Sunday, May 31, 2009

EVMs are not tamper-proof -- Dr. Subramanian Swamy

EVMs are not tamper-proof

* Jayalalithaa, Chandrababu Naidu want to return to ballot papers.
* In Orissa, parties are approaching EC with dozens of complaints.
* Nowhere in Europe or US are EVMs used.

By Dr Subramanian Swamy

JUNE 07, 2009

Numerous electronic voting inconsistencies in developing countries, where governments are often all too eager to manipulate votes, have only added to the controversy. After Hugo Chavez won the 2004 election in Venezuela, it came out that the government owned 28 per cent of Bizta, the company that manufactured the voting machines.

Now Madras High Court is hearing a PIL on the EVMs. This is a good news. I believe time has arrived for taking a long, hard look at these riggable machines that favour the ruling party which has ensured a pliant Election Commission. Otherwise, elections would soon become ridiculed and lose their credibility. The demise of democracy would then be near.

There is much talk today about the possibility of rigging of the electoral outcome in the recent general elections to the Lok Sabha. These doubts have arisen from the unexpected number of seats won by the Congress nation-wide, and these doubts are accentuated by the recent spate of articles published in reputed computer engineering journals as also in the popular international press which raises doubts about the EVMs.

For example, the respected International Electrical & Electronics Engineering Journal (The IEEE, May 2009, p.23) has published an article by two eminent professors of computer science, titled: "Trustworthy Voting" in which they conclude that while electronic voting machines offer a myriad of benefits, these cannot be reaped unless nine suggested safeguards are put in place for protecting the integrity of the outcome. None of these nine safeguards are in place in Indian EVMs. Electronic voting machines in India today do not meet the standard of national integrity and safeguard the sanctity of democracy.

Newsweek magazine issue (dated June 1, 2009) has published an article by Evgeny Morozov, who points out that when Ireland embarked on an ambitious e-voting scheme in 2006, such as fancy touch-screen voting machines, it was widely welcomed: Three years and Euro 51 million later, in April, the government scrapped the entire initiative. What doomed the effort was a lack of trust: The electorate just didn't like that the machines would record their votes as mere electronic blips, with no tangible record.

Morozov points out that one doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist to suspect the fallibility of electronic voting machines. As most PC-users know by now, computers can be hacked. We are not unwilling to accept this security risk in banking, shopping and e-mailing since the fraud is at the micro-level, and of individual consequence which in most cases is rectifiable. But the ballot box needs to be perfectly safeguarded because of the monumental consequence of a rigged or faulty vote recording. It is of macro-significance much like an "e-coup d'etat". At least that's what voters across Europe seem to have said loud and clear.

Thus, a backlash against e-voting is brewing all over the European continent. After almost two years of deliberations, Germany's Supreme Court ruled last March that e-voting was unconstitutional because the average citizen could not be expected to understand the exact steps involved in the recording and tallying of votes. Political scientist Ulrich Wiesner, a physicist who filed the initial lawsuit, said in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that the Dutch Nedap machines used in Germany are even less secure than mobile phones! The Dutch public-interest group Wij Vertrouwen Stemcomputers Niet (We Do Not Trust Voting Machines) produced a video showing how quickly the Nedap machines could be hacked without voters or election officials being aware (the answer: in five minutes!). After the clip was broadcast on national television in October 2006, the Netherlands banned all electronic voting machines.

Numerous electronic voting inconsistencies in developing countries, where governments are often all too eager to manipulate votes, have only added to the controversy. After Hugo Chavez won the 2004 election in Venezuela, it came out that the government owned 28 per cent of Bizta, the company that manufactured the voting machines. On the eve of the 2009 elections in India, I had in a press conference in Chennai raised the issue and pointed out that those who had been convicted in the US for hacking of bank accounts on the internet and credit cards had been recruited just before the elections. In the US, the Secretary of State of California has now set up a full-fledged inquiry into EVMs, after staying all further use.

Why are the EVMs so vulnerable? Each step in the life cycle of a voting machine— from the time it is developed and installed to when the votes are recorded and the data transferred to a central repository for tallying—involves different people gaining access to the machines, often installing a new software. It wouldn't be hard for, say, an election official to paint a parallel programme under another password, on one or many voting machines that would ensure one outcome or another pre-determined even before voters arrived at the poll stations.

These dangers have been known to the Election Commission since 2000, when Dr MS Gill, the then CEC, had arranged at my initiative for Professor Sanjay Sarma of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dr Gitanjali Swamy of Harvard to demonstrate how unsafeguarded the chips in EVMs were. Some changes in procedures were made subsequently by the EC, but not on the fundamental flaws that make it compliant to hacking. In 2004, the Supreme Court First Bench of Chief Justice VN Khare, Justices Babu and Kapadia had directed the Election Commission to consider the technical flaws in EVMs put forward by Prof. Satinath Choudhary, a US-based software engineer, in a PIL. But the EC has failed to consider his representation.

There are many ways to prevent EVM fraud. One way to reduce the risk of fraud is to have machines print a paper record of each vote, which voters could then deposit into a conventional ballot box. While this procedure would ensure that each vote can be verified, using paper ballots defeats the purpose of electronic voting in the first place. Using two machines produced by different manufacturers would decrease the risk of a security compromise, but wouldn't eliminate it.

A better way, it is argued in the above-cited IEEE article, is to expose the software behind electronic voting machines to public scrutiny. The root problem of popular electronic machines is that the computer programmes that run them are usually closely held trade secrets (it doesn't help that the software often runs on the Microsoft Windows operating system, which is not the world's most secure). Having the software closely examined and tested by experts not affiliated with the company would make it easier to close technical loopholes that hackers can exploit. Experience with web servers has shown that opening software to public scrutiny can uncover potential security breaches.

However, as the Newsweek article points out, the electronic voting machine industry argues that openness would hurt the competitive position of the current market leaders. A report released by the Election Technology Council, a US trade association, in April this year says that disclosing information on known vulnerabilities might help would-be attackers more than those who would defend against such attacks. Some computer scientists have proposed that computer code be disclosed only to a limited group of certified experts. Making such disclosure mandatory for all electronic voting machines would be a good first step for preventing vote fraud, and also be consistent with openness in the electoral process.

Now Madras High Court is hearing soon a PIL on the EVMs. This is a good news. I believe time has arrived for taking a long, hard look at these riggable machines that favour the ruling party which has ensured a pliant Election Commission. Otherwise, elections would soon become ridiculed and lose their credibility.

The demise of democracy would then be near. Hence evidence must now be collected by all political parties to determine how many constituencies they suspect rigging. The number would not exceed 75 in my opinion. We can identify them as follows: In the 2009 general elections, any result in which the main losing candidate of a recognised party finds that more than 10 per cent of the polling booths showed less than five votes per booth, should be taken prima facie a constituency in which rigging has taken place.

