Saturday, September 12, 2009

Snubbed, stabbed or warned – what did Rahul do to Karunanidhi?

Voices are heard form all sides why Rahul did not meet Karunanidhi.

If the excuse he has given is to be believed, he must not have paid the visit to Raj Bhavan. Why did Rahul choose to meet the Governor when his agenda was to confine himself to youth congress and meeting the youth of the State only?

Rahul did convey some thing in this visit which was understood by Karunanidhi. It was not a snub or a back-stab but a clear warning that Karunanidhi must work on the issue that he has raised.

The issue he has raised was that democracy must not be murdered by the lure of cash for votes!

This message of his visit seems to have been understood by Karunanidhi than by others and the media and that is why the rattle was heard in the DMK camp in the first day itself.

The first day of Rahul’s visit began with a missive from college students (women) who asked him how he can expect them to join politics when winning an election means spending money to buy the votes. This new culture promoted by Karunanidhi in Tamilnadu is the most atrocious assault on the very root of democracy. Until now only politicians and their coterie were the corrupt elements. Now they have made the common people also corrupt and a party to this worst crime against democracy. If some one asks why you give money for votes, the politicians will coolly shift the blame on the people. By making people also party to this vote-for –money, these heavy weights will treat it as a justification or an excuse. In the melee, it is democracy – the very fruit for which our freedom fighters shed blood- is made to bleed to death. Nowhere in the world has this kind of Thirumangalam effect happened. No democracy seems to have encouraged this trend. Karunanidhi has made a name for himself in this way for History to record. He has Vairamutthus and Vaalis around him to sing praise of him in a typical monarchic style. He thinks what they praise only will be read by posterity. No. Posterity has no poetic cravings; it wants facts; it will sift the facts from poems and review him with a critical mind and clinical method of an autopsy.

Today Karunanidhi boasts that his is a cadre based party which can not be uprooted. Yes, the cadres have been well trained to keep the people inebriated to vote for cash. The only party or power in India to check this malaise from becoming malignant is Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Rahul made known his mind immediately after the elections when the trounced congress candidates made a bee line to Delhi to cry out the woes. When he made an announcement that after UP, it is TN that is in his agenda, it raised some guesses about his intentions. Now his intention is known. He could have tried his hand in other states like Karnataka where Congress has a good presence and is in need of a Midas touch from this Prince Charming. But he chose Tamilnadu and took up the agenda of corruption. An apt agenda for in the land of Karunanidhi!

Wherever he went, he invited people to join politics to fight corruption. In this pioneering land of corruption, he knows what response he will get. And he got it which was published in the only magazine in Tamil nadu which seems not yet bought by the DMK. He did not fail to ask why people take cash to vote. But least he remembered that the vote-for cash has its genesis of ‘Colour TV for vote’ that was propagated right under the nose of his mother and which was also promised by his mother in Gujarat State elections. You allow the rot in whatever limited way, it will anyway grow cancerously. Now the people have got used to selling their votes for money. How is he going to change this trend?

He gave one side of the solution for this in his press conference. He said he has raised the issues. It is for the State government to take these issues and remedy them. There were no issues of regular problems addressed by him anywhere. The only issue he raised was that politics must be corruption free and that people should not take money to vote.

As the other side of this solution, he deliberately refrained from meeting Karunanidhi. The solution for this problem rests with Karunanidhi. Rahul could have met him after it became an issue in the first day. He gave a nice explanation but chose to ignore his explanation and met the Governor on the 3rd day. If only he has hinted, Karunanidhi himself would have come to Raj Bhavan to meet him. Such was the love of Karunanidhi for fellow politicians. We lost a chance to witness Karunanidhi’s brotherly love for YSR Reddy who was slated to take part in Anna celebrations. At least we could have been treated with his fatherly love to Rahul Gandhi if only Rahul has given a hint to meet him. His age and ailment would not have stopped him -as had happened when he camped at Delhi after elections - from showing his love for Rahul and penning a poem for him in his party organ. But alas, Rahul has disappointed him.

