Friday, January 15, 2016

Tughlak's 46th annual meeting

The meeting held on January 14,2016 was different from the earlier annual meetings for the following reasons:

1) When the national anthem was sung, Cho had to continue sitting because of his health conditions.
2) Employees of the magazine were not formally introduced in order to save time.
3) Thuglak readers were not given a chance to speak.

In the 45th meeting, Cho had said that he was not keeping good health because of lack of physical exercise. In the current meeting, he attributed his difficulty to his exertion in the last year's meeting.

Readers of Thuglak normally relate to him intellectually rather than emotionally. Because of Cho's ill-health, emotions have now taken the upper hand. Cho's response was as razor-sharp as ever.

There were six speakers apart from Cho. Sarathkumar of AISMK, S.R.Balasubramanian of TMC, EVKS Elangovan of Congress, Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK, Pon Radhakrishnan of BJP and Pazha Karuppiah of AIADMK spoke in that order.

Anbumani Ramadoss spoke most sensibly (many listeners must have been pleasantly surprised) and Karuppiah spoke most philosophically and humorously (it is intriguing that his candour is unaffected by the party he is in).

Saratkumar recounted the 'golden years' of Kamaraj rule. He was supportive of Jayalalithaa ('who has fulfilled 177 of 177 poll promises') and Modi who is marketing India world-wide.

Balasubramanian compared Cho and Kannadasan and concluded that the former is more persistent as an editor / writer. He spoke against chauvinism of any kind and expressed his view that Tipu Sultan was not a religious bigot. According to him, the Sringeri Mutt was adequately compensated by Tipu Sultan when it was looted by people from Maharashtra. He was suspicious about Pakistan's intentions and actions. He criticised Modi's goodwill visit to the neighbour.

Anbumani Ramadoss wanted a cultural metamorphosis. He criticised the freebies culture, administrative lapses in the recent flood-relief and reliance on TASMAC. He roundly criticised all other political parties and concluded that movement from the fire to the frying pan is not what we are looking for. He was against the preponderant role of film artistes in many political parties. He narrated in detail how the policies for education, public health (he is a medical doctor), employment and farmers' welfare should be different from what they are today. He recalled that C.N.Annadurai predicted that the Dravidian parties will rule for 50 years from 1967. That period is now coming to an end. He lamented that drinking habits are now so widespread that even girl students in schools are becoming alcoholic. He revealed that he had done a course in Macroeconomics at the London School of Economics.

Elangovan warned against terrorism and global warming. He was against youngsters (students) taking to politics. (Paranoia?) Politics should not be a career! We should move away from 'cash for votes' culture.

Radhakrishnan glorified the government's performance under Modi. Central government's help in flood-relief, opening of 20 crore accounts in banks in a short span of a few months, policy towards Sri Lanka, national recognition for Thiruvalluvar and Barathiar and promotion of transparency in tendering processes were counted as achievements. He pleaded for Gujarat-style government in Tamil Nadu.

Karuppiah complimented Cho for his ceaseless role as an effective permanent opposition. He compared Cho with Kamaraj in his ability for quick assessment of people. He insisted on the need for dissent in any forum to enable a culture of thesis - antithesis - synthesis. He recounted Sardar Patel's emphasis on efficient bureaucracy, watchful press and just judiciary. He regretted the unholy alliance between bureaucrats and politicians in power. He pointed out the contemporary significance of names of Cho's past plays like "Yarukkum Vetkam Illai" and "Unmaiyae, unn vilai enna?"

Summary of Cho's views:
Balasubramanian was hedging his bets not knowing which Dravidian party will be in power post-elections.
Films will continue to play a role in politics which is not necessarily bad. It may be noted that many actors including Sivaji could not shine in politics.
It is not practical to impose prohibition. It is advisable to watch what happens in Bihar and Kerala which are attempting to introduce it. How to avoid illicit liquor? Anbumani Ramadoss has been admirably consistent in his views on need for prohibition.
It is difficult to wipe out competitive cash for votes culture. Congress party started this nefarious practice as an SSI and it has grown into a large scale industry.
Congress had initiated both good and bad practices.
BJP cannot take all the credit for policy towards Sri Lanka. Rajiv Gandhi was a pioneer in this.
Many had wished Cho a long life. But he prefers a healthy life and not a long life of suffering.
At the state level, law and order is deteriorating and corruption is gaining newer grounds.
Jayalalithaa's image as a strong leader against goondaism is becoming suspect.
Jayalalithaa's contribution in ending dynastic dominance (in DMK) in the state is credit-worthy.
Flood relief measures in the state were apathetic to begin with, but caught up later on.
Overall, the pluses of state administration outweigh its minuses.
Sun TV and Jaya TV take only extreme positions. The truth is between these extremes.
Modi continues to be a clean politician. If he cannot reduce corruption, nobody can.
Modi stands for scam-free economic development. His foreign tours are beneficial for the country whose global image is now better.
Modi is accused as intolerant because he does not tolerate corruption. What a contrast from Manmohan Singh!
Hinduism is the most tolerant religion. This is because it does not believe in conversion and numerical strength.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Karuppiah spoke most philosophically and humorously (it is intriguing that his candour is unaffected by the party he is in)."

OK, now the speaker has been removed from all positions in the AIADMK.