Sordid drama, again

The stage appears to be set again! And the actors are ready with their ‘script’ to enact yet another sordid drama on the Tamilnadu political scene. The allusion is to the joint statement issued yesterday after a meeting of all the Opposition parties in the State, barring the CPM and MDMK who have ‘jointly’ opted out for obvious reasons.

This meeting held understandably at the behest of and attended by the TNCC chief Mr Vazhapadi K. Ramamurthy, has appealed to the President and the Prime Minister to reconsider their decision to participate in the eighth World Tamil Conference slated for the first week of January next at Thanjavur.

For the second time in the last few months, Mr Ramamurthy has dragged the office of the President and PM into unseemly controversy. Earlier on the reservation issue, he went to the extent of suggesting that the President could never give his assent to the TN Bill. Then he went on to say that a constitutional amendment is next to impossible and ridiculed the PM and Ms Jayalalitha for advocating such a move. But what actually happened is now history. And still Mr Ramamurthy has not learnt his lesson. He seems to have an uncanny knack of being caught on the wrong foot always. Having run out of political issues to browbeat the government, he has chosen to politicise what is purely a cultural exercise.

The World Tamil Conference is meant to be a tribute to one of the oldest languages in history. Elaborate arrangements are being made to conduct it in a grand manner and the response from Tamils all over the world, irrespective of their political or religious affiliations, has been overwhelming. And yet in the land of this great language, there are detractors galore attempting to derail the conference, parading all their pettiness and narrow-mindedness. Can there be a greater disservice to Tamil and the people of Tamilnadu? A very sorry state of affairs indeed!

The Opposition have questioned the locus standi of the AIADMK regime to hold this meet. In a democracy, locus standi flows from the people’s mandate and not from the Opposition’s charity. Recent byelections have established beyond doubt that the people of Tamilnadu are solidly behind Ms Jayalalitha and her party. It is ridiculous that leaders(?) who have no standing in their own respective parties (or factions) should question the locus standi of a duly elected government.

The Opposition this time have lost even before the battle has begun. The President, Mr S.D. Sharma and the Prime Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao, have wholeheartedly accepted the Chief Minister’s personal invitation to participate in the world Tamil meet and this speaks volumes of the respect they have for the Tamil language and their concern for the sentiments of the people of Tamilnadu. Also the spontaneous acceptance of the invitation demonstrates the regard they have for the Chief Minister and is also a recognition of the people’s support she commands. The Opposition’s suggestion that they should reverse their commitment is a plain insult to the judgment of the two eminent men!

One of the Opposition leaders has termed yesterday’s meeting as a turning point in Tamilnadu’s political history. Perhaps he was speaking in a lighter vein. The people of the State have been witness to several such ‘turning points’ turning out to be just dead ends!

The parties, press reports say, have agreed to meet again if necessary on issues of common interest which, needless to say, is Jaya baiting. This sudden unity in the Opposition, besides smacking of political opportunism, is an exercise in self-deception and absurdity. Excepting their shared hatred of the AIADMK supremo, these parties have nothing in common that can make them a credible alliance.

Anyway, the people are not so gullible to be deceived by this fragile alliance. After all, these parties and their leaders have been repeatedly rejected by the voters at the polls and the fact that they are now joining hands is of no significance. As in arithmetic, in politics too, any number of zeroes does not really add up to anything.

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Jawahar T R