This is with reference to the report, 'Call it Sethu Ram, but do it:
Karuna' (MM, June 4).
It was not altruism or his love of Tamil Nadu that made TN Chief
request the PM to complete the Sethusamudram project as a gift for his
It is common knowledge that T R Baalu, the DMK minister in the UPA cabinet,
owns several companies that are directly involved in the
implementation of the Sethu project. It is alleged that the DMK
chieftain has interest in these companies
and is bound to lose heavily in case the project is scrapped.
Had he been really interested in the welfare of the people,
he would have asked the PM to gift him the Cauvery.
- Vijay Mohan
Karuna, call it a bad Tamil dream, give up Setu project.by Dr S. kalyanraman
Give up Setu project, because it will be little value added to the
coastal peoples' livelihood. In fact, it will destroy their current
livelihood opportunities, shrinking the fishing area by 26% and
denying accress to the fish-nurseries. And, of course, it is nautical
folly which will make the Setu corpn. lose over Rs. 150 crores every
year, taxing the poor Indian tax-payer. There is a good alternative
project: creation of Marine Economic Zones with potential to increase
foreign exchange earnings by marine products export – from Rs. 2k
crores per annum to Rs. 8k crores per annum since fish-landings have
increased five-fold during the last 40 years in the Indian Ocean.
June 05, 2008
Bungling Birthday Script!
By BR Haran
On April 14 2008, the entire state was celebrating Tamil New Year Day
despite the government's '(ir)rational dictum that Tamil New Year must
be celebrated only on 14 January (Thai Pongal day). On that auspicious
day, the state's Electricity Minister Arcot Veerasamy made a
thundering declaration that, the party would ensure the movement of
the first ship through the Sethu canal on Kalaignar's birthday, that
is, the 3rd of June.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Patriarch, Kalaignar Karunanidhi
has celebrated his eighty fifth birthday in a grand manner. In the
aftermath of the Supreme Court's direction to the GOI on the Rama
Sethu case, he decided not to celebrate his birthday, especially after
his brief hospitalization due to neck and back pain.
Political observers felt that, the covert feud between the three power centres
within the family circles have induced him to take that decision. But,
Karunanidhi's longtime colleague and the state's Finance Minister
Anbazhagan prevailed upon him and convinced him to give his assent for
a big birthday bash on the grounds that the cadres would get
de-motivated and demoralized and that the DMK adversaries would have a
whale of a time in concocting stories maligning the party and the CM's
family if the b-day is not celebrated. So, the birthday boy (!!!) made
himself ready for the big bash with well-scripted dialogues, after all
he has been a script writer and a dramatist through out his life.
On the eve of his birthday, Karunanidhi has written a poem in the
party organ 'Murasoli' appealing to the opponents of SSCP not to
oppose the project in the name of Bhagwan Rama and sought to placate
them by saying that he was even prepared to name the project as 'Sethu
Ram Ship Canal Project'. Also in the General Council meeting and later
in the evening in the cassette release function of the film 'Uliyin
Osai' (Chisel's sound), he claimed that the opposition to SSCP has
been only to thwart the good name and credibility likely to be earned
by him and Congress President Sonia. He felt that the opposition was
not religion, but pure politics in the guise of religion. He asked the
politicians (BJP/RSS/VHP) to come out of their religious guise and
face the issue politically. It is an irony that Kalaignar, who has
used 'religion' to the hilt in the name of secularism and social
justice in his political career, is blaming the rightwing politicians
as abusers of religion. .
In his speech at the general council meeting, he had stated that he
was never an adversary of Bhagwan Rama. It can be recalled that only
in September 2007, he insulted this nation by asking, 'was the Adams
Bridge built by Rama? Is Rama an engineer? If so in which engineering
college did he study? Not satisfied with this, he hurt the religious
sentiments of Hindu majority by saying that Rama was a drunkard. He
also ridiculed the epic and insulted Sage Tulsi Das by saying that
Tulsi Das has projected Rama and Seetha as brother and sister in his
Ramayana Kaavya. After ridiculing Ramayana and Rama Sethu, insulting
Rama and Tulasidas and questioning the faith of the Hindu majority, he
now has the audacity to say that he is not an enemy of Rama. This is
what is called as the 'Double standards of the Dravidian order!