This is because the main recognised parties usually have more than five party workers per booth, and hence with their families would poll a minimum of 25 votes per booth for their party candidate. Hence if these 25 voters can give affidavits affirming who they had voted for, then the High Court can treat it as evidence and order a full inquiry.

(The writer is a former Union Law Minister.)



May 30, 2009...6:13 am

EVM Fixing (excerpts)

The results of recent Indian elections have taken everyone by surprise. They are really bizzare. There is something rotten going on. How did Congress and the Western countries which support it slyly managed to get these dream results? Does the possibility of EVM (electronic voting machines) rigging exist?

Why were the Congress courtiers hell-bent on getting Navin Chawla to head the Election Commission? What role could this despicable doormat of 10 Janpath have possibly played? EVMs hold the key to this mystery. Interestingly EVMs are thoroughly discredited the world over because they are prone to manipulation. One agency has even called them a “threat to national security.”

All non-Congress parties in India would do well to launch a campaign to ban the use of EVMs. Or at least ensure that the EVM prints a ballot that is then dropped into a box for later counting and tallying the results with the EVMs. Strange things are possible with the use of EVMs. The most bizzare of these being the last-minute win of Chidambaram when he was trailing the other candidate the whole day in counting. Seems like Congress courtiers are allying with some foreign intelligence agencies to rule India in a “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” pact.

Many countries have banned EVMs.

Got the following in my email as a response to this blog post:

You might be interested to hear that Dr Anupam Saraph (CIO of Pune, India, and an adviser to the UN and the Asian Development Society) and Professor Madhav Nalapat (Director of the Department of Manipal University, India, as well as a UNESCO Peace Chair holder, accidentally discovered files on an official Indian government website that seemed to have voting result numbers long before votes were actually cast.

On May 6th, while looking for routine, publicly available, candidate data during the election, a detailed Excel file of votes polled results for every candidate in India was found on the official website of the Election Commission of India ( That was 9 days before the final votes were cast on May 15. And, even so, the Election Commission was not supposed to have access to votes cast data until May 16, when official counting was to be done.

On May 7 and 11, the Excel file was downloaded again from the Election Commission site. The numbers of votes cast for some candidates changed in each version of the file. In the version of the file downloaded on the last day before the official counting, May 15th, the votes cast results column was blank.

The downloaded files can be found here (the votes cast numbers are in Column N “votespolled”):

When news of the files started to spread, the Election Commission closed its site from May 23 to 25. It was back up on the 25th but, until the 29th, you couldn’t download the file anymore. You can now, but the votes cast data for each candidate is gone (you can just see who won) even though now, two weeks after the election, is when that data should be available.

The implications are unsettling.

Saris and Churidhars from antiquity!

This post with two articles on Indian woman’s garments is pretty long like the long sari!

But it contains good information on the antiquity and grace of saris and churidhars which are very much indigenous to this land.


There’s history hiding in the crimps of saris, churidars

Shovana Narayan

(A renowned Kathak dancer and Padma Shri awardee)

Today Churidhar- kurtha has become universal. It is a favoured dress for young collegegoing girls. Known by various names, predominant being “Punjabi dress”, it can be seen displayed tantalisingly at shops in different parts of India.

Clothing has been a source of information regarding social customs and practices of all nations. Though India’s political boundaries changed from time to time, the country has always been home to people of various ethnic origins and cultures.

Before even considering influences from various cultures and peoples on attire, the one important determinant is the climate. The demand of clothing for hot weather is entirely at variance with the demands of clothing to suit a cold winter. And northern regions of India experience cold winter that require body-hugging clothes with more material to keep the body warm as against to light and airy clothes suited to a warm and hot climate.

In addition, Dravidians, Aryans, influences of the Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Mughals, Turks and the English, have left a rich heritage of clothing and designs.

In the chequered history of India, many thoughts and beliefs have been propounded regarding clothes worn by different groups.

Some of the most common notions that are going around are that the dhoti style of wear was common for both men and women in ancient Hindu India; that kurta-pyjama was unknown to ancient Hindu or Buddhist India and that this apparel was brought by the Muslim invaders during the medieval period of Indian history; that the sari, as we know today, came about as a result of gradual evolution of the ghagra-choli in late medieval period.

These beliefs indicate that the art of sewing was unknown in ancient India. Scriptures and texts of ancient India, however, indicate the knowledge of the art of sewing. This is evident from the following verses.

The achhidyamanaya” mentions the needle, i.e. soochya, for joining together two pieces, while verse II.32.4 from Aitareya Brahmana clearly mentions two pieces of cloth being joined together by a needle. Further, a tailor has been mentioned in the Amarkosha, again an indication towards sewn clothes.

The observation of Itsing, the Chinese traveller, reveals the popularity of shirts and trousers in 7th century AD in Kashmir and Punjab. The Buddhist and Jain clothing for the nuns permitted samghati for the lower part, antarvasaka for the upper part and uttarsang as a covering garment. The young nuns could also wear kanchuki (a kind of bodice).

Even a cursory glance at existing sculptural finds from 3rd century BC and 5th century AD reveal the presence of a variety of costumes popular among Indians ranging from tight pants (precursor of churidar) with a flared frock (pre-cursor of the angarkha), to kurta-pyjama, including a “Lucknavi-cut kurta”, the lehenga-choli-odhni and the dhoti.

A Maurya period sculpture, popularly known as the “pirouetting Nati”, is housed in Patna Museum, while the Deogarh sculptures from the Gupta period can be admired at the National Museum, Delhi.

Comments recorded by the chroniclers “seevyatvapah soochya invaders in 10-11th century AD also record the culture and costume of people of ancient India.

Al-Beruni, who accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni, while describing the costumes of Rigvedic verse Hindu-India throws light on the kurta (called “kurtaka” by him), the chadar (called “sidar” by him) and on the dhoti and the salwar (or is it the lehenga?) amongst others.

On the kurta, Al-Beruni says that “the lappets of the ‘kurtakas’ (short shirts with sleeves, a female dress) have slashes both on the right and left sides”.

Here the description plus the appearance of the term “kurtakas” suggests that the shirts worn by the Hindus those days is exactly similar to the kurtas worn today, for the present-day kurtas too have slashes both on the right and left sides. It could also be indicating the short blouses worn by women of Haryana and Rajasthan which have slits on both sides. These too are called kurtas.

Even before Al-Beruni’s time, the Gupta period provides a number of interesting sculptures that bear out the observations of Al-Beruni.

The sculptures from Deogarh indicate the presence of three types of clothing, namely the “tight pyjama-kurta”, the lungi or sarong, as well as the dhoti.

Even the term angarkha is a Sanskrit derivative — from anga-rakshaka! Another sculpture from 5th century AD Bikaner clearly shows a farmer couple with the woman clad in a lehenga-choli and a dupatta over her head. The man wears a short dhoti and sports a turban on his head.

SO THE question is, what contributed to the popular notions that angarkha-churidar costumes came to us during the Mughal period? One is unable to comprehend, especially when sculptural evidences speak otherwise.

