Madam Jayalalithaa & a few thoughts of mine…..
27th September 2014 will be remembered as an unforgettable day in Indian Politics. Some would remember it as a day justice got delivered, for many others it will be the day on which their great leader, their strong leader, their own AMMA was convicted and arrested. However, for many other curious onlookers like me, it is a day of dilemma. This judgement and the present circumstances pushed me into a confusion as to whom I should support and the sort of stand I ought to take. It took me good 7 days to collect my thoughts and here I present them to you.
Madam Jayalalithaa’s conviction in the Disproportionate Assets case cames as surprise to many, many believed that she would come out of it unscathed, a few others thought that she would be let off with a small sentence. The conviction, the 100cr rupee fine, the 4 year imprisonment and her consequent disqualification from holding any elected office for the next ten years is indeed a big sentence by any standards. Given her age and her health condition it will be very tough for Madam Jayalalithaa to endure this tough and complicated legal battle. If her appeals are turned down by the higher courts, this verdict would also mean that her political career has almost ended. She is 66 now and a 10 year ban from contesting elections would mean that she will be 76 by the time she is eligible for the next election, that is the age when most politicians retire. At that age, when your body hardly co-operates with you, fighting and winning elections is very very tough if not impossible.
While the verdict is a body blow for Puratchi Thalaivi, the ramifications for the state of TamilNadu are not less. The state, no doubt loses one of its strongest leaders. The way AIADMK has swept the recent Lok Sabha polls shows the amount of faith people have in her. A majority of people in the state now believe that she is the right person to lead them. She in the recent past has provided a government that is stable and development oriented. The state has been growing at a steady and good pace under her and with this judgement the state will miss a strong leader who is decisive and development oriented.
Jaya was the whole and soul of AIADMK. We did not see any other leader who commands at least half the following she has in the masses. So it is a tough road ahead for that party. What does this mean to the opposition parties? DMK is in tatters thanks to massive infighting in the party. I doubt if Stalin & co can take full advantage of this situation. Congress and BJP have a nominal presence in the state, they might gain but the gains might not be that substantial. Of the two, BJP has a better chance as they are in power at the center. The gains still might not be substantial as they donot have a very strong cadre on the ground. I somehow feel that parties like MDMK,DMDK and PMK will stand to benefit more than anyone else, they have a strong ground cadre and if they can attract AIADMK leaders and the cadre they stand to win big. Again, nothing is permanent in politics, hence there might always be a surprise which one cannot predict.
Now, lets move to the most important question in this entire episode. Does Madam Jayalalithaa deserve this ? The mistake was committed in her first term as CM i.e. 1991-96. The case itself ran for 18 years, many of my Tamil friends say that Jayalalithaa changed a lot since then. They say that she was very arrogant as a CM in her first term, however she changed a lot and is now a very amiable and able administrator. For them, “The Jayalalithaa who amassed wealth is totally different from the Jayalalithaa who worked wonderfully when Tsunami struck TN, That arrogant CM of the 90’s metamorphosed into person who is committed to the development of TN “. Every initiative of AMMA was huge success in the recent past, AMMA canteens, assistance to girl children, initiatives for farmers, correcting the power deficit in the state ….. every one of these initiatives was a grand success. Hence we have credible evidence to believe that she is a changed person now.
To me, once the court has found someone guilty they deserve punishment, by that logic Madam Jayalalithaa must be punished. I am also happy that a stringent punishment of this sort would send a shiver through the spine for most of the corrupt politicians. I am happy that this judgement gives hope to the people who are struggling to weed out corruption from this nation. However, I do believe that the timing is wrong. It should not have taken 18 years to come to a conclusion in this case. Had she been punished quickly, say some wherein the early 2000’s or so, the course of history would have been different. It must have prevented many scams from happening. Who knows, we might have seen a totally different and a more committed Puratchi Thalaivi taking TN to new heights. I am only sad that she is getting punished when she is a totally transformed person. Fast track courts and fast track judiciary would have changed the face of this nation once for all.
One last thing, this also makes me remember the law of karma. No matter what you do, Karma catches up with you. You might have erred in the past, then did a lot of good things. You must have done so many good things that the world is ready to forgive your mistakes. You might become a celebrated person and world might be at your feet Even then, there is no way you can escape from the sins and mistakes you committed , if and only if the Almighty is benevolent He can remove them, else you will have to pay for it. The pain that they get back in our lives can be humongous. As I write this, the mistakes I committed in the past are flashing before me, praying the Almighty and wishing that he removes those sins of mine and is merciful towards me.