Britain, having staged a remarkable recovery thanks to surgeons in Birmingham, and has become an international role model for young people.

      Malala’s father now works for the High Commission in Birmingham, as an education councillor.

      Within Pakistan, however, not all people support the teenager.
      Some have cast doubt on her story, accusing her of making it up – despite photos of her head wound – or criticising her for her campaigning zeal. But Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK told The Telegraph last year that her detractors were “living in the Dark Ages.”

      “Where Malala comes from, is a complicated place. It’s not backwards – that is the wrong word, as it’s very beautiful – but it is lacking in worldliness,” said Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

      “And a small minority of people don’t support education for women. They claim to be Muslims, but that is a contradiction in terms because Mohammed encouraged everyone to be educated – men and women.

      “Those who say otherwise are barbarians. They are not Muslims, nor followers of any religion. Islam gives property rights to women, for instance.
      “And that is the kind of strong Muslim woman that Malala represents. That is why we are all so proud of her.”

      Pakistan’s president, Nawaz Sharif, said last year that she was “the pride of the nation”.

      She has addressed the UN General Assembly, been received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and met Barack Obama at the White House – a meeting at which she reportedly spoke to the American president about her concern over continued drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

      The UN designated July 12 – her birthday – as “Malala Day”, a day of global campaigning for a child’s right to receive an education.

      Malala’s first cousin Mehmood ul Hassan, who is the administrator of Khushal Public School where Malala studied before she was shot, said the whole family was thrilled about the award.

      “We cannot express the level of our happiness in words. I just spoke to Ziauddin (Malala’s father), and her mother. I also spoke to Malala, and they are all very excited and happy about this,” he said. “Malala told me that Allah has blessed her with this award and she hopes this peace prize will help her cause [of educating girls], which is what she is focused on.”

      One of Malala’s teachers, Shumaila Khan, said she was very proud of her former pupil. “I have never seen a brave girl like her. She challenged the Taliban at a time when all men didn’t have the courage to oppose them,”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan

      Congratulations to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi

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    ela kolla

    “[Edited out]”

    Is this a cryptic message to wathie, Nuisance, Sarojini, sach, threshsa, mechanic, Jim Soffty, …… Gnanasara, ….inviting them for Groupies (mourning and groaning) sessions?

    You dirty old pervert.

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      [Edited out]

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      Fathima Fukushima is missing too. Did he/she(Fathima Fukushima) go back to mental hospital or staying with Jim Nutty?
      Dirty old pervert ‘ela kolla’ may know.

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    Mr Sivadasan, nice hearing from you again. How is Mr Rajani Kanth healthwise? He was very ill sometime ago in an ICU in S’pore.
    Nirmalan

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    Dear Mr. Sivathasan,

    Please note Senior BJP member L Ganeshan statement today that Rajini will not come to polictics. My generation wants only those who do service to society to take realm of polictics, not just on the basis of stardom, atleast the future will move towards such directions and directives.

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      politicians are bad bad while professional politicians are corrupt time bombs.

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    There is nothing concrete in the funding promised – they are still MOU.
    Neither Japan nor the west is prepared to offer patent rights which are valued in billions of dollars for free. There goes the civil nuclear business of NaMo apart from signing the agreement on nuclear use. Stupid man just shot his mouth in Japan.
    Winning an election is not running a prosperous nation.

    Even in lanka start checking the finances of civil servants and the cat would be out of the bag. Similarly, civil, foreign servants of Indian will not like a check and balance of their ill-gotten wealth.

    It seems from auto urine therapy of Moraji the incumbent NaMo is on auto shit therapy. All he needs is a Punjabi back kick which is long overdue. The foreign minister would be the first casualty.

    As if your educated Chandrika is any better?? They all get fixed university placements and qualification while civil servants with their back-handers buy the scholarships and placements.

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    Rajini Kanth is successful in cinema field. But he will not be able to succeed in political field by speaking punch dialogue like ” If I tell once it is like I have told 100 times”. In addition he is surviving today with one kidney and his health will not permit to manage the stress in handling political work.

    Dhanaraj

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      All you need in politics to succeed is balls . not kidneys.

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    Tamils have the luxury of talking about their Tamilnadu life and then talk about a homeland in Sinhale.

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      Jim softy

      “Tamils have the luxury of talking about their Tamilnadu life and then talk about a homeland in Sinhale.”

      Though the Sinhala/Buddhists have a place to call home in this island they have not settled down properly in my ancestral land. They still long for the mythical land and never be satisfied with what they have in their hand.

      This is because of their greed driven nature or sheer stupidity or both.