Contacts and exchanges the kurta-pyjama and between India and the West were not unknown. Exchange of ambassadors during the Maurya rule between Greece and the Mauryan Empire also led to interactions between the two countries. Did such exchange influence the clothing? Some may argue that the face of the “pirouetting Nati” is not very Indian, but the dancer in the lehenga-choli holding a damaru is clearly Indian. It is equally indisputable that the dancers in churidar-kurta, including the one in a “Lucknavi-cut kurta” from the Gupta period, have Indian faces.

Delving further into ancient India, the genesis of the sari is clearly visible. Yakshi of Didarganj (3rd century BC, Mauryan period), found near Patna, seems to be wearing a dress that is reminiscent of the sari without the pallav draped over the upper part of the body.

However, it is the statue of a female figure in red terracotta, found at Ter (Tagara, Maharashtra) from the Kushan period, that is of great interest for here the lady is clearly shown draped in a sari as worn today.

Similarly, the 5th-6th century AD statue of Skandamata from Tanesara-Mahadava in Rajasthan shows her wearing a sari and holding a child in her arms.

To counter Aurangzeb, the Marathas became a strong warrior force. Women rulers faced all odds bravely, even on battlefields.

Perhaps, the need for horseback riding led to the development of the sakachha style of wearing the sari, i.e. between the legs, like a dhoti.

The spread of Maratha rule over Tamilkam (the regions of present day Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala) in 17th and 18th centuries saw many Maratha practices influencing local customs, including adoption of the Maratha-sakachha style of wearing the sari.

Only a few sculptural evidences have been discussed here for it would be next to impossible to discuss the whole lot of them.

These examples as well as AlBeruni’s comments clearly indicate that even at the start of the medieval period in Indian history, ancient India was wearing not only the dhoti but also the salwar-kurta-dupatta, the churidar-kurta, the lehengakurta-dupatta and the sari. In few areas all these varieties coexisted while in few areas there was a predominance of one or two of these.

In the field of dance, sculptures indicate the practice of coexistence of all. Like its philosophy, in the realm of costumes too, India has always indicated its belief in “plurality”!


The Indian Sari - Fashioning the Female Form

Legend has it that when the beauteous Draupadi - wife of the Pandavas, was lost to the Kauravas in a gambling duel, the lecherous victors, intent on humiliating and harassing Draupadi, caught one end of the diaphanous material that draped her demurely, yet seductively. They continued to pull and unravel, but could not reach the end, and thus undrape her. Virtue triumphed yet again in this 5,000 year old Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Legend, fantasy, history or fact, it is the first recorded reference to the enduringly attractive Sari - the longest running 'in fashion' item of feminine apparel in the world.

In a metaphysical sense the Kauravas symbolize the forces of chaos and destruction, trying to unwind what is in effect, infinity. They are finally forced to stop, frustrated and defeated.

A charming folktale explains the origin of the Sari as follows:

"The Sari, it is said, was born on the loom of a fanciful weaver. He dreamt of Woman. The shimmer of her tears. The drape of her tumbling hair. The colors of her many moods. The softness of her touch. All these he wove together. He couldn't stop. He wove for many yards. And when he was done, the story goes, he sat back and smiled and smiled and smiled".

Indian myths often use weaving as a metaphor for the creation of the universe. The sutra or spun thread was the foundation, while the sutradhara (weaver) or holder of the thread was viewed as the architect or creator of the universe.

The etymology of the word sari is from the Sanskrit word 'sati', which means strip of cloth. This evolved into the Prakrit 'sadi' and was later anglicised into sari.

There is ample evidence of the sari in the earliest examples of Indian art. Sculptures from the Gandhara, Mathura and Gupta schools (1st- 6th century AD), suggest that the sari in its earlier form was a briefer garment, with a veil, and usually no discernable bodice.

There are also several references to the fact that in South India the sari had been for a long time one piece of material that served as both skirt and veil, leaving the bosom bare. Even today in some rural areas it is quite common for a woman not to wear a choli.

In extant North Indian miniature paintings, (particularly Jain, Rajasthani and Pahari schools from the 13th to the 19th centuries) it seems to consist of the diaphanous skirt and an equally diaphanous veil draped over a tiny bodice. This style still survives as the more voluminous lehanga of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Gradually this skirt and veil were amalgamated into one garment, but when and how this happened is not precisely clear. One theory, not fully substantiated, is that the style was created by Noor Jahan (d. 1645) wife of the Mughal emperor Jehangir (reigned. 1605-27). Perhaps it would be more accurate to speculate that the confrontation between the two cultures, Islamic and Hindu, led the comparatively relaxed Hindus to develop a style that robed the person more discreetly and less precariously.

Some costume historians believe that the men's dhoti, which is the oldest Indian draped garment, is the forerunner of the sari. Till the 14th century the dhoti was worn by both men and women. Thereafter it is conjectured that the women's dhoti started to become longer, and the accessory cloth worn over the shoulders was woven together with the dhoti into a single cloth to make the sari.

Indian civilization has always placed a tremendous importance on unstitched fabrics like the sari and dhoti, which are given sacred overtones. The belief was that such a fabric was pure; perhaps because in the distant past needles of bone were used for stitching. Hence even to the present day, while attending pujas or other sacred ceremonies, the men dress up in dhotis while women wear the sari. Thus even though the different waves of Islamic expansion (13th - 19th century AD) resulted in new versions of stitched garments, the primacy of the sari and its gently changing form couldn't be changed. Even today, when the Islam influenced Salwar-kameez (loose trousers with a tunic) is an increasingly popular garment, the Sari continues to hold its sway. The flow it confers to the natural contours of the female form enhances the gracefulness of the fairer sex, as no other apparel can. The Sari, like so many other textiles, gives the lie to the hierarchical distinction made between fine arts and crafts. The approximate size of a sari is 47 by 216 inches. Although it is an untailored length of cloth, the fabric is highly structured and its design vocabulary very sophisticated. The main field of the sari is framed on three sides by a decorative frieze of flowering plants, figurative images or abstract symbols.

Two of the borders define the edges of the length of the sari and the third comprises the end piece, which is a visible, broader, more complex version of the other two borders. This end piece is the part of the sari that is draped over the shoulder and left to hang over the back or front, known popularly as the Pallav.

The pallav usually elaborates the theme found in the two borders and the actual field of the sari, a sort of repetition and amplification in the manner of the Indian musical mode, the raga. The raga has a set number of notes and these are intoned in a form of verbal mnemonics, before the song is actually sung. No new notes other than those in the introduction are used, but improvisation is allowed and results in endless permutations and combinations. This beautiful metaphor thus compares the two narrow borders to the introductory recital of the pure notes and the pallav to the song.

The design, whether woven, embroidered, painted or block-printed, needs to maintain the proportion and balance between the actual field of the sari, the borders and the pallav. The pattern creates its own rhythm. For instance, the scattering of spot weft gold dots increase in the pallav for a denser, richer pattern and gradually and softly decrease on the actual ground of the sari.

