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Jayalalithaa should understand the dissent of the common man

jaya charu column
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Tamil Nadu witnessed a strange election this year. After 1984, the mandate was always against the incumbent government. But this year, the anti-incumbency wave was on par with people’s hatred towards the DMK.


With the exception to the Amma Mess - an Idli for a rupee and tomato rice for five rupees - the State machinery was inactive for the most part in the past five years.


The December 2015 Chennai deluge was the highest point of inaction of the AIADMK administration. The bureaucracy could not contact Jayalalithaa during the Chennai deluge. Had an IAS acted on his own to contain the floods from Chembarambakkam without a yes from Jayalalithaa, he would have earned Jayalalithaa’s wrath.


Even a central minister said he could not get Jayalalithaa’s appointment. She remained inaccessible to the common man, the press, the Central Minister, the state bureaucracy.


The AIADMK ministers on the other hand, were busy on a pilgrimage hopping from one temple to another tonsuring their heads, thus having no time to hear people’s concerns. The mandate would certainly be against the incumbent government in such a political scenario.


But, the citizenry was disillusioned against both the AIADMK and the DMK, and was willing to give the third front, a chance. To their dismay, they could not discover a viable third front.


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Unfortunately, it was Mr Vijayakanth, a buffoon in disguise, who was the CM candidate of the third front. He pushed the DMK to the third place in the 2011 elections and was the Opposition leader. He wasted a golden opportunity; his attendance was poor in the Assembly.


His public acts were unbecoming of a leader; his histrionics have been truly bizarre. From sticking his tongue out at public meeting as a gesture of threat, to thrashing his own candidates to spitting on journalists, the actor-turned-politician has broken every convention of public decency. He never seemed to understand the difference between reel and real life. 


The citizenry could not accept the leadership of Mr Thirumavalavan too, because caste hierarchy and untouchability is still rooted in their minds. The Dalits remain pawns invariably in both the DMK and the AIADMK. 


The Pattali Makkal Katchi has a long way ahead to shed its image of being a caste outfit. PMK’s chief ministerial candidate Dr Anbumani did not realize that Kaduvetti Guru’s hate speech towards the Dalits brought a bad repute to the PMK. He should also understand that prohibition and development are two different wor(l)ds.


Unlike other leaders, Dr Anbumani had toured many foreign nations. There is no proof in history that prohibition leads to development. The deaths due to TASMAC liquor are because of the poor quality of liquor brewed in the distilleries owned by the heavyweights of the AIADMK and the DMK.


How can you explain the lesser liquor related deaths in Karnataka? Quality education, quality health care, better roads - these should be priority of a welfare State.


The roads of Tamil Nadu are in a bad shape, reminding the Middle Ages. Both education and health care vary in quality to poor and the elite. With the kind of education a poor gets in Tamil Nadu, he can only become an auto driver.


Both the DMK and the AIADMK have a strong vote bank in Tamil Nadu. Their loyalists will always vote for their respective parties, how much ever poor was their parties rule. Barring these sympathizers, everyone - from an auto driver to an IT employee - longed for a Kejriwal.


Tamil Nadu needs an incorruptible leader, they said. You can say of Mr Nallakannu of the CPI. But the fact that the Communists allied either with the DMK or the AIADMK in the previous elections, deterred the people away from them. One should not forget that Mr Nallakannu is also a marginalised person, who needs a leader. 


Gandhi’s austerity and a simple dhoti alone does not make one a leader. One should fight for the cause of the common man. Sadly, the Communists have a long road ahead to even think of it.


Nail-biting finish

The results were nail biting, resembling a T20 match, switching the wind in favour of the DMK and the AIADMK until the last ball. After the 1984 elections, no ruling party regained power successively.

This time, the AIADMK belied all the pre-polls and exit polls. But in reality, the majority of the votes got by the AIADMK were not positive votes. The common man could not find an alternative to the AIADMK.


He did not forget the grotesque 2006-2011 DMK reign. Had he forgotten or forgiven, the common man would have voted the DMK to power. A positive note for the DMK bastion is that they have grown into a strong Opposition now.


The greatest losers this time is the third front, headed by Mr Vijayakanth. He lost his status as the Opposition leader now, because he lacked leadership qualities.


He learnt the hard way that he cannot become a Karunanidhi. His DMDK MLAs were given a run for their money by Jayalalithaa. They could not answer her questions during the debates in the Assembly. 


Both the DMDK and AIADMK MLAs were similar when it comes to expertise in public matters. At the least Jayalalitha wields control over her party MPs in Delhi.


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She has taught the 37 MPs when to speak and when to remain silent in the Parliament. Vijayakanth, on the other hand, lacks this art of handling a remote control. 


The prohibition promise made by the DMK, the PMK and the third front proved to be a laughable farce. That prohibition is the biggest issue in the State was a myth created by a section of media. One has to remember that Jayalalithaa never promised a total prohibition. 


And now the results have come, with the DMK going to be a powerful Opposition, Jayalalithaa should understand the dissent of the common man. The take home point for Jayalalithaa should be this: Stop the freebies and thrive hard to improve the standard of living of a common man.


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