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    The imprisonment of JJ is no doubt a wake up call to the whole of Tamilnadu. But whether this selective dispensation of Justice in a country where corruption is the norm will boomerang or not is to be seen. Ordinary people who have benefitted by the freebies will not easily forget their gratitude. However Tamilnadu has to go a long way to become politically mature. They have to be first weaned from their cinema world dreams! Will Rajnikanth be able to achieve that objective?

    Sengodan. M

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    Sengodan

    “They(Chinese)have first to be weaned from KMT and Chiang”, was not how Mao reasoned. To him the solution should befit time, place and mood. Time was late thirties, place was part hostile to the Communists and mood was half diffident. US & Japan were formidable foes.

    Same constellation in TN. As of now time is not in BJP’s favour. The state as a whole is not with BJP or with Rajani Kanth(RK). DMK & AIADMK are formidable foes and regime changing proponents are in diffident mood.

    The need of the hour is for BJP & RK to come together, change the mood to one of confidence in them and antipathy against two evils. They will then be formidable. All else thereafter.

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    Sivathasan,

    Unfortunately, the choice of the date for the verdict ( in the midst of Dasra holidays of courts), the sentence ( 4 years instead of 3 for which an on the spot application could have been made for bail) cast some shadow on the balanced nature of the judgement, especially to a politician who had only so recently proved her popularity in her State leaves a bad taste in the dispensation of Justice. By saying this I am not defending the proved corruption of JJ. The negative effect of this may have its impact on the political fortunes of BJP in Tamilnadu.

    During JJ’s rule there has been considerable Foreign Direct Investment in the country in fields such as automobile industries and IT related industries which had benefitted not only Tamilnadu but the whole of India. It may be that giving freebies is a bad economic policy but that practice had won the hearts and minds of the people who have deified her!

    I am not defending Jayalalitha’s corruption by any means. She like many of the leadership of DMK have to be severely punished for corruption, which punishment they all fully deserve. But why pick on Jayalalitha, a popular leader, when there are so many equally big or even bigger sharks in the North?

    Sengodan. M

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    Sengodan,

    Your arguments are flawed when you state that “Why Pick on Jayalalitha, a popular leader”- The case was filed over 18 years ago. The case took 18 years should be questioned than your complaints which is more partisan.
    The Justice delayed is Justice denied.

    The fanatical supporters of JJ should move on than complain and question the Indian judiciary which is quite independent.

    She and her cronies were undoubtedly corrupt and more politicians should be be put away.

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    S. Sivathasan:

    You are right about the educational qualification of a Minister in Andhra but you seem to conveniently ignore that principle in the case of Rajini – a bus conductor until he attained stardom. Guess political expediency will want us to close one eye, as you will like it.

    My take is, it will be a disaster if Rajini becomes the CM, if he does become one. He may whip hundreds in his movies but Mr Sivathasan, running the administration of a state is not like throwing a cigar in the air and charmingly get it in his mouth.

    Rather than blame the politicians, why are you not talking about the silly idiots who choose them. Blatantly ignorant, the DMK fooled them over and over again. Wouldn’t that mean that the people are downright dumbs who do do not have the brains to choose the right people. Even now, that is what you are advocating. If presenting Rajini is not because of popular choice, then what is it?

    You are right, the decent and honest era of Tamilnadu politics ended with Kamaraj and Annadurai. As of now, and the way politics is being prostituted, hope of another Kamaraj or Annadurai would be at best a pipe dream.

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      Jansee
      I agree with your good comments. Mr Sivathasan is right in questioning the suitability of ex TN leaders, but he evaded to examine the suitability of our ex leader with Grade 8 (JSC) qualification who ‘ruled’ our nation for 30 years that brought complete devastation and destruction to our own people.

      To date, Mr Sivathasan has not uttered a single word criticising prabaharan who brought more misery to his own people than the TN leaders put together to the TN people!!

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    Real Peace:

    It was not a blind date that the Tamils, be in SL or elsewhere, had with Prabhakaran. As then and now, SL has been a cursed country from the dawn of independence where none of the races were able to see eye to eye even though pretense has been the common thread in getting into the same bed.

    The talk and behaviour of triumphalism by the majority did not start just after the end of the war in 2009. It started on independence day. While the country boasts itself as a buddhist country, the ideals of buddhism was merely and conveniently a mask to further political careers, whipping up fervour among the majority and there can be no other destination than self-destruction.

    The recent cajoling by planning to issue title deeds to the north residents by MR has been the pattern not to win the hearts and minds of all the people of SL. To the contrary, it is an act of a shamed politician who wants to fish for votes now that the scales are tipping against him in the south. There won’t be any major surprises. The same fate that enabled him to become president would snarl at him this time around, too. By and large, he will be always a loser as far as the Tamils are concerned. For a man who could have reached very great heights and could have taken the country also in a similar direction would one day curse himself for failing to become a statesman. Very few now believe that that day is not very far off.

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