Jayalalithaa's health: It's time AIADMK takes charge and gets the state back on track

If you truly love her, then do the right thing by her.

The world looking at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s fight for life in Chennai’s Apollo Hospital may be bemused to see the mass hysteria.

It is very difficult to explain her pervading presence in the lives of the people of Tamil Nadu and the cult-like affection and adoration for her to people who cannot fathom the extent and depth of the vigil.

They talk of such mass hysteria when John F Kennedy was shot, when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated and when Indira Gandhi was gunned down.

 Jayalalithaas health: Its time AIADMK takes charge and gets the state back on track

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. File photo. PTI

Those were all victims of violence and hence the outpouring of grief to the tragedy.

In Jayalalithaa's case, it is an ongoing medical situation and the quantum leap to the fear that things are not getting better is tragic in every sense of the word and only underscores the AIADMK leader’s overwhelming influence and the almost demigod like status bestowed upon her.

It is for this reason that in the 75 days that she has been unwell, even governance has taken a back seat and no one has dared to be a pretender to the throne. The Cabinet meetings were conducted with her photograph in front of her empty chair and even her closest confidante Sasikala wouldn't dare to presume.

These circumstances have been compounded by the deafening silence from the state government about her health and the bulletins from the hospital. The cloak of secrecy has allowed for rumours, for speculation and uncertainty that goes against the democratic grain.

People have a right to know their elected leader's state of health, especially one held in such esteem. The concept of secrecy and the hush hush veil that was thrown on the medical condition is something that can be questioned and should be questioned. For the whole state, Cabinet to be camped at the hospital is not a sign of loyalty. Loyalty would be better served if, for the past two months and more, they had gone about their tasks with more diligence.

Jayalalithaa is an icon of the people and earned this sobriquet over for decades of selfless service and caring for her people. It is a moot point if her frontline had maintained that nexus instead of leaving itself vulnerable to being indicted for dereliction of duty.

In these circumstances, the Centre seems to have acted decisively and the presence of enough police and paramilitary forces in position to ensure that no untoward incidents occur is commendable.

We can all hope that a fighter like her keeps the solitary reaper at bay and cheats him once again. But it will be a long road to recovery and the gap has to be bridged by lesser mortals maybe, but whether collectively or otherwise, the party has to grasp the nettle and should honour her by getting the state back on track.

That the Centre has ended its own 75-day distancing of the political impasse by dispatching the governor back to Chennai to oversee any fallout is indicative that it has finally taken cognisance of the situation.

One would imagine that a lady of grace and dignity and possessing a certain sense of elan and generosity would be appalled that people, especially her team, are simply not doing their job. By that token, she would not want her city or her state to be bruised or its populace intimidated by a wave of emotion.

Even as her supporters and strangers pray for her recovery, the time has come to find a replacement, rally round and bring an end to political instability.

This peculiar belief that Jayalalithaa would be annoyed that there was a surrogate in her place is so wrong. She would be proud that her chariot of fire is moving up and onwards.

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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2016 15:36:02 IST