Secular zealots!

Strange are the ways of rationalists. And stranger still are the ways of the secular rationalists. Selectivity is the hallmark of their approach while hypocrisy is always built into whatever they say and do, though these two too rarely tally. Needless to say, objectivity and sense have never been their forte.

For more than half a century now, this band of half-baked characters have been strutting around in the State, that too in positions of power, dispensing their own special brand of theories and ideas. And for more than half a century, the people of the State have been hoisting them to power for want of a better alternative in times of a political vacuum. Once on stage, these glib-tongued men of mere straw get back to their business of self-seeking rationalism that they alone can understand.

The Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, the very honourable Dr. Kalaignar Thaanai Thalaivan, Thamizh Ina Kaavalan, etc, etc.,M. Karunanidhi is the very rational, secular being who has been spear-heading the abovesaid gang of marauders of religiosity and piety.

One may wonder why such a rational man wishes to be addressed in such adulatory prefixes, but that is his rationalism and above all a reflection of the monumental respect he has for his own self, which he calls ?self-respect?. He now claims that the inclusion of the Sankaracharyas? name in the invitation to a railway function is a slight on secularism. The dravidian parivar, led by the equally rabid DK and the Left which is well and truly in the red, have ?religiously? echoed the CM?s diatribe born out of a sudden enlightenment.

Sudden indeed, because the same CM did not think it fit to withdraw his own partymen from a function which was ?graced? by Bangaru Adigalar a couple of months back. That also, coincidentally was a railway function attended by none less than the very same Railway Minister, Nitish Kumar. Perhaps, at that time the rational CM had sent his rationalism to graze somewhere in the fields near Melmaruvathur, which in turn was probably because the godman had paid Karunanidhi a visit at the latter?s Gopalapuram?or was it Oliver road?-residence after he became the Chief Minister, a courtesy which the Sankaracharyas did not bother to extend.

When it comes to DMK fetes and even government functions, Bishop Ezra Sargunam is omni present. He was even spotted in the Raj Bhavan when Karunanidhi and his cabinet was sworn in May 1996. What was the head of a religious sect doing in a government function? How many other government functions has this man attended ever since the irreligious CM took over the reins of the State? Countless. What did the fair-minded CM do on those occasions to balance the religious scales?

But all that would be blending religion with politics, for the purpose of upholding communal harmony. But when it comes to Sankaracharyas, it would be adulterating politics with religion, which should be shunned. Strange logic indeed, as perverted as the protagonists themselves! Why does Karunanidhi look at Sankaracharya as just a religious head?

Does it not appeal to his rational mind that the Sankaracharyas merit mention for the simple reason that they are easily the most important people in that town and it is natural for any good thing happening in that place to be held under their auspices? Is it uncommon in our land to ask elders or well acclaimed people to participate in public functions?

We are sure that even a hard-core rationalist like the CM would concede that, Kanchi, besides being the birthplace of his party?s founder, is also ?incidentally?, the historical abode of the Sankaracharyas and it is perfectly logical for the people of that town to expect their participation in a function that is got up to celebrate a positive development. Does the CM know the wishes of the people of Kanchi? He had better investigate for he may even learn that the pontiffs represent a vaster majority of the people of that town than what his own elected MLA does. The CM?s outburst and knee jerk reaction only betrays his perennial contempt for the mutt and nothing else.

But what else can be expected of such radical, depleted leaders? It is he and his co-borns who have been promoting communal disharmony through such stupid rhetorics and innuendos. If an innocuous invitation could be blown into such an unseemly controversy by the rulers themselves whose bounden duty it is to protect and respect the sentiments of the minorities as well as the majority, it is a sad reflection of the extent to which a few parochial leaders can subvert public mood to suit their own political agenda.

It is understandable for a Veeramani to bleat about the ?outrage?, but a responsible CM can be expected to be a little more circumspect. But alas, such good sense has never been a part of his six senses. Instead, he takes special pride in espousing his unchaste thoughts in chaste Tamil. Some spots and stripes never change.

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Jawahar T R