Good riddance; great escape
Tuesday, 14th February 2017
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.
About ColumnistA chartered accountant and a cost accountant by qualification and a person of friendly disposition but someone who values his and others privacy, T R Jawahar was not cut out for journalism. But how Jawahar has ended up as one of the most prominent journalists in Chennai and the creator of some important big news brands at such a young age is the stuff of destiny and the dint of hard work.
Born to that doyen of journalism and a legend in these parts, T R Ramaswamy, well known by the affectionate acronym TRR, Jawahar no doubted has inherited his analytical and writing skills from that great man. Apart from this, the father and son duo share another important quality that define their entire world-view, which is humanism. A warm empathy for all beings in the world is the core of their beings.
After the passing away of TRR in the late 80s, T R Jawahar took over the helm of the Chennai’s most popular English eveninger, News Today, and seen it grow through both good and bad times. Through the unceasing publication of News Today, Jawahar is continuing the legacy of his father who founded the paper as a social commitment as well as an entrepreneurial venture.
Jawahar further perpetuated the journalistic memory of his father by founding the popular Tamil eveninger Maalai Sudar. The two papers have carved a unique niche for themselves through an adroit mix of news and views, which help the readers to retain their Indian cultural identity.
Apart from this, the biggest and the most path-breaking journalistic venture from Jawahar is Talk Media, that publication stable that has now become the talking point in the city with a slew of neighbourhood weeklies covering the length and breadth of Chennai. His Point Blank column in the Talk Media is hugely popular for its most forthright views conveyed in cheeky and witty manner.
To discuss Jawahar just in journalistic terms would, however, amount to doing a huge disservice to his rounded personality. Endowed with a sunny sense of humour, Jawahar is a connoisseur of movies both in Tamil and English. He is a virtual treasure house of knowledge on Tamil film music and Tamil poetry. He is a history buff and a keen reader of English and Tamil works, which is counter-pointed by his fetish for modern gadgets. A willing traveller, he has brought to bear those varied experiences in his trips in India and abroad on his writings.
Despite his professional achievements and his focussed administration of a company which employs over 500 people, Jawahar remains essentially a family man, a caring husband and a doting father. He derives his strength from his wife and daughter, and his home and office forever remain his temples.