It seems to be time for all good, bad and all other varieties of men and women to come to the aid of the party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK. The provocation for this rising din of unified voices from all walks of life in Tamil Nadu is the disturbing rise of one of the most disliked characters in recent political history. Never has the mood of multitudes been so manifest and of such magnitude against one person: VK Sasikala. The very mention or memory of her name evokes a primal dislike that bursts from the core to the surface in a jiffy.
Yes, it is a bias, held jointly and severally by all and sundry, but the collective bias is founded on sound experience, personal and public, from this moment to every moment backward, with the tide of anger rising with every passing moment. The Udan Pirava Sahodhari or UPS, which term includes her grisly gang, is just, simply not what you, I or even our pet would want. Anything, or everything else, is okay for now. UPS here does not stand for uninterrupted power supply, the acronym that it is usually associated with. Udan pirava sahodari, which defies exact translation, refers to a near filial companionship of two persons not related by blood.
UPS’ benefactor J (Jayalalithaa, may her soul rest in peace) alternated, throughout her troubled political life, between fort and court. Elected four times, she however was a six-time CM because two of her stints saw judicial short-circuits and reinstatements, indeed a novelty of sorts. The jail-bail routine was of, for and by the UPS, too, though the original sin of corruption charges lay at J’s doorstep, as she was the one in power. But J’s bigger sin was that she left behind this lethal legacy in spite of having abundant foreknowledge of what the sinister sister and her scheming society was up to for long.
This is the harsh fact that we must bear in mind while deifying Jayalalithaa. The ungodly coterie she nurtured in a strange shroud of secrecy was bound to emerge from the shadows to haunt the whole state. And it has. During Jayalalithaa's lifetime, none dared raise a finger against the UPS. But in the days following her hospitalisation and the ‘formal declaration’ of death, the AIADMK seniors did have enough opportunities and even the constitutional duty to raise questions on their leader’s physical and mental state. Yes, all those rebelling now are guilty of omissions and very recent 'commissions'. Having gone along with the various charades since September last, no meditational dramatics or sudden solidarity can add credibility to the rebels’ belated bravado.
Yet, better late than fatal. As we said earlier, the people, and yes, their pets too, are ready for any alternative to the UPS and its devious designs to keep going on borrowed power. The sense of dread is palpable. The Supreme Court is being seen as an immediate source of succour. But a system of jurisprudence dependent heavily on evidence and arguments that can thwart truth and spirit has let many a high profile criminal slip through the legal cracks. Indictment and acquittal are wholly ‘technical’ and a matter of arithmetic! Ask Mr Kumaraswamy of Karnataka.
The floor of the Assembly is the next stop for the disparate, desperate us, poor citizens of this cursed state. This is a classic case of voters vs voted representatives. It is obvious that if the MLAs were to go to their constituencies and only check, not with people, but just the party cadre, they would realise the folly of falling in line with the squatter in Poes Garden now seeking to repeat the act in the secretariat. But for that to happen, they have to first get out of the luxury resort they are imprisoned in. The proof of the pudding of OPS’s charge of coercion is this mass hostage scenario. If the chief minister of the state could be put under duress, what can the common man’s duly elected reps do in captivity? They also have to take into ‘account’ suits and cases not of the legal kind. Suffice to say that the Tamil Nadu political class has remained immune to the demonetisation drive and have prospered, rain or shine, flood or blood, old 1000 note or new 2000!
Just when we were beginning to believe that the permanently temporary OPS would be at least temporarily permanent, comes this thunderbolt from the UPS which is more distressing than all the Tsunamis, deluges, droughts and cyclones that Tamil Nadu has seen. The ominous forebodings and negative vibes augur a bigger disaster beforehand itself. Let’s muster all our rational and superstitious spirits and fervently wish this catastrophe will somehow be averted, judicially, constitutionally or by any means.
The author is Group Editor of News Today, Malaisudar and Talk Media, Chennai. This an edited version of his column "Point Blank" published on News Today
Updated Date: Feb 10, 2017 17:37 PM