This is a loss to Rahul and to us also from witnessing the ‘paasa-mazhai’. But Rahul seems to have seen a chance in this visit to arrest another kind of loss that is setting in Tamilnadu. I wish he maintains this pressure on DMK. If DMK does not change its ways, the Congress must change. It must not hesitate to sever its ties with DMK.

For, after all more than Karunanidhi and politics, it is the very essence of Democracy that must be guarded. By quoting Emergency days in reaction to Rahul’s visit, Karunanidhi has unwittingly reminded us of the strangulation to Democratic principles. Let Karunanidhi not become another name in Indian history associated with burying democratic principles.

- jayasree



AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday used the ingenious method of making college girls, women beedi workers and young women professionals in Tirunelveli open up about their problems and attitude towards mainstream politics and assured them that their joining the Youth Congress would be a panacea. The youth icon of the Congress is on a three day whirlwind tour of Tamil Nadu to give impetus to enrolling members in the Youth Congress in the state.

Responding sharply to Mr Gandhi's call to women to give up any misgivings in participating in mainstream politics, a student of STC I women's college, Ms M.Suganya, questioned how they could enter politics where money and muscle power mattered. Supplementing Ms Suganya's question, beedi-roller Shanthi, from Singamparai village, said they could not get into politics easily as only relatives of leaders had the privilege of succeeding there.

Most women students said they shun politics as it required money not only to be distributed for votes during general elections but even for survival. They did not hesitate to question the real intention of political leaders in implementing 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative assemblies and Parliament. The beedi-rollers demanded alternative employment as their job was hazardous to the health of their family.
An MCA graduate from Pappangulam said as she could not get a job she took up beedi-rolling to earn for her family.

Patiently listening to all these problems through college student Mythili, who acted as interpreter, Mr Gandhi assured all kinds of training for young girls to evolve into good politicians if they joined the Youth Congress. The women have a chance of availing of 50 per cent reservation in future if they participated in active politics more, he pointed out.

After the interactive session with women that went on for about 55 minutes, Mr Gandhi met Youth Congress members from the three districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari at Sarah Tucker girls' higher secondary school in Palayamkottai.

Join politics, Rahul tells varsity students


AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday called on students to join politics to fight corruption in the country. In an interaction with students of Anna University here, Mr Gandhi said it was only the youth who can take on corrupt politicians for which students need to enter politics.

Students who attended the interaction said when they raised questions about corruption in the country, Mr Gandhi had clarified that it was not politicians who made the country corrupt but people who accepted bribe from political parties to vote during elections.

"The problem lies with both politicians and people. As responsible youth, why not you (Anna University students) enter politics and change the scenario in the country," Mr Gandhi was quoted as saying.

Muthu, EEE student, said Mr Gandhi referred to the disparity in society where urban people got more facilities and those in the rural areas are deprived of those opportunities.

"Poverty is not an economic phenomenon but those who don't get all opportunities are also considered poverty-stricken,"
he quoted Mr Gandhi.

Quoting Mr Gandhi, Mohammed Nizam, a material science student, said only 7 percent of students like those in Anna University get the opportunity to pursue higher education. A majority doesn't get the opportunity to study and enhance their skill sets, he had said.


Rahul for Congress rule in TN

The AICC general secretary, Mr Rahul Gandhi, unveiled his ambitious plans for the party in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday by saying that the fruits of Central schemes would reach people "when the Congress comes to power here."

He struck this confident note during a Youth Congress rally when a young woman queried why the benefits of the Central projects were not percolating to the common man.

"When the Congress party comes to power here, the benefits will certainly reach the masses,"
Mr Gandhi said, evoking loud cheers from the crowds which had arrived from Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram.

He gave a patient ear to Youth Congress members and heard out their suggestions on how to strengthen the party in the state. Mr Gandhi said the strength and weakness of the Congress would be carefully assessed as also those of the regional parties. Replying to a question from another student on why politics had become synonymous with corruption, Mr Gandhi said that though the country was democratic, the political parties were not so.