Pattern and content are often dictated by the traditions of the region where the sari is produced. The great sari capitals are Varanasi (Banaras), by the sacred river Ganga, Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh and Kanjivaram in South India.

Banaras is renowned for its silk and gold brocades.

The weavers who are usually Muslims, are famed for producing brocades so stiff with gold that they cannot be used as garments and are reserved wholly for ritual use. The Banaras sari itself is ubiquitous in India. No bridal trousseau would be complete without a 'Banarasi' brocade which is available within a broad price range. Along with their very intricate patterns, the most interesting aspect of Banaras brocades is the tremendous variety of silk yarns with which they are woven. Ranging from heavy silks such as 'Jamawars' and 'Tanchois' to gossamer fine organzas and tissues, the choice is mind-boggling.

Chanderi is primarily a weavers town.

It produces fine shimmering cottons with pale delicate zari borders and motifs of the utmost delicacy. The characteristic feature of the Chanderi sari is the quality of the gold thread that is used. Early craftsmen have even gone to the extent of describing it as the gold thread that shone like a mirror.

Kanjivaram is synonymous with hand woven silk saris and known for its dark, heavy silks, usually with flat stripes of gold decorating the borders.

These conservative designs are considered to be more restrained and dignified than the occasionally flamboyant Banarasi sari. Kanjivaram silk also has a reputation for durability. A very distinctive feature of these saris, as opposed to those from other parts of India, is the contrasting color of the border and the pallav, as compared to the body of the sari.

Such a restricted mention of sari capitals is invidious for it overshadows other regions with equally sophisticated textile traditions. Almost every district and sometimes even different villages have their own sari tradition which employ a complex language of symbols. But though characterized by geographical considerations, all Indian symbolism, abstract or figurative, is rooted in the natural or physical world. The purist often bemoans the fact that the traditional borders, the field and the end piece motifs have been interchanged between the regions, creating an unwelcome hybrid and often destroying the fine balance and subtle harmony between the three. Yet innovation, not stagnation is the hallmark of the weavers and artists engaged in the creation of these magnificent textiles. Even in the 19th century, the Baluchari sari of Bengal introduced images of British sahibs and memsahibs in railway carriages, thus expanding a traditional vocabulary, which was almost exclusively drawn from religious epics, and making the sari a vehicle for social satire and a mirror of the times. Ingenuity too is a frequently employed device. The Orissa calligraphy sari has coded love messages in the shape of puzzle poems. Thus with the sari, pattern and content also do frequently inform one another.

The material always light enough not to interfere with the fluidity of the drape is another source of varied tactile delight - cottons, silks, cottons mixed with silk, chiffons and tissues are some of the preferred mediums. But in recent times, to the dismay of the weavers, synthetic polyester has made inroads into the fashion world of the sari. There are several reasons for this. The number of women who now have careers of their own has increased dramatically in the last twenty-five years. Handloom cotton normally used for everyday wear, requires a tremendous amount of maintenance. After each wear the sari has to be laundered and starched since unstarched cottons have an unattractive limpness. Ironing such a sari is a laborious process and not everyone can afford a laundry service. The drip dry polyester, which requires no ironing has presented itself as an attractive alternative.

The sari takes final shape in visual terms only when it is draped on a person. The slightly off-center fan of pleats in the front, the floating pallav with the intricate border thrown over the shoulder and the relatively smooth drape of the material at the back; the wound, pleated, tucked and coiled material give the proportions an aesthetic and intelligent rationality. To an unaccustomed onlooker, a draped sari seems an insecure affair, in danger of coming undone at the slightest movement. Actually, this apparently flimsy concoction is buttressed by a stout, distinctly unromantic, cotton petticoat. The top edges of the pleats are tucked into the waistband of this nether garment, thereby almost eliminating the risk of the sari coming adrift.

The art of draping the sari is in itself an expression of a woman's creativity. In urban India, saris tend to be draped in four or five styles requiring approximately six yards of material. It is, however, immensely versatile, and there are a surprising number of regional variations of draping. Women working in the fields of Maharashtra, drape the sari in the kasota fashion, not unlike a pair of trousers, enabling complete freedom for the limbs. Rita Kapur and Amba Sanyal in their book on the saris of Madhya Pradesh document at least ten distinct styles of draping the sari in that state alone.

For an unstitched length of material, the wearing of a sari entails a lot of preparation. Most saris have a fall made of cotton attached to the inside lower border, and the choli or bodice that teams up with the sari should match the ground color of the sari, or at least echo one of the tints in the borders or motifs. The sari follows the shape of the body, yet conceals, it is often said, a hundred imperfections. It is true that not only is it one of the most graceful of garments, but also one of the kindest. This perhaps explains its perennial charm. Not only beautiful, it is compassionate.

The success of the sari through the ages is attributable to its total simplicity and practical comfort, combined with the sense of luxury a woman experiences. Though men are intrigued by the demure, floor-length attire and tantalizing display of a bare midriff at the back, it is said that sari rarely fails to flatter a woman, making her feel fragile and feminine. It is an instant fashion, created by the hands of the wearer and subject to none of the vagaries and changes which plague the modern fashion scene.

But ironically this flowing luxuriousness of the sari does lead to a corresponding restriction on physical activity and has prompted critics to describe the sari as "a 5 meter cloth entangling the woman with serpentine viciousness", a modern poetess has put it thus:


Burn this sari.
When I see this end
Of the sari on my shoulder..
I think of chastity a log
Hung from my neck.

It does not let me stand up straight
It presses my chest with its hands
bows me down,
teaches me shame
and whirls around me
a certain bird like confusion

It hypnotizes me telling You
You are a woman
Makes me forget I am human
It covers both my shoulders
with its own hands and flutters
announcing "See, see, this woman, she is chaste"

I feel like screaming "No, No I am not"
But my throat does not open
I am defeated by this sari
It throws me down like a whirl wind.

It is blame generations have laid on me.
The unseen patriarchal hand
This sari is the white shroud on the corpse
That is me in this culture of loot and plunder

If I've to stop being the walking dead
I've to burn this sari first
Just burn this sari.

- Jayaprabha

But the defenders of the sari are quick to add their rejoinder:


Oh my beautiful sari
I love you much to tell you free
You enlighten the feminism in me
For which I should thank you much
For I am a woman first
The birth I consider the best.

When I see this end of the sari
I think of chastity enhanced by its
Long free flow.

It helps me cover my head from sun
It solaces me by wiping my tears
It straightens me to stand among the mass

And because of that it stands for generations.

If I've to stop being the walking dead
First accept womanhood is superior
Why to burn a sari?
Burn your slavery thoughts!
I need not change into a man
To become superior
And thus declaring him superior.

- S. Santha Devi.

Noted psychologist Carl Jung has waxed lyrical about the elegance of the sari thus:

"It would be a loss to the whole world if the Indian woman should cease to wear her native costume. India is practically the only civilized country where one can see on living models how woman can and should dress".

