The Fox Show

It was certainly not a slip of the tongue. DMK chief Karunanidhi was surely aware of what a fox is and what its characteristics are when he described himself as one. Though he was only referring to his ability to remain unruffled by the flutter caused by his opponents, he being a fox in the palmgrove, observers are only too familiar with the wily ways of this-political animal. But this self admission has only come as a confirmation of a common knowledge, shared by his allies, present and past, and enemies alike.

The dictionary describes the animal thus: The fox is traditionally and in literature seen as a clever and cunning animal, able to flatter and trick others so as to obtain what it wants. We hope the TMC and of course, superstars are listening. The same dictionary offers something more, this time probably for the consumption of CPI-I and Janata Dal. A crafty/sly old fax refers to a person who is clever and able to get what he wants by deceiving or manipulating others. Weren’t these two parties, just the other day complaining that they felt they have been foxed? Well, the fix has now owned up, and true to the political trend in vogue now, has even apologised.
There, however, is one contradiction. This particular fox in the palmgrove did get ruffled by its opponent’s move to campaign in the city yesterday when its front launched their own under the aegis of the Prime Minister Gujral, who was here on a political mission. It beats one how permission could be denied for some other politicians who had planned their meetings on the same day for the same purpose, this being poll time when such clashes of itineraries will be the rule. And typically foxy is the explanation that there would be a security threat to the PM if the opponents were allowed to campaign. But to make a scapegoat, a bearded one at that, of the PM to achieve its own end reveals a remarkable, native cunning on the part of the fox. But the fact remains that the palmgrove fox was more than ruffled, it was shaken to the roots.
Flummoxed though, we are surety not foxed.

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Jawahar T R