"It is a closed system with a lot of impurities flowing in and they will flow out only when political parties become open and accessible to everyone in society," he said.

Elsewhere, he said the Congress would come to power if the youth wing worked hard. He would visit Tamil Nadu any number of times to ensure that, he told party cadres.



In the midst of his whirlwind tour of Tamil Nadu, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called on Governor Surjit Singh Barnala at the Raj Bhavan.

Nothing unusual about it, but then the `courtesy call' only ended up irritating further the ruling DMK camp, already nursing the grouse that the Congress general secretary did not observe the usual AICC `protocol' of visiting Mr Karunanidhi, even though he spent three days in the state.

Announcing Mr Gandhi's `courtesy call' on Governor Barnala, his secretary said in a statement that the Governor presented the Congress leader with a shawl and a copy of his books My Tryst With Freedom and My Other Two Daughters.

To those DMK functionaries sulking that Mr Gandhi did not personally pay his respects to their thalaivar, the statement and the shawl pictures from the Raj Bhavan caused further aggravation. Some could even see `a design, a clear message,' in what the Congress prince did on his TN trip.

"By the Raj Bhavan visit he made it clear that he had time for the Governor but no time for our leader. He met the Governor only to clear any doubts in the public mind that he skipped thalaivar only because he was too busy and hard-pressed for time," said a DMK functionary, requesting anonymity.

"We must take this insult as a challenge thrown at us by the Congress leadership.
He (Rahul) has come here to strengthen his party through enrollment to the Youth Congress. We must hit back by rejuvenating the DMK's youth base. We must send out popular and educated young leaders, such as Kanimozhi, Thangam (Thennarasu), Raja (Union minister) and Poongothai, to the countryside for reiterating party principles amid the masses," said the DMK leader in response to alarming reports that Mr Gandhi's tour of Tamil Nadu has caused some ripples, particularly amid the youth.

The DMK leadership is certain to use founder Anna's centenary celebrations on Sept 15 to unleash a counter-blitzkrieg across the state.

In the mega event at Chennai, Mr Karunanidhi would be sharing the dais with Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who releases the five-rupee coin with Anna's image on it.

The AICC general secretary, Mr Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday publicly opposed the interlinking of rivers, which has been endorsed by ally DMK and other state political parties.

Speaking to reporters here on the concluding day of his three-day Tamil Nadu tour, Mr Gandhi said the national interlinking of rivers was a "disastrous idea" and will have dangerous environmental implications.

Terming it as a personal view, Rahul added, "Nature is very powerful and I think it is not a good idea to play with it on a massive scale."

When asked about DMK strongly pressing for the scheme to overcome water disputes with neighbouring states and to address Tamil Nadu's irrigation needs, Mr Gandhi said that they were supporting such projects at the state level. Interestingly, interlinking of rivers had featured in the CMP (common minimum programme) drafted by the Congress led UPA (united progressive alliance) government in 2004 but was avoided in the Congress manifesto released in May 2009. The chief minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, had been emphasising the need for interlinking of rivers to settle the inter-state water disputes Tamil Nadu has with neighbouring Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh for long.

Leaders of several political parties in Tamil Nadu expressed dissatisfaction over Mr Gandhi's statement.

The CPI state secretary, Mr D. Pandian, told this newspaper that the statement need not be taken seriously as "he is only a young man and we do not expect great ideas from him."

He added that the UPA government had agreed before the Supreme Court to implement the project and filed an affidavit seeking time to file a final reply. "It was the duty of Mr Karunanidhi to explain this to Tamil Nadu people," he said.

The CPI (M) legislature party leader, Mr K. Balabarathy, also said the shelving of the project would create food insecurity besides jeopardising national integrity and livelihood of lakhs of farmers. Condemning Mr Gandhi's comment, a senior AIADMK leader said the party general secretary would make a statement on the issue soon.


Related post:-

Karunanidhi won where Dhritharashtra lost!

Article from Thuglak on the decay sown by Karunanidhi

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