Karunanidhi’s mission accomplished!

இருந்த கருணாநிதி, இப்படி ஆகி விட்டார்!!

(நன்றி :- குமுதம் )

கருணாநிதியின் கவலைகளும் பிரபாகரன் பற்றிய கவலைகளும் -

ஞாநி - ஓ-பக்கங்கள்,

குமுதம், 26-5-2009

தொலைக்காட்சிகளில் டெல்லியில் தள்ளு வண்டியில் முதலமைச்சர் கலைஞர் கருணாநிதியை வைத்து தள்ளிக் கொண்டு சென்றபடி அவருடைய குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களும் குடும்ப விஸ்வாசிகளும் வலம் வந்த காட்சிகளைப் பார்த்தபோது பத்தாண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னர் ஒரு சுதந்திரப் போராட்ட வீரரின் வாழ்க்கை அனுபவத்தை நான் சிறுகதையாக எழுதியிருந்தது ஞாபகத்துக்கு வந்தது.

ஒரு டி.வி. நிகழ்ச்சிக்காக அந்த விடுதலை வீரரை நான் சென்னைக்கு வரக் கேட்டிருந்தேன். . அவருக்கு வயது எண்பதுக்கு மேல். உடல் தளர்ச்சி பெரிதாக இல்லாவிட்டாலும் கடும் மன தளர்ச்சியில் இருந்தார். சென்னைக்கு அழைத்து வந்தவர்கள் அவ்ருடைய பிள்ளையும் பேரனும். நிகழ்ச்சிப் பதிவு முடியும்வரை என் வீட்டில் தங்கியிருந்தார்கள். எல்லாம் முடிந்து ஊருக்குத் திரும்பும் தினத்தன்று ரயிலுக்குப் புறப்படுவதற்கு முன்னால் அவர் என் அறைக்கு பேரனுடன் வந்தார். என்னிடம் ஒரு உதவி வேண்டுமென்று தயங்கித் தயங்கிச் சொன்னார். என்னவென்று கேட்டேன் பேரனுக்கு சினிமாவில் சேர ஆசை. எப்படியாவது கமல்ஹாசனிடம் சொல்லி சேர்த்துவிடவேண்டுமென்று கேட்டார் ஆங்கிலேய ஆட்சியில் தேசத்துக்காகஅடி உதை அவமானங்களை சந்தித்திருந்த அந்த விடுதலை வீரர். ஏற்கனவே பல முறை பேரன் சென்னைக்கு வந்து முயற்சித்த கதையையும் சொன்னார். விடுதலை வீரருடன் ரயிலில் வந்தால் உடன் வரும் உதவியாளருக்கு டிக்கட் இலவசம் என்பது அரசு அளித்திருக்கும் சலுகை. எனவே அடிக்கடி இந்த விடுதலை வீரரை பேரன் சென்னைக்கு அழைத்து வந்து நாள் முழுக்க ரயில்வே நிலையத்திலேயே உட்காரவிட்டுவிட்டு, கோடம்பாக்கத்தில் வாய்ப்பு கேட்கப் போய்விடுவான். இரவு ரயிலில் ஊர் திரும்பும் வரை ரயிலடியில் விடுதலை வீரர் கிடக்க வேண்டியதுதான்.

தள்ளு வண்டிக் கலைஞரை டெல்லிக் காட்சிகளை டி.வியில் பார்த்தபோது ஏனோ இந்த உண்மைக் கதை நினைவுக்கு வந்தது. ஒரு காலத்தில் மொழிக்காக, தமிழ் மக்களின் உரிமைக்காக, ரயில் தண்டவாளத்தில் தலை வைத்து டெல்லிக்கு எதிராகப் போராடிய இளைஞர், இன்று 84 வது வயதில் மகனுக்கும் மகளுக்கும் பேரனுக்கும் அமைச்சர் பதவி பெற்றுத் தருவதற்காக தள்ளு வண்டியில் வைத்து அலைக்கழிக்கப்படுகிறார். விடுதலை வீரருக்கும் இவருக்கும் ஒரே வித்யாசம், இப்படி அலைவது இவருக்கும் பிடித்திருக்கிறது என்பதுதான்.

தி.மு.க என்பது திருக்குவளை மு.கருணாநிதி லிமிடெட் கம்பெனியாகிப் பல காலம் ஆயிற்று. கட்சி என்கிற கம்பெனியின் கண்ட்ரோலிங் ஷேர்ஸ் எல்லாம் குடும்பத்திடமே இருக்கின்றன. குடும்பத்தின் அடுத்தடுத்த தலைமுறைகள் வரிசையாக நிர்வாகப் பொறுப்புகளுக்கு வந்துகொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள். அதை ஒழுங்காக முடித்துத் தருவதற்காக ஓய்வு பெறும் வயதைத் தாண்டியபிறகும் போர்ட் சேர்மன் பதவியில் கலைஞரை தொடரவைத்துக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள்.

டி.வியில் பார்த்த டெல்லிக் காட்சிகளில் தள்ளு வண்டி ஊர்வலத்தில் பின்னால் போகிற பிரமுகர்களில் ஒரு பலியாடு மாதிரி முகத்தைப் பார்த்தேன். தெரிந்த முகமாயிருந்தது. வயதாகிவிட்டதால் கொஞ்சம் பின் வழுக்கையும், முன்புறம் வயதை மீறிய கருந்தாடியுமாக - திருச்சி சிவா! தி.மு.கவின் ராஜய சபை உறுப்பினர். ஸ்டாலினுடன் இளைஞர் தி.மு.க உதவி தளபதிகளில் ஒருவராகத் துடிப்புடன் செயல்பட்டு விஸ்வாசமாக சுமார் 30 வருடங்களுக்கு மேல் கட்சியில் இருக்கிறவர். புத்தகம் படிக்கிற ப்ழக்கமும், எழுதுகிற பழக்கமும் உடைய கண்ணியமான மனிதர். கட்சி அவருடைய விஸ்வாசத்துக்கு அளித்த உச்சமான பரிசு எம்.பி.பதவி மட்டும்தான். இந்த முறை அவருக்கு ஓர் இணை மந்திரி பதவியாவது தருவார்கள் என்று நினைத்தேன். ம்ஹூம். எம்.ஜி.ஆர் விஸ்வாசியாக இருந்து கல்வித் தந்தையாக மாறி அண்மையில் தி.மு.கவில் இனைந்து எம்.பியான கோடீஸ்வரர் ஜெகத்ரட்சகனுக்கெல்லாம் மந்திரி பதவி கொடுத்த பிறகு மீதி பதவி எதுவும் இல்லையே. மன்மோகன் சிங் குறைந்தது தி.மு.கவுக்கு பத்து இணை அமைச்சர் பதவிகளையாவது கொடுத்திருந்தால், சிவா மாதிரி அரசியல் அசடுகளுக்கும் வாய்ப்பு கொடுத்திருப்பார்களோ என்னவோ..

