Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thuglak's 42nd annual meeting (continued)

There is a huge interest among Tamils all over the world regarding what happens in the meetings convened by Cho Ramaswamy. So some more details of the Valluvar Kottam meeting are given here. It is astonishing that Cho has single-handedly carried on the Thuglak crusade for 42 years so far. I wonder if there is any other magazine which has been navigated by just one person for such a long time.

In the 41st meeting, Cho had hoped for a change of government in Tamilnadu. Since his wish had come true, it was natural that the readers raised some questions on the replaced Chief Minister. Cho responded that Karunanidhi ought to be more pitied than criticised. The colossal defeat in the elections has totally unnerved Karunanidhi. Cho ridiculed Karunanidhi's theory of "the upper caste conspiracy" being responsible for DMK's electoral defeat.

Cho blamed the disabling competition among newspapers for the unexpected (and to some, shocking) front-page coverage given by The Hindu to a report in "Nakkeeran" newspaper on Jayalalitha. A newspaper that prides itself on its agreement with The New York Times on publishing the latter's material and on its role in the WikiLeaks saga has also chosen to publish a report from Nakkeeran. Cho argued that publication of such information in Nakkeeran is neither surprising nor unusual. Rather, it is expected. But The Hindu's readiness to outdo other newspapers in sensationalism is shocking and is a sad commentary on the state of the Press. (It is interesting to note that The Hindu dated 15th January has given copious coverage to the meeting.)

Advani's assertion that good governance and corruption cannot go together was understandably cheered by the audience. So was his reference to incompatibility of democracy and dynastic politics. He wondered if Sonia Gandhi is capable of articulating her views cogently on any issue of importance to the nation. Calling Cho as the tallest among journalists for sarcasm and humour, he felt sorry for continuing decay of capacity for humour among the legislators of today.

Modi gave irrefutable facts and figures to prove Gujarat's achievements. He read out a fairly long speech in English.

In an interesting interlude, Cho offered to translate Advani's address into Tamil. Advani remarked that in that case, the translated version would be better than the original. Cho readily withdrew his offer and assured Advani that the audience does not need a translation.

We now look forward to the 43rd Anniversary meeting. Cho's annual meetings are compared by Chennaivasis to the budget speeches that the eminent jurist Palkhivala used to deliver in the good old days. There was only one Palkhivala. There is only one Cho. It is the rarity of such personalities that makes them appealing to the public.


வழிப்போக்கன் said...

A good and utterly fair account of the event.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

A neat summation of the events. A minor correction would be that it was Advani who asked if someone could translate his speech - which was obliged by Cho, who stated that Advani's speech would be understood by the audience and any translation would only interrupt the flow.