Where Is The Tamil Pride Now?


Ever since Tamil Nadu’s interim Chief Minister O Panneerselvam turned rebellious, anti-Sasikala voice is gaining momentum all across the state. But unlike Jallikattu, this movement is more pertinent on social media. People have not taken streets to mark dissent against the on-going political tussle.

This has raised several eyebrows. A state which saw a sea of youngsters taking streets in every corner of the state a month back just to mark their disagreement towards country’s highest judicial body’s ruling, has not witnessed any protest this time.

This gives birth to several assumptions, like if people are unhappy with Chinamma’s ascendance, why aren’t they protesting against it? Have they accepted their fate? Is it just a social media creation and in reality people don’t have any problem with her. Or if choosing a Chief Minister less significant in their eyes and they want to practice their franchise in every five years only. Or are they tired of going to Marina again and again?

For over two months Tamil Nadu has been in the line of fire. Starting from Amma’s (aka Jayalalithaa)) demise to cyclone Vardah than to Jallikattu and now to fight over state’s top post.

After Jayalalithaa’s demise, Jaya’s loyalist O Panneerselavam was once again entrusted with the top job. Unlike the previous two times when he held the position for a temporary period it was different this time. He had a daunting task of leading a state out of sorrow after the loss of their most popular leader Amma. But the destiny’s child OPS had several other challenges lying ahead of him.

Within a week after Jaylalithaa’s demise nature’s fury fell on Tamil Nadu. Cyclone Vardah wreaked havoc in several parts of the coastal state. But with extreme diligence and centre-state coordination, OPS managed bring back normalcy to the lives of Tamilians once again.

But the real test came in the month of January. During Pongal, a historic moment knocked the door of Tamil sentiment. Almost half a century after Dravadian movement youngsters from all walks of life staged a peaceful protest against Jallikattu ban. Once again proving his leadership prowess, Pannerselvam led AIADMK successfully passed the resolution in the state assembly keeping Tamil sentiments in mind.

In the meantime, it never occurred to anyone that his leadership skills are temporary once again.

Jayalalithaa’s long time aide and confidante VK Sasikala who was already holding party’s top post, crowned as state’s new boss on 5th February. Imitating Amma’s signature victory move Sasikala accepted the position revering OPS’s loyalty. Claiming that it was he who urged her to be the CM.

Everything was fine for Sasikala until Paneerselvam who was by now holding the state’s interim Chief Ministerial charge accused many senior party leaders for forcing him to resign.

OPS-Sasikala tug of war has already reached the climax. But what astounds that a decision like this which will pave Tamil Nadu’s future in the coming years remains unchallenged. Youngsters are not staging protest to challenge the dethroning of O Paneerselvam. Marking their dissent over social media will only weaken their case.

It is moment of opportunity for the Tamilians to prove that democracy is not a joke. Just by having a majority of MLA’s in one’s pocket doesn’t mean that someone possesses the right to sit on the top post.

It is moment when it can show the entire country that democracy is not limited to exercise the franchise only, it is also an opportunity to raise questions whenever you want, wherever you want.

Raise questions like, why Panneerselvam opened up after two days of resignation? Why now? He could have brought this up earlier. Isn’t it a political move? Has he become power hungry now? Why Sasikala wants to be CM? If she once assured Amma that she won’t hold any position in the party than how come she is so desperate for the top post now?

The Tamil pride which entire country witnessed last month is missing. If they can stage protest to protect their culture then they should definitely come up for their future as well.

Rahul Pandey is working as an Assistant Producer in India Today TV


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