There are big elections happening in five states. Nevertheless, the headline today should be nothing other than Tamil Nadu. It’s not hard to see why. First of all, Tamil Nadu is one of the biggest states (at par with Bengal or Bihar, only smaller than UP or Maharashtra). Tamil Nadu is home to some of the greatest cultural treasures and traditions of India. And most importantly, the state has been subject to relentless attack by Idea of India forces (Christian missionaries, Communists, so called Dalit politics and the completely absurd “Dravidian identity politics”). These forces are, without doubt, celebrating today.
Well, this was embarrassing:
At least Jitan Ram Manjhi put up a fight! And his puppet master was very much alive and very popular in Bihar. The lack of spine shown by Panneerselvam yesterday sets a new record. Till the very end, I could not believe it. I did not think somebody would give up the CM chair, that too of a large prosperous state, with such a whimper.
Panneerselvam had everything going for him. He was the sitting Chief Minister. He had been Chief Minister several times before. He had been de facto CM during (Late) Jayalalitha’s prolonged illness, presiding over Cabinet meetings. I am still coming to terms with the reality of his tame surrender to the will of Sasikala Natarajan.
It goes without saying that the Tamils have been seeing some bad luck for a while now. First came the Chennai floods of 2015. Then, their traditional sports were banned. The Chief Minister passed away. Then, a hurricane struck the state. Then, there was an uprising over the Jallikattu ban. Now, we hear there’s a massive oil spill. How much more can Tamil Nadu take?
Suffice to say that at least some of these events gave opportunities to Panneerselvam to prove himself as an efficient administrator. And from what I heard, he did conduct himself quite admirably during the hurricane. He seized the initiative during Jallikattu protests. There could have been plenty of disturbances following Amma’s death, but Panneerselvam made sure it was all peaceful and dignified.
And most importantly, Panneerselvam had the full backing of Narendra Modi. He could have used BJP’s tacit support to put down voices of dissent within his party. But, he didn’t even try. It seems the AIADMK culture of creating only followers and not leaders ultimately took its toll. This is a disaster for Tamil Nadu and for India.
Unless something dramatic happens, the unpopularity of Sasikala (I refuse to call her “Chinnamma”) is now going to make the AIADMK plummet. Tamil Nadu as a state has become used to a certain standard of governance and prosperity and that’s all going for a toss. Obviously I am not on the ground in Tamil Nadu, but the vibes about Sasikala are terrible. The cadre and the people don’t want her. It also doesn’t help that there are plenty of rumors swirling around. I am certain they are false, but the rumors are out there and they surely don’t help.
The much beaten and 2G scam tainted DMK is almost certainly on a comeback trail now, with its crew of Communists and Christian missionaries in tow. Some of the southern states have been weakened to a critical point and I fear Tamil Nadu may not withstand another five years of rampage by “idea of India” forces.
No seriously, Panneerselvam, how could you do this?