by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Castled is the Fort; Can it be held forever?

The state elections of Tamil Nadu has showed up every pollster pre-poll forecasters or exit-poll analysts.  Included too are bloggers like me, who were as much in the dark as the psephologists.  The only saving grace is that some of us could suspect that all these surveys and projections are off the mark.

Now that Junior Vikatan and Dinamalar (and whoever else) are patting themselves in the back, for ‘accurate’ forecast, time for me to boast about my ‘foresight’ (in the same vein):
  • that “Congress, DMDK, PMK and VCK together would win a maximum of 40 seats” - they have 37.  WOW!  what an accurate prediction!
    • Bull!  The prediction was 15 + 15 + 7 + 3, not a 5 + 29 + 3 + 0, combo.
  • that “73 seats are too close to call and on 146 there is no info”.  The ADMK won a total of 146 seats.  WOW!  what an accurate prediction!
    • Bull!  The post was that 146 are unknown not that ADMK will win the 146.
  • that “ADMK will be in a position to form the government”.  WOW! what an accurate prediction!
    • Bull!  The outlook was that the ADMK *combine* had an *edge*, not a landslide victory.
  • that “no one knows exactly what is happening”
    • True! Entirely correct
  • that “the inaccuracy of election forecast seems to be directly proportional to the distance of the seat from the state capital”
    • True! Entirely correct
So can Ms. Jayalalitha hold on to the Fort after 5 years?  Again, I know that I know not.  She is a very capable person and also has the extraordinary ability to set her mind to a particular target or course of action and achieve it.  All I can is just blog.

But one of her die-hard party worker has this to say to me yesterday, “If we don’t give good governance or act in an authoritarian, corrupt or disrespectful manner like administration under Mr. Karunanidhi, we too will be out in 5 years”.

To which his colleague added, “Ms. Jayalalitha is one of the most temperamental and mercurial leader and that is both her strong and weak point.  If she can control herself and put a reign on her close friend Ms. Sasikala (and her family), we are good for 3 elections.  Otherwise, it will be curtains”.

Later, a DMK party worker had this insight to offer. “There is a perspective that the Mr. M. Karunanidhi (M.K.) administration has done grievous harm to the people of TN, governed badly and failed to reign in corruption but Ms. J. Jayalalitha’s (J.J.) earlier administration wasn’t.  It is wrong because:

  1. If M.K. played with Hindu religious sentiments by unilaterally changing the tradition of Tamil New Year, J.J. paid the price for banning animal sacrifices in temples.
  2. If M.K.’s tenure saw 3 people burnt alive in Dinakaran office, J.J.’s saw 5 students burnt alive in Dharmapuri bus burning.
  3. If M.K. is accused of allowing his family monopolising Tamil film industry, J.J. was accused that Ms. Sasikala’s associates (allegedly) owned distillery ‘Midas’ monopolising Liquor supply to TASMAC.
  4. If M.K.’s ministers are accused of accumulating wealth, J.J. herself has a criminal case for accumulating disproportionate assets against her.
  5. If M.K.’s regime has the stigma of physical attacks against political opponents like Mr. Pazha Karuppiah’s, J.J.’s regime also tried to slap a narcotics charge on Ms. Serina Banu.
  6. If M.K. administration was in the habit of filing defamation cases against newspapers and magazines, J.J.’s tenure saw the standoff between ‘The Hindu’s’ editor Ram and the Assembly’s speaker.
  7. If the Law College violence during M.K.’s regime was a breakdown of law and order then what about acid attack on Ms. Chandralekha during J.J.’s term?
  8. If M.K. can be sneered at for promoting a self-aggrandizing felicitating events, J.J. could also be for the expenditure on the ‘Golden Star’ award.

He added, ‘J.J. regimes misdeeds include
  • withdrawal of free electricity to small farmers,
  • increase in bus fare and electricity tariff,
  • hike in PDS food price,
  • threatening posture during RWH implementation,
and could go on and on!”
8-0  Phew! 

To be frank, the above alleged misdeeds of M.K. administration along with the
  • power crisis,
  • inflation/food price rise,
  • political strong arm tactics and corruption,
  • 2G Spectrum scam, and
  • Law & Order situation
are fresh in mind and probably why the people handed DMK a thrashing.

But until the DMK guy spokeup, the only alleged misdeeds of J.J. regime which came to mind were the disproportionate assets case and the Dindugal bus burning.

Today, the TN state Congress Chief may act like a buffoon, but in the past, Tamil Nadu had great, imposing leaders like K. Kamaraj, R. Venkataraman, G.K. Moopanar and others who stamped their authority not only on the state but also on the Nation.  You can understand why when you realise that K. Kamaraj once said, ‘DMK and ADMK are two sides of the same coin’, - in more vernacular terms.

Seeing the DMK cadre’s outburst, doesn’t it seem so?

Speaking of old times, here is a sketch of Fort St. George, (and Chennai Harbour or should we rightly call it an ‘anchorage’?) in 17th Century.


I wonder where the hills in the background have disappeared to?

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