Late Chief Minister Jayalalitha is dead. What next for TN politics? – A common Man’s unbiased opinion.
It’s been a long time since I wrote a non fiction post as I was and still am in process of writing the fiction novelette ” Maybe we weren’t meant to be”. I didn’t want to write any other posts before completing the fiction novelette but this one incident, demands a post to be written.
This is not another praising post but an article that expresses a common man’s opinion on the sudden death of chief minister and more importantly, the future of TN politics.
Everything I write in this post is entirely my personal opinion. Any critics or comments are most welcome.
Death of Jayalalitha – Iron Lady:
The Iron Lady of India, Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Dr. J. Jayalalitha passed away day before yesterday(05-12-16) due to sudden cardiac arrest in Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.
All the channels, newspapers, Fb pages, whatsapp groups, all form of media is filled with mournings and condolences for the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. All the great leaders including the Prime Minister of India, Mr.Narendra Modi , President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and many other Ministers and leaders came to the funeral and offered their condolences.
The past of Dr. Jayalalitha was played in all the channels which revolved around her film career, her struggles and then her good deeds. For many women, Jayalalitha is an inspirational role model who stood through inequality and sexual harassment even in the legislative assembly and grew her politics from scratch – with no family background. This was a greatest achievement she had done to overcome all her obstacles in the male dominant society and reach the place which many women haven’t even dreamed of.
Her guts and the ability to stand up to any kind of central government was a big deal as tamils feared our own central government more than anything else over the last few decades.
In this emotionally driven state, we should see things a bit more practically and analyze what all had happened and what all might happen.
The past of Dr.Jayalalitha beyond media:
When Dr. MGR expired, it was difficult for Jayalalitha to retain her place in the party. However, she was able to gather her people and lead them in a year. In the 1989 legislative Assembly, she was sexually harassed and her clothes were torn. It takes a lot more than bravery to endure all this as a woman and rise above hate. She had promised to step in the legislative assembly again only as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and she did in 1991.
The party had alliance with Congress for 1991 TN elections and one can pretty much say that the party took advantage of the existing circumstances (the sentimental and emotional waves that swept the country after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination) which ultimately led to the party capturing power in the state .
While her first term as CM [1991–96] was truly horrible and a hallmark of corruption, her subsequent terms were quite measured and relatively clean. It is in these terms where she really earned the respect of the people. She was charismatic and people looked up to her.
Some of the most important achievements of Jayalalitha are :
Rainwater harvesting. TN is a leading state in the country because of this scheme and most of the credits belongs to her.
Cleaning up the LTTE terror apparatus after Rajiv Gandhi’s death.
Bringing down female infanticide with her baby cradle schemes.
Being able to bring top investors to Chennai. When top investors visited Bangalore, they were welcomed by some low level functionaries at the airport whereas the same visitors were personally received by Jayalalitha at Chennai. That sealed the deal.
She was known for giving many freebies during election times. Bringing her brand name AMMA in whatever she does was a little turn off but then bringing in some good schemes in the name of Amma was good. It connected emotionally with lower people. Amma unavagam, Amma water, Amma medicals, Amma fan, laptop, grinder and many more were her positives.
Media and the truth:
It is common for media, after the death of a certain leader, to showcase all the good deeds the leader had done and other great people praising them. This doesn’t mean that she didn’t deserve the appraisals but that the other side remained hidden.
In recent times, the people of Tamil Nadu are forced to choose between the lesser evil. When it comes to the elections, with both the parties (the DMK and the AIADMK)not performing up to the people’s expectations plagued by accusations of corruption and financial embezzlement, people didn’t have any other strong option to go with.
We will all have to accept and understand the fact that she might have been the better option available but definitely not the best.
There were times when she did things that affected common people (Eg: Her step son marriage during 1996).
However, we will have to appreciate her for her boldness and bravery as a woman to have reached great heights in Indian politics.
As quoted by Balaji Viswanathan,
“Compared to an average Indian politician, she is doing a better job and for all her scandals & abuse of freedoms, she has been doing good in internal security, economy, healthcare and infrastructure.”
TN politics – The future?
What will happen next to Tamil Nadu politics?
(Whatever comes next are my personal opinions and any critic or comment is welcomed)
O.Panneer Selvam has been appointed the Cheif Minister of Tamil Nadu. Though he seems to have support from his fellow party MLA’s at the moment , chances of him remaining CM for long looks slim. I am afraid more and more internal fights would take place in AIADMK in days to come and everything will fall apart. Remember how Jayalalitha led party like a one man army and there had never been number 2 in the party. She was the only king and only leader for AIADMK party. The party doesn’t have a proper successor. All MLAs looked like pity slaves who have no idea what’s right for the party but just obeyed whatever she said. This will be the tougher time for them as there is no one to lead them and they won’t easily agree obeying other’s orders even if it’s panneer selvam.
New government will not sustain long after her death. After MGR’s death, AIADMK party existed only because of the charisma Jayalalitha had. It is highly unlikely that anyone of that caliber will replace the position soon.
The obvious other option is DMK where the leader Karunanidhi is in a critical condition now and may face the same fate anytime soon. They seem to have their successor as Stalin who had already played a main role in recent election campaign but still most of his campaign included having as father as his trump card. He is popular in chennai but needs to get along with all the region people and earn at least the hope which his father has. People don’t value him like they used to do for kalaignar. Stalin has the upper hand compared to others but still needs to work harder to gain people’s belief.
The most important fact is that the people of Tamil Nadu have gained wisdom over the 50 years and are actively looking for change.
The next election will be the perfect time for the much awaited change to happen in TN politics. The game between DMK and AIADMK might come to an end in the next election and possibility of a new party is also good.
The prime focus are Makkal Nala kootani (Without DMDK involved) having Vaiko as their head, BJP, PMK and Naamthamizhar has a chance too.
For BJP, this is the right time for them to make a pitch here. However, they must work hard to shrug off that pro Hindu image.
The TN’s BJP unit is not much active. There is no strong leader here, who can propagate the ideology but they have got the infrastructure and support from the main BJP party. So this is a realistic alternative.
Even though Tamil people dont understand and speak Hindi, they respect the PM for his schemes and ideas. Demonetization has got equal positives and negatives as far as Tamil nadu is concerned.
Makkal Nala Kootani:
Vaiko is a good orator and have been to prison fighting for the rights of people. If he can lead the alliance parties and his party in the right away, he might as well have a chance in the next election.
Dr. Anbumani Ramadas seems to be potential and might prove worthy if given a chance. He is literate and can administer better is what many of my college friends believe. However he has to reach out to more people and create a name for himself on whom people will rely on for years.
Seeman does prove at times that he has knowledge to run a state but it is definitely not enough to become a Chief Minister and he has to make his ideologies reach people. More than the emotional and vibrant speech, he should have something to give to Tamil Nadu people.
Whatever maybe the scenario. I hope whatever has happened, has happened for good. Though sudden demise of Dr. Jayalalitha is saddening, it is good that her death happened while she was in power as a chief minister. If not, her funeral wouldn’t have been the way it was.
There is big breakthrough yet to happen in TN politics and let us all hope that a huge and brilliant change happens in the upcoming elections. Let’s hope to find a new vibrant leader emerging from this crisis. May Tamil Nadu fall into safer hands.
If you’ve any opinion, same or contradictory, please do comment.
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