Good riddance; great escape

The Supreme Court with just a stroke of the pen has incidentally called off a supreme calamity that was staring TN in the face. The conviction of CM wannabe and udan pirava sahodhari (UPS) of late, lamented J, along with J herself and two of the UPS clan, has saved the State, its people, the treasury, J’s party and possibly, her iconic Poes Garden residence too from near doom! Some dangerous debris is still littered on the landscape, but we hope the clean up will start soon.

A population of 8 crore was waiting with choked chests for the fateful 10.30 a.m. And when it arrived with glad tidings, it was like a second dawn in a single day. The whole State erupted in spontaneous celebrations over the short circuiting of UPS’s bid to usurp absolute power; in TN’s hate politics centred on pompous personalities perennially at war, the antipathy towards Sasikala, is probably an unbeatable record, topping the hatred charts for posterity.

That J too has been convicted posthumously is now a minor footnote in this inglorious legal chapter and charade that had dragged for decades. She had survived several such challenges and seamlessly moved from court to Fort many a time. And just when law, after taking its delayed, dreary course, managed to reach her, she has shifted from the heights of power, across the road of life, to the pit of eternity. The first accused is now a fond memory, leaving the criminal clan stewing in their own juice.

In fact, more than the SC verdict, Sasi & Co face an unassailable charge from which no court or fort can extricate them: the popular belief among partymen and J admirers that it was this grisly gang that caused their ‘dear Amma’ much bad name all through. So J, though convicted, is now a martyr, a trusting victim of crooked caretakers. And that is the most potent weapon that OPS possesses against UPS in his fight against the inevitable post-verdict mischief that the Family has already started unleashing. Digging into those seventy five days of J’s ‘captivity’ in hospital as also that of the MLAs last few days would put the schemers sans Sasi even more on back foot. By the way, with UPS off the grid, who will foot the Resort bill?

Of course, the immediate task is to ‘regain’ the numbers that made him an unanimous CM on Dec 5. The TN theatre of the absurd can absorb any kind of tamasha. So the people would not mind if the MLAs were to sing and say that they were in forced confinement and that in their heart of hearts OPS was always their true Valentine. Maybe a few would demur and even risk anti-defection law, but all that is a matter of ‘floor management’, meaning … well, forget it.

The MLAs even in the remote possibility of searching their conscience or rather, with the immediate sense of what’s good for them, would and should go the OPS way. He is, to put it in jargon they will relate to right away, their last resort. Clearly, the people and party are with OPS who is seen as some kind of exorcist who has driven away the devil. That the SC also provided him with a magic wand is pure providence. Again, no one wants an election now, not certainly the MLAs whose vanishing act for a long week is unlikely to fade from public memory. Power is perfect glue. But still, if the AIADMK legislature group were to split, OPS would be the long term gainer. We hope good sense will prevail. Maybe, the MLAs can meditate at J memorial. It seems to work.

When I met Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam at the Secretariat yesterday to invite him for a family function in March, I told him he would participate as CM. So I have a vested interest in seeing my prophecy come true. But there is something else that I did not tell him. Here it is: Sir, please do not cry while taking oath next time. TN has cried enough, particularly in the last couple of years. Also, you have every right to smile and even laugh, even if it is your first laugh in public. We desperately need a break and a positive mood shift. No tear, just cheer.

The Constitutional ball that has been languishing in the Governor’s sprawling court, now needs just a tap. Having given UPS adequate time to get convicted he must now extend as much time possible to OPS to provide a ‘stable’ regime. I would suggest, at least till middle of March. You know why.

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Jawahar T R