மூத்த கட்சிக்காரரான டி.ஆர்.பாலுவை ஓரங்கட்டிவிட்டதாக பத்திரிகைகள் எழுதுகின்றன. இதில் ஒன்றும் வியப்பு இல்லை. பண்ணையார் வீடுகளில் எப்போதும் துடிப்பான புது இளம் கணக்குப் பிள்ளைகள் வந்துவிட்டால், வயசான பழைய கணக்குப் பிள்ளைகள் தாமாகவே குறிப்பறிந்து ஒதுங்கிக் கொள்வதுதான் மரபு. இன்னும் கொஞ்சம் கவுரமாக பாலுவுக்கு ஏதாவது மாநில ஆளுநர் பதவி வாங்கிக் கொடுத்து ரிட்டையர் ஆக்கியிருக்கலாம்.

வாசிப்புப் பழக்கம், எழுதும் ஆற்றல், ஆங்கில அறிவு உடையவர்களை தேர்ந்தெடுத்து டெல்லிக்கு எம்..பிகளாக அனுப்பி தங்கள் கொள்கைகளுக்காக திறமையாக வாதாடக் கூடிய நபர்களை - அண்ணா, சம்பத், நாஞ்சில் மனோகரன் , இரா செழியன்,முரசொலி மாறன், டாக்டர் கலாநிதி, வைகோ போன்றோரை -- அனுப்பும் கட்சியாக இருந்த திமு.க இன்று எப்படிப்பட்டவர்களை அனுப்புகிறது ? யாரெல்லாம் அமைச்சர் ஆக்கப்படுகிறார்கள் ? எப்படி இருந்த தி.மு.க இப்படி ஆகிவிட்டது ? இன்னும் அடுத்த பத்தாண்டுகளில் என்னவெல்லாம் ஆகப்போகிறதோ ?

நீ ஒன்றும் எங்களைப் பற்றிக் கவலைப்பட வேண்டாம் என்று ஆவேசப்பட வேண்டாம். நீங்களேயாவது உங்களைப் பற்றிக் கவலைப்படுங்கள். என் கவலையெல்லாம் உங்களின் இலவச மயக்கங்களில் சிக்கியிருக்கும் மக்களின் கதியைப் பற்றித்தான்.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Karunanidhi won where Dhritharashtra lost!

The Mission of Mahabharatha of Karunanidhi is finally accomplished with the anointment of his pariwar in the Centre followed by the anointment of the King- in- waiting, taking charge as Deputy Chief Minister in Tamilnadu.

This grand story of the Grand old man in politicking that has no parallel anywhere in the world’s democracies has ended well for him and his clan. The Kauravas have won with their Dhritharashtra at the helm!

This story has surprised many who still have some faith in the age-old dictum that dharma alone triumphs. While these people would continue to argue how a Dhritharashtra type story can not win, they are missing some salient points. They have failed to see that Dhritharashtra has won with the acumen of the Pandavas!
The story of Karunanidhi Vaibhavam is that of victory of Kauravs using the tricks of Pandavas.

Perhaps this is the way Kali yuga must proceed where what you see around you are all kauravas but you can not do anything about them, for kauravas project themselves as Pandavas.

Let us see how this ‘Pandavisation’ of Kauravas happened!!
For our easy identification of them from kauravas of Mahabharatha, let me call the pariwar of Karunnaidhi as ‘Karaunavas.’
Kauravas were in the period of Mahabharatha,
whereas ‘Karaunavas’ of Karunanidhi are of present day Bharatha.

Let us analyze how the Karaunavas excelled or exceeded others in the battle for power

(The inspiration is from Hemanth Paranji who has brought out the management points from Mahabharatha. The analysis given here for Kauravas and Pandavas are from Hemanth while the Karaunavas part is done be me.)


The Kauravas were huge in number having 11 Akshouhini
and Pandavas were smaller having 7 Akshouhini.
(1 Akshouhini 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 horses and 109,350 foot-soldiers (in a ratio of 1:1:3:5).

In contrast Karaunavas had less number of alliance partners this time whereas the opposition had a better number of partners – same as what the Karaunavas had last time with which they swept all the 40 seats. Past data shows that Karaunavas must lose, but they won – the reasons for which are discussed below.


Kauravas :

• Bhishma
• Drona
• Karna
• Shalya
• Kripacharya
• Ashwatthama
• Duryodhan

Pandavas :

• Arjuna
• Bhima
• Dhrshtadyumna
• Abhimanyu
• Ghatotkach
• Shikhandi
• Satyaki

Karaunavas :

No Generals
Only Princes,
one in Madurai,
and one in Chennai,
The Patriarch was in Hospital or bed-ridden most time,
as happens whenever Srilankan trouble erupts.

The princes are never known for pulling crowds by speech or presence.
But they are known for their ‘action’!
That makes the difference.
And they made their presence felt among the soldiers
whose reach was far and wide.
They did everything to empower the soldiers at all levels.

So instead of having one General or half a dozen generals,
effective division of labour – area/ locality-wise was done.
The several lakhs of soldiers proudly called as Organizational workers
were allotted clearly demarcated areas,
for them to make their precision hits!


Pandavas :

Exiled for 13 years.
Have no kingdom.
Their main strength both in terms of political and financial power depends on their friends and relatives : The Pancalas, The Yadavas, The Magadhas and The Chedis.

Kauravas :

In power for 13 years.
Duryodhan has been a benevolent king.
Theres no guarantee that the Subjects really miss the Pandavas.
Not only have they the wealth and power of Hastinapur, but also that of Indraprastha, the kingdom that the Pandvas had taken such labors to build and which had surpassed the Hastina of old in all degrees.
Karna had gone on a nation-wide conquering on behalf of Duryodhana.
They are the national sovereigns.

Karaunavas :-

Benevolent king who gives color TVs and cheap rice.
In power for quite long and
in powerful posts for quite long that they are fit to be at the top of the Forbes list of the richest.
But no.
The Forbes does not consider politics as a profession!!
But that doesn’t matter.
They will anyway be topping the list in the Swiss accounts – which we can never know, thanks to the UPA back in power.

The benefits of this money is felt at the time of winning electoral battles.
The un explained advantage that Karaunavas enjoy is that no one questions about this wealth.
If someone dares to question, the rival’s (Jayalalithaa’s) wealth will be quoted by the Karaunavas to neutralize the effect.
Who knows how much wealth Jayalalithaa amassed?
What we know of her wealth is what the Karaunavas have told us in the distant past while slapping court cases on her.
Losing those cases or calling them off later is not remembered by people.
That is an advantage for the Karaunavas!

This is the background of the Karaunavas in having good financial power like the Pandavas (within family) and having their money presence everywhere in the kingdom like the kauravas.


Kauravas :

“Without war, will concede not a needle-prick of earth.” - Duryodhna

Duryodhana was completely focused on the War. It was his moment of truth. He had usurped a kingdom, and he meant to keep it. He had resorted to any means, foul or fair to get the kingdom, which he believed to be rightfully his, and he was in no mood to give it up.

