Jayalalitha

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Some say I am a sweetie
Some say queen of beauty
I am alive
Heart is beating
But my soul is hurting

 

This is the song of Jayalalita’s life. I am sure if someone dedicated it to her she’d be nodding her head and jiving to the song. The actor turned singer turned politician’s life is no less than a Tollywood tragicomedy. There is action, drama, suspense, court room scenes but finally a happy ending in which Jayalalita and her minians dance around palm trees on the chorus of the song ‘sweetie’. Like an ideal happy ending, the April-May 2011 elections bit DMK (the current villian) in the butt throwing the Karunanidhi clan out of the picture, pronouncing AIADMK General Secretary, Jayalalita as the Cheif Minister, the Hero.

 

The power in Tamil Nadu has been pendulating between the DMK and AIADMK since 1969 with Jaylalita and Karunanidhi at loggerheads since 1991, but it finally seems to rest in the hands of Jayalalita (atleast for now) as the people voted for change. A Brahmin among Dravidians, her journey from being an outcast to an insider has been rather eventful. Unlike Karunanidhi’s empire, which is built on several pillars; she stands alone, bearing the weight of her self-made regime. Her actions have usually been driven by a deep sense of grievance and she doesn’t ever let the world forget the injustices perpetrated on her time and again. The fact that it has been particularly difficult for her because she is a woman and alone and without any major support or backing is true but tad bit exaggerated. The amplification comes from the distressed herself. Over the years she has learned to foster the political gag of enshrouding her own political misadventures and ingloriously exhibiting those of the others, especially her rivals. She has well mastered the tact of placing a small, sad face over that planetary body and constantly accusing the media, the opposition who can’t fathom her plight.

 

All political parties in our country, like symbols have a face they put forward, more like a mask they hide behind. The three faced Congress has a cute face, a foreign face and a timid face with a turban; the BJP has a stern face; the BSP has a dalit face; the DMK has an opulent face whereas the AIADMK has a sorry face. This sorry face of the AIADMK usually makes me laugh. The voice behind this mask (of Jayalalita, just to be clear) makes me laugh when it says that the whole world is a stage and everybody is acting all the time except for her (who has been an actor for a major part of her life); makes me grin when it cries out in despair for being attacked for being a woman leader (especially after her early morning arrest back in 1996 even though the vindictive Jayalalita kicked back in 2001 with the ignominious midnight arrest of the 71 year old Karunanidhi.); amuses me when she makes headline political predictions, consults astrologists, changes the spelling of her name but refutes it all by saying I just go with the flow, I don’t have time for predictions.

 

I am no psephologist but I have noticed a trend in Jayalalita’s politics, that of a very tactical sorts. The two cards that she plays really often is the sympathy card, with the media and the public and the power card with her allies and opposition. She doesn’t leave any chance to blame everyone around her of being corrupt. Her recent allegation on Chidambaram, her ages old blame game with the DMK all have a snoozing effect. The monotony doesn’t bother the big girl. She won’t stop until the public feels sorry for her and she cries her heart out in press conferences about the mess that the DMK leaves behind for her to clean every time she has come in power. She works day in and day out to get things back on track, alas! The prejudiced media and the chauvinistic world wouldn’t let her live in peace. There have been ten cases of corruption highlighted against the lady, all lies for sure! In actual the number of ‘reported cases’ were seventeen, all lies again, a part of a conspiracy!

 

The most underlined of these cases were the Tansi case, the colour TV case and the disproportionate wealth case. In the Tansi case, Jaya Publications, of which Jayalalita is a partner, was accused of unlawfully acquiring a government land because of which the exchequer has to suffer a loss of 35 million. The court questioned the legal responsibility of the then Chief Minister along with her moral obligations, but of course being the saint that she is she was let off. Then there was the colour TV case. I don’t really get the ‘colour TV’ fetish of the Tamilian politicians, but Jayalalita too has attempted to distribute television sets to those wanting food and security. The attempt was unsuccessful, of course! The government followed a limited tender system instead of an open tender system for the distribution of 45,302 television sets and was alleged to swindle 10.6 crores back in 1995. Even though she would publically lambast A. Raja and the DMK for robbing the people off their hard earned money in the 2G spectrum case, which is on the same lines as that of her 1995 case. But all that doesn’t matter, according to Jayalalita quote if you constantly keep looking back and harping on what goes on in the past, you cannot go on, can’t do politics unquote. So we aren’t left with much of an option but to move on and we do to the next allegation against her. Jayalalita along with her sister and close associates own 77 immovable properties. Someone should really ask her; on what basis does she blame the DMK of nepotism and everything else?

 

Jayalailta might be the current replacement of the DMK, but is certainly not the ideal one. She can pat herself on the back and blow her own horn but the reality is that this glorious victory of hers wasn’t a pro AIADMK vote instead was an anti DMK vote, which is fair for a person who has been vengeful and anti DMK all her political career instead of being pro Tamil Nadu. Her election manifesto too concentrates on the wrong doings of the DMK instead of progress of her state.

 

My article was ideally dedicated to the sorry state of Tamil Nadu politics but as Jaya didi warns us, “anything can happen in the future” I am scared for the future of our country. From a vision for Tamil Nadu she now has a vision for India. Being the leader of one of India’s largest political parties (among the Congress and BJP) the 2014 elections can see people like Narendra Modi- the orchestrator of genocides , Sushma Swaraj- the dancing queen and Jayalalita- I am not a vamp; as the Prime Ministerial candidates. The future of our country, according to this prediction sways between the incumbent underweight PM and the overweight CM. The game of politics does not amuse me anymore. Just imagine an India where genocides are made legal, punishment for corruption would be dancing in public on songs personally picked out by Sushma Swaraj or where poeple like Maran, Karnunanidhi and Chidambaram are decalared as terrorists. I am scared!

 

Himanshi Chaudhary

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