He went on to say that the Sethupathis (Kings of Ramnad) have
protected the Sethu waters for ages and hence the name 'Sethu' could
be connected with the name of Bhagwan Rama, so as to name the project
as 'Sethu Ram', which would satisfy both the government and the Hindu
Religionists. He reiterated that the SSCP has been a 150 year old
dream of the Tamil people and that it is the only project, which could
pave the way for the over all development of the state, as the three
neighbours Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala are not willing to help it by
giving its legitimate share of Cauvery, Krishna and Periyar waters
respectively. The state's political history shows that he has played a
vital role in bringing the Cauvery, Krishna and Periyar River issues
to this sordid state of affairs. After writing the prologue in the
early seventies for the Ramnad District Gazetteer, which glorifies
Rama Sethu and the Sethupathis of Ramnad, he now tries to give a
picture as though he is doing a favour for Bhagwan Ram and the
Sethupathis by suggesting the renaming of the project as 'Sethu Ram'!
In other words, he is trying to show that he gives credence to the
faith of millions of Hindus worldwide and it is also an attempt to
equate Bhagwan Rama with the likes of Anna and Periyar, which would
give him immense 'sadistic' pleasure.
He demanded that the project, which was dreamt by stalwarts like
Kamaraj and Ramasamy Mudaliyar and okayed by engineers and scientists
must be implemented at any cost. Ramasamy Mudaliyar had never
supported a 'sea based' channel, but only a land based channel and he
was also emphatic in his opposition to break Rama Sethu. So far,
Karunanidhi has never talked about Kamaraj in connection with this
issue, but now he is raking up his name with an intention of putting
pressure on Congress party. One also wonders which engineers he was
talking about, when the experts from various fields have clearly
established that the SSCP is a good for nothing project and a
disastrous one too!
In a veiled threat, he has said that he was even prepared to lose his
Chiefministership and the government, for the sake of the project. In
a more threatening tone, he had called upon his party cadres to be
ready for a 'massive battle' for the implementation of the project.
This is just to indicate that, his party would go to any extent to
achieve its goal.
Finally, sounding apologetic and in a tone of begging, he pleaded to
the opponents of the project to sanction his birthday wish by clearing
the project for implementation. He begged his opponents to award the
project as a birthday gift, not for him or his family or his
grandchildren or his party, but for the poor people of the state and
for the future generation. As a last attempt he begged his opponents
to award this project for the so-called service he rendered to Tamil,
Tamil people and Tamil Nadu! This again shows the level to which he is
prepared to descent down to achieve his objective!
After going down begging to the 'communal' forces on the eve of his
birthday, he climbed again on top of the tree of 'pseudo-secularism'
on his birthday, probably emboldened by the company of the likes of
Pranab Mukherjee, Prakash Karat, D.Raja and Raghuvansh Prasad. At the
public meeting organized by the party in the evening at the 'island
grounds', he declared that the 'communal forces' (read BJP) must not
be allowed to gain grounds, as they would spoil the secular fabric of
the country. The patriarch, who brazenly enjoyed everything under the
sun during the NDA regime sharing power with the very same 'communal'
forces, gave a clarion birthday call to all the so-called secular
forces to come together to fight against the 'Sanatana Dharma', which
is a danger to the peace and progress of the country! Probably for the
first time in his 'Adharmic' political career spanning more than fifty
years he has 'publicly' espoused the cause of 'Adharma'.
The political pundits, who have been watching Karunanidhi's politics
for the last fifty years are well aware of his antics, mannerisms and
his speeches saddled with sarcasm, avarice and audacity. The point to
note in the whole 'birthday-script' is that he has repeatedly harped
on the so-called 'dream' and 'development', but not a word on how the
state would develop and how employment opportunities would be created
and how thousands of fishermen and their families would be
rehabilitated and how thousands of rare species and organisms would be
protected. The script doesn't have answers for the various opinions
and objections raised by the experts against the project and its
On the Tamil New Year Day, when Arcot Veeerasamy said that the first
ship would sail through the Sethu Canal on Karunanidhi's birthday, one
wondered how it could be possible in such a short span of time! But,
no one would have imagined that he would have meant only a symbolic
representation. He made it a reality by erecting the stage of the
public meeting in the shape of a 'SHIP' and the meeting was held at
'ISLAND' grounds near the 'Bay of Bengal'!
So, what is the motive behind such a prepared birthday script? It
might be intended to convince his electorate in future that despite
his sincere attempts, he couldn't attain success with regards to SSCP.
Or it might be intended to indirectly threaten the Congress, conveying
a message of quitting the alliance if it doesn't improve its electoral
fortunes in the coming days. Or it might be intended to convey a
message of readiness to the BJP for rejoining NDA. Or it might have
been prepared with all the three motives of quitting UPA, joining NDA
and convincing the party cadres and supporters, which could be done in
one stroke! Or it might be a simple tactic of diverting the attention
of people from the 'smoking' family feud. What ever said and done, it
is very clear that he has taken the people for granted and that is
what he has been doing for the last fifty years!
Cheers to Dravidianism! Long live Kalaignar! Doom for Tamils and Tamil Nadu!