Pandavas :

“We fight over a Kingdom, as dogs over a piece of meat.”-Yudhisthira

The Pandavas had been humiliated, their wife insulted, their kingdom taken. But…still they wanted to avoid the War. The three elder Pandavas were against the War. They even went as far as making an offer that they will stop the War in exchange of 5 villages.

Karaunavas :-

They have the determination of the Kauravas (wont concede a needle prick of earth)
and the wisdom of Pandavas in avoidance of direct war.
They actually hate waging wars.
They successfully eliminated wars in the Corporation elections when most of them had an easy sail-through,
thanks to just show of might!
These days in Bharatham, it is enough to show your might, then no one will challenge you in a war.
Just by seeing your muscle power, no one will dare you.

But the same wisdom will not work at MP battle grounds.
You have face the enemy.
Here the Karaunavas use another type of wisdom,
that there is no use attacking the visible enemy.
Attack the invisible enemy.
The invisible enemies are the opponents who go to the polling booth to press their displeasure against them.
Tackle them – is the mantra of the Karaunavas.

So how did the karaunavas win?

Team spirit

Kauravas :

No team spirit. They all fought their individual wars.

• Bhishma : For his Vow to protect the throne Hastinapur.

• Drona and Kripa : They owed allegiance to the throne.

• Shalya : Simply cheated by Duryodhana to be there. Was originally a Pandava ally.

• Karna : To prove his mantle against Arjuna. Friendship for Duryodhana.

They didn’t gel well with each other.
Bhishma and Karna. Bhisma and Shakuni. Karna nd Shakuni. Karna and Shalya. Shalya and Bhishma.

It was like a bees, hornets and mosquitoes put together in a jar.

Pandavas :

One team. One Goal.
As men, they all had huge respect for Krishna and Yudhisthira.
While as warriors they were in complete awe of Bhima and Arjuna.

Most of them were close relatives – cousins, brother-in-laws, father-in-laws.
More than that they all were part of the decision-making process.
It was their “common” war.

Teamwork succeeds where Individual effort fails.


Despite being a la kauravas, the Karaunavas worked in unison like the Pandavas.

Azhagiri : Has to prove that he has people’s support after the Dinakaran survey

Dayanidhi : Has to make sure that he is close to the Patriarch

Kanimozhi : Has to be the first pet of darling dad.

Stalin : Has to convince his dad that he can fit in his chair.

Though they all had individual goals, they did not lose sight of
the common goal of ‘winning’ the people’s votes.
That can happen only by projecting a unified look.
Karunanidhi was respected as Krishna and
everything was done in the name of Karunanidhi, for Karunanidhi.
That unity paid well.

Individual Motives

Kauravas :

Except for Duryodhana nobody wanted the War.
All the 4 main generals had strong ties with the Pandavas.

• Bhishma(grandchildern) – Wont kill the panadavas. Will kill a thousand soldiers each day.

• Drona (students) – Wont kill the Pandavas. Will capture them only.

• Shalya (Nakula-Shadeva’s maternal uncle) : Loved the Pandavas and covertly helped them by humiliating Karna

• Karna (brother to the Pandavas) : Promised not to kill any of the other Pandavas save Arjuna.
A Team of Traitors.

Pandavas :

Common goal. But the individuals had their individual targets.
Their own agenda, which just became one with the teams’ agenda.

• Dhratsadyumna : Drona.
• Shikhandi : Bhisma.
• Satayaki – Bhurisravas.
• Arjuna – Karna.
• Bhima – Duryodhana and his brothers.
• Sahadeva – Shakuni and his sons.
• Nakula –Karna’s sons.

The Right team is made by selecting the Right Individuals. Get the right man for the right job.


All the kin working in unison keeping their individual goals subordinate to group goals.

In the process, Azhagiri buried his hated for Marans (temporarily or not? – who knows? But they didn’t show any animosity to each other in public)

Maran buried his discomfiture.

Kanimozhi did not hesitate to show herself as dotting sister.

Diverse individuals with personal goals – but working in unison burying their hatchet.

Though they kept their personal goals in hiding,
they didn’t hesitate to work on diverse tasks of the common goal.

While one was concentrating on the South, en block,
the other was working on finishing ‘traitors’ such as PMK.
Other works such as finishing MDMK and ‘correcting’ DMDK to contest alone
while keeping the tabs on local congressmen
were also done in full swing.

All these were done by the Karaunavas taking orders from Karunanidhi
who took charge of the role of Krishna of Mahabharatha war!


Kauravas :

Already said the Big 4 had big emotional attachment with the 5 Pandavas.

Looking further on their commitment.

• Bhisma himself gave away the secret of killing him to the Pandavas. He prolonged the War by killing only inconsequential soldiers. He did not fight a warrior like Shikhandi because of his personal bias.

• Drona too indirectly gave away his secret, by saying he was invulnerable as long as he held a weapon. Moreover he abandoned weapons as soon as he knew his son had died.

• Karna did not kill Yudhisthira and BHima when he got the chance. He gave away his Kavac and Kundala prior to his War. Karna fled innumerous times from the War when he was hurt. He didn’t save Duhsasana when Bhima was killing him.

• Shalya kept on insulting Karna while in Battle.

Pandavas :

• Abhimanyu , a 16 year old kid. Ventured beyond enemy lines alone. This was suicide mission but he still went in and took a great part of the army down with him. It took the combined effort of 7 Maharathis to take him down.

• Ghatotkach even in death, took with him almost half the army.

• Yudhisthira, he knew he couldn’t face Karna in War, but still went in to set an example. Yudhitshira didn't hesitate to tell a lie or a twisted truth when faced with the decision of whether to stick to his personal integrity or welfare of the team.

• Krishna took up arms twice and almost entered the War, inspite of his promise, only to be stopped by Arjuna.

The interests of the Individual should never exceed the Team interest. The best man for a Job is not the one with the best capabilities but one with the greatest commitment.


Commitment – this is something where the Karaunavas have none to equal them.
They made sure that their individual interests do not jeopardize their common goal even by a shred.

Azhagiri does not like Maran hogging the lime light.
But he will put up with that because that can be handled once he gets into the saddle.
So getting into the saddle is more important than working to cut down the attention this guy is getting.
This guy can be handled later.
This strategy / patience paid him well.
When the Grand Sire was camping in the Capital,
Azagiri had all the time and tricks in his disposal to cut this guy to size.

Again the Karaunavas did not have the disadvantage of the oldies spoiling the chances.
They had all the people in Tamilnadu work for them.
For instance, even the workers engaged in construction work were not spared.
Construction work came to a standstill in the city for some days before elections,
because the workers could earn 500 rupees a day for the poll work they did.
They saw big money for some days.
Other saw on some other days
so that Karaunavas could see on all days!

Karaunavas know how to buy committed workers for the battle work.

