Political scenario in Tamilnadu – Euphoria over Vijaikant
(*Written well before the last Parliamentary election)(just for reading purpose now)
The cult of heroship has been practiced by the Indian politicians since late Indira Gandhi’s regime in centre and in Tamil Nadu by the Dravidian parties from C.N.Annadurai (Anna), E.V.Ramasamy Naicker (Periyar), M.Karunanidhi (Kalaighar), M.G.Ramachandran (MGR) to currently J.Jayalalitha (Puratchi Thalaivi). Even other small parties which breathe their air in the State have the same one man show of politics – Vaiko of MDMK and Maruthuvar Iyya of PMK for example. The good and evil for a large mass of people had mostly been decided by these heroes. None of the political parties has any worthwhile programme of action to stand out as a winning side. Rapidly changing political climate all over the country has also pinched the Tamilnadu politics. In such a prevailing situation, people of Tamilnadu have been witnessing variety of sensitive happenings during this election season. Though these happenings are of ordinary nature for Indian politics, they are perceived to be significant because of impending polls to Parliament. One of such issues being blossomed day-by-day is about the matinee idol Vijaikant’s (Puratchi Kalaighar) DMDK in the State.
Vijaikant’s name attracted political circles when his cadres clashed with PMK years ago over naming of tamil films with English titles. Till that time, Vijaikant was not thought of as a force to reckon with by any politician. In the aftermath, Vijaikant had been dilly dallying with the idea of entering politics. At last the cat was out at Madurai when Vijaikant named his political party formally named as ‘Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam’ (DMDK). Vijaikant had decided to enter the political arena keeping in mind MGR who
emerged as an unblemished political hero. Several other factors are also behind the issue for Vijaikant being seen as an incoming force in Tamilnadu politics (against the present government headed by the shakable chiefminister Karunanidi). Puratchi Thalaivi had witnessed all political volcanoes and typhoons during DMK rule and everyone guessed that her political career was sealed. Yet virtually no political forces could concretely do anything to isolate her and she came back to Fort St George with impressive majority in the 2001 election.
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After having failed to tilt her with their unsuccessful attempts, opposition leaders (who are famous for giving press statements) have been trying to grab the Vijaikant factor vying each other to cash in on him to begin with BJP. Vijaikant on his part has this job made easy when he has attired that his party would contest the election on its own. Congress which lost its power to DMK way back in 1967 has never been a serious contender except being joking from time to time by whispering that “we will form Kamaraj rule” while in alliance either with DMK or ADMK (except winning a few seats at the mercy of kazhagams so far). Though DMK is billed with LTTE tag, Congress still inclines to contest the Loksabha election with them and won all seats, however, forgetting the brutal past . Congress’s relations with ADMK have been soar in recent times; however, Jayalalithaa quite recently has asked the Congress to re-think of their alliance with DMK. Therefore, both Congress and BJP necessarily to tilt towards either of Dravidian parties at the election time as they cannot stand on its own as their base level is uprooted. However, BJP has bravely stepped in to fight alone in the battle along with unrecognizable small letter pad parties. Under the
circumstances, Tamilnadu people are deliberately looking for some force to fight Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi for a change in governance at Delhi. It so happened that Vijaikant factor was quite accidental and handy to rumor mongers. All political parties had been ferociously trying to catch hold of Vijaikant on their side while BJP also wanted to grab Vijaikant’s projected popularity on its side to increase its strength in the State. Ultimately, it did not happen.
On this background, one should analyse the factors which make Vijaikant as a force to fight Jayalalitha or Karunanidhi in the ensuing assembly elections. Immatured political forces may indulge in spreading the illusory message that Vijaikant’s silver screen image could certainly down the sailing Karunanidhi’s ship or dragging the sunk Jayalalithaa’s ship ashore. One should understand the reality in Tamilnadu politics. Comparing Vijaikant (Black MGR as named by his fans) with MGR now is totally irrelevant as Vijaikant’s popularity is a projected one and it is far far behind the one that of MGR actually had. MGR had been in politics since long right from his infant stage of acting, though not actively. His pictures have been used as a media for popularizing the political messages of DMK to which he was attached. MGR’s turning to active politics happened by chance when DMK supreme Karunanidhi expelled MGR from DMK for his act of questioning Karunanidhi of misappropriation of funds. People who experienced, DMK’s miserable corrupt administration coupled with Indira Gandhi’s emergency, wanted a change at that time. State had only two major contenders for power at that time – DMK and Congress. Congress was ruled out because of emergency excesses. MGR by then appeared and
emerged as the only political saviour for all and people wanted a change and so gave chance instantly to MGR. People then were confident that MGR could give corruption free clean government. Vijaikant’s emergence now is in different environment. We have now variety of political forces with several factions within – PMK, MDMK, BJP, DMK and ADMK. Opponents of Karunanidhi have been under the impression that they can throw DMK alliance with Vijaikant’s blessings. Main contention of opposition parties for declaring war against Karunanidhi is that his government is controlled by his corruptive family members. Whoever tells this as reason, had been once part of the same government. Therefore, their contention of fighting corruptive DMK government becomes meaningless. Secondly they talk of goondaism. This has become a way of life in Indian politics and ADMK is no exception. During DMK regime, LTTE practiced bomb culture freely by massacring their opponents in our soil and were allowed to escape unhurt. To top it all, Rajiv Gandhi was gorgeously assassinated in our soil. Beant Sing, Punjab Chief Minister was blasted to pieces at his office where Congress was ruling the State. These are mentioned not to justify the mis-governance of DMK but to ask the opponents of DMK with what honesty and record of efficient performance, they want to prop up Vijaikant to fight corrupt government of either DMK or ADMK, after having been failed themselves.
MGR imaginatively attracted rural masses and they followed him enmass. However in the case of Vijaikant, he does not seem to be having similar charisma. Political forces momentarily take a chance by instigating Vijaikant in their way. Realistically speaking, they do not bother about corruption or bad governance. When they are not able to stand on
their own for survival, they look for somebody to take them on and that entity readily available for them now is Vijaikant. One thing is certain as to what these virulent forces want from Vijaikant. They want power through him for their very survival only and not for fighting corruption and evil forces.
It is not uncommon for any political leader to tell the people before polls that he would give a clean government. After polls, once they get into power by chance, they do all nonsense in reverse direction. Therefore, had Vijaikant chosen to support any particular political force, it would not have given any expected yields both to aligned forces and people who support them. At last, we know at least now that Vijaikant would not be the member of the same group as he has not extended his hands to any political force but to fight alone. By the time of writing this piece, Vijaikant has been virulently touring the State with DMDK cab by saying that he is going to contest the polls on his own without any alliance. This goes to mean that Vijaikant does not support any party for the present. At the same time, it is reported that behind the scene work has been on to push him in DMK-Congress alliance.
To conclude, one may find that whoever hopes on Vijaikant effect, they do so only for their selfish flourishment and not for fighting evils and misdeeds of the present government. People shall in course of time differentiate the colour they adorn. People live on hopes. Let us at least hope for better tomorrow. It remains to be seen whether Vijaikant effect (with his clean hands) could make an inroad into the only powerful and indomitable Purathcithalaivi and Kalaizhar’s kingdom or not. Presently it seems only DMK and
Congress are worrying about vote split by DMDK. Vijaikant effect would seem to be only an imagination till we come to know the results of the poll!