Skip to main content

How "poor" Sasikala is being put through great stress to inherit Amma's party and Tamil Nadu government

By Anand Mazgaonkar*
The word Kidnap was possibly coined to describe kids being taken away / stolen while they were napping / sleeping. Something similar seems to have happened in Tamil Nadu a few days ago. Now it is not clear if the 130+ MLAs were napping or awake when they were herded into buses and whether they boarded the buses on their own feet or those of Madame Sasikala Chinnamma's, but they've probably ended up at a nice, luxurious resort.
They certainly seem to have all gone to sleep since. Waking them up might need a habeas corpus petition, a Supreme Court order etc.
The only reason no rescue mission has been launched yet is probably because they were kidnapped using buses rather than an aircraft. Kidnapping on aircraft is called hijacking and there's international collaboration to rescue the hijacked. Or, maybe these MLAs are not being rescued because Mr Advani is not Home Minister and Mr Jaswant Singh is not Foreign Minister. Remember the alacrity with which M/s. Advani & Jaswant Singh had acted in the IC 814 case!
It is not clear if they're allowed to answer nature's calls in those resorts because the last time one MLA was allowed to answer nature's call he scooted into the opposite camp. Our's is such a healthy and vibrant democracy. MLAs are having to use nature's calls to make political statements, to express their loyalties!
We may soon have the spectacle of MLAs filing a petition in Supreme Court demanding freedom to go to the toilet whenever they like. To be fair in spite of the fact that these MLAs cannot go to loo, use mobile phones, or the internet and are completely walled in from the outside world -politically speaking- it is more of a swayamwar rather than kidnapping. A multi-cornered, multi-choice swayamwar, if you like. 
Mr O Paneerselvam, Sasikala, DMK, BJP, Congress are all mightily attracted towards them. Mr Rajnikant and Kamal Hasan may throw their hats in the ring too, who knows?
If the current drama in Tamil Nadu were a film it is unclear which genre it would belong to. Comedy? Action Thriller? Mystery? Documentary? Or all of the above? In that case it could well be India's entry at the next Oscars.
The whole TN problem has arisen because Amma Jayalalitha did not anoint a successor. Why she did not annoint one is probably because she was not sure if we're a Monarchy or Democracy. Luckily the Gandhis, Badals, Thakareys, Karunanidhis, Laloo Prasads, Mualayam Singhs, Abdullahs, Muftis have had no such dilemma. Of course, we may still get to see drama in their fiefdoms! One political reform we should all unanimously adopt is that like Bank forms ask for Nominees in case of death of A/c holders every Chief Minister (and of course, PM) must be asked to annoint a nominee on some Bank-like form.
With this minor 'Nominee' reform our democracy will be much healthier because parties -over the years- have instituted revolutionary and unique internal reforms at their own initiative. For instance, each party has clearly defined criteria on who to give election tickets to. Some parties give tickets only to candidates who can give inflammatory speeches and cause riots, others to local musclemen, yet others to candidates who after being elected can stall Parliament or Assembly proceedings from the well of the house, and some to candidates who can fill party coffers after election. 
Giving election tickets to candidates certified by Spine-specialists to be 'safely spineless' is a perfectly logical prerequisite. Remember how each candidate prostrated himself (rarely herself) when Amma introduced them at election rallies last time?
So, that is the profile of those holed up at some resort, ably protected by Amma's spirit. That's the kind of political reform India's janata really seeks. That is the alternative politics of Achche Din where MLAs will show up everywhere but the State legislature. Since, in any case Parliament & Assembly are not for discussions but fisticuffs, whisking members away to some remote place to prove majority is the cleanest & most nonviolent democratic expression of people's will.
The only minor problem is that poor Chinamma Sasikala is being put through great stress to inherit Amma's party and Government. She may be having to pay for the resort, buses, spas and swimming pools out of her own pocket, unless she's found a good corporate sponsor. This is not to doubt her ability to foot the few hundred crore Rupee bill for the public service she's rendering but her public interest actions must be publicly funded. Besides, a small technical issue is if she pays out of her own pocket it might go against her in the ongoing corruption cases that Amma Jayalalitha has left her to grapple with.
---
*Senior activist with Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).