Right Managers

Krishna :

The Greatest Crisis Manager the world has seen.

Yudhisthira :

Low-key strategist.

• On the first day of the War, he played a Master game. Went over to the Enemy side to seek blessings from Elders. In reality he made a covert deal with them, wherein all of them agreed to help him and unfolded the secrets of defeating them.

• While coming back, he took a calculated risk. He made an offer to all the assembled people to change sides if they wanted to. He knew well of the lack of cohesiveness among the Kauravas. Yuyutsu, son of Dhrtarashtra crossed over to the Pandavas. This exposed the weakness of the Kauravas for all to see.

Know your enemies weaknesses and exploit them. Take Calculated risks. Inspire, invigorate, counsel your own team in moments of need.


They have the advantage of two-in-one in Karunanidhi.
The Crisis manager and the low-key strategists in one mould.

Like Krishna, Karunanidhi did not use any war machinery.
He made just three appearances.
Rarer the appearances, the bigger is the aura of Greatness.
The down-the-line soldiers have to really work hard to make up
for the absence of participation of the Grand sire in the war field.

Like Yidhsihtra, Karunanidhi takes calculated risks.
He did not hesitate to express his love for Prabhakaran
at an unpredictable moment of election worthiness of that guy.
But when confronted for that by the English media,
he did not hesitate to pass the buck on the media.
A case of the key -strategist revealing the no-strategist face of himself.

But that does not deter him in his onward march.
He will be still praised as a crisis manager by Tamil media for whatever he does –
be it on the volte face in his comment on Prabhakaran
or on the fast till breakfast with his wives!

The Roots

Kauravas :

Princes brought up in the comfort of the Royal Palace, matured on romanticized ideals of Power, Fame, Courage and Valor. No experience of ground reality.

Pandavas :

• Spent the greater part of their lives in Poverty. Childhood in the Himalayan foothills among Rishis. One year exile among the poor people of Kuru-Panchala. 12 years of Vanvas and 1 year of Agyatvas.

• Experinced with the ground reality. Contact with people from various strata of the society. Sannyasis (celibate monks), Acharyas(Householders, teachers), poor Brahmanas, lower-class Potter.

• Different races of people. Rakshasas, Gandharavas, Apsaras, Nagas. People from different regions Uttarkuru, Bengal etc.

• A Sense of Sharing. A sense of Brotherhood.

Know ground realities. Know different ideologies. Share.


The princes are brought up well with good exposure to ground reality.
They are ‘fearless’ (anjaa nenjan) and are Commanders (Thalapathy)-
all the time in war-preparedness, unlike the Kauravas.

At times they don’t hesitate to emulate the Pandavas in shaking hands with diverse persons.
They go to Puttaparthy or to Narasimaha (if you are reminded of Vijaykanth, I am not responsible) in Madurai at the time of election battles.

They also know the ground realities very well.
They keep the Christians and Muslims in good cheers,
but irritate Hindus.
But they know the art of appeasing Hindus too
It is here the deft handling of different ideologies come to their rescue.

They don’t consider Hindus as Hindus.
Because Hindus are Dravidians.
The Hindus who question the Karaunavas are Aryans and the others are Dravidians.

They know this distinction well and use the Dravidian tag at right times
They irritate Hindus very well
but divert their irritation by shedding tears for their subjugation as Dravidas at the hands of the Aryans(?1)
This will make the Hindus forget that they are Hindus
but remember only their ‘Dravidian origins’
that had been invented by this Grand Sire.

Women Empowerment

Kauravas :

Patriarchal structure.
Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Dhratarashtra, Vidur, Shakuni, Duryodhana, Karna, Duhsasana. No women in the decision making process.
Gandhari retreated to the Inner Chambers. Nobody listened to her.

Pandavas :

Matriarchal Structure.

• Kunti was the authority supreme for the Pandavas.
“Whatever my mother says is Dharma to me” : Yudhisthira.
• Draupadi was a companion in whatever the Pandavas did. She had a big role in all the decision making. Without her the Pandavas would have most probably reclined to the forests.
• Even the younger Pandavas : Ghatotkach, Abhimnanyu and Iravan were brought up by their mothers. So the female influence was huge.

Women = Better Half. Any team which doesn't have women is unbalanced, for the Masculine traits of Aggression and Dominance should be balanced by the Feminine traits of Harmony and Sustenance.


Theirs is something of a wonderful mix.
Patriarchal structure with Matriarchal influence!

Wives, daughters, grand daughters and even nephew’s female relatives are all given a role in maintaining family unity.
That helps in unity in politics despite pulls and pressures.

At no time, the voice of the females is left unheeded.
This helps in remarkable harmony at any house to which the Grand Sire shifts like Vikramadhithya (kaadaaru maadham and naadaaru maadham) – every week.

The female dominance enhances the ‘motherly affection’ of the Grand old man to all his off springs without any discrimination.
The same extends to the very poor too at the time of elections
with liberal promises to win their votes.


• Turn your weaknesses into strengths.

• Turn enemies into allies.

• Share your responsibilities.

• Teamwork scores over Individual Effort.

• Right Team = Right set of Individuals. The right man for the right job.

• Commitment scores over Competence.

• Team interests over Individual interests..

• Know your enemy/challenges. Exploit its weaknesses. Take calculated risks.

• The Right Managers : To inspire, invigorate, counsel in crisis .

• Know Ground realities. Accept different ideologies. Cooperate.

• Empower Women. The Gender Balance is required for stability and administration.


The victory of Karaunavas is of twin proportions.
Karunanidhi won and karaunavas also won!
This is in contrast to what happened to Dhritharashtra of Mahabharatha.
The Kauravas lost and yet Dhritharashtra retained the crown.
But the crown was a thorn to him for, his sons lost (he lost his sons).

But in the war of Bharatham of today,
Karunanidhi won.
He continues to be the Saamrat while his sons also have been anointed as kings.
Karunanidhi won the battle of interests of his sons too.
It is note-worthy that Stalin was given the crown,
only after crowing the other son in Delhi -
a skillful rope-walking done by the father, keeping the balance!

The victory of the Karaunavas was indeed a victory of Ithihasic proportions
that no seer of yore ever predicted a landslide victory
for persons like them with active connivance of common man (read electorate).
Seers have said that people would suffer at the hands of rulers in this age of Kali.
But we saw people happily going to polling booths in record numbers
to make the rulers happy so that they can rule happily thereafter.

There are no kauravas nowadays.
We have only likes of Karaunavas who are elevated to where they are
by people who see them as Pandavas.

The Karaunavas are fastly becoming Pandavas – at least in number!
It is 3 + 1 for now. Additions are likely to be there, for, they have numbers like Kauravas.
Whatever be their numbers, the fact is that they have mastered the technique
of winning Bharatha wars at the hustings.

The seers have definitely not foreseen this –
with people themselves helping in their victory.

But then we must not forget,
यथा राजाताथा प्रजा !

மன்னன் எவ்வழிமக்கள் அவ்வழி !