Tamil Nadu politician and DMK Leader M.Karunanidhi turned 90 today.
And as usual, loudspeakers in Chennai and other cities in Tamil Nadu are blasting out songs cacophonous bilge extolling the “legendary virtues” of this bigamist and snollygoster.
People in the know tell me that every part of Karunanidhi’s body except his brain is in a decrepit state.
The below video was filmed a few hours back at Pondy Bazaar in the state capital Chennai.
(Video courtesy: Naveen)
Blame it on “chittu kuruvi laehiyam”.
My uncle posted a excellent tribute to Kamarajar on his time line , I’ll let the post speak for itself
“Today is Perunthalaivar Kamarajar’s 111th birth anniversary. What a tall leader he was!. Simply unparalleled. A man, who had little formal education, later on came to be called “kalvi kannai thirandha kadavul”. We could not have seen a more apt description for this greatest leader. Education was his top most priority and but for his endeavour, free education upto SSLC could not have become possible. Most of the dams across rivers were built during his regime. The first biggest Public Sector Undertaking for Tamilnadu, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, were to come only because of him. So many firsts are attributable to this leader. It is virtually impossible to think of a leader like him now, when corruption had become the qualification for political leaders. CNA, MK and Co., once said that Kamaraj had Rs.10 crores in a bank in Hyderabad. Kamaraj immediately said that if DMK could identify the bank where he had that money, he would donate the entire money to DMK party. Funny thing is, after more than three decades since his death, MK acknowledged in a public function that Kamaraj’s rule was the golden rule in Tamilnadu. This could become an endless essay if I have to say all the greatness of this simple man. Still, I would like to share one information which I read in Ananda Vikatan long back. One Congress MLA from Trivottriyur assured his electorate that Tiruvottriyur would be made a Municipality from town Panchayat. After elections, bureaucrats objected to the proposal since Trivottriyur did not have the required population to be made a Municipality. The MLA approached Kamaraj and explained the situation. Kamaraj, as CM, then called the Secretary in charge of the Ministry concerned and got his views. He was convinced that the Ministry was right in their rejection. At the same time he also felt the predicament of the MLA and was more than convinced that he made only a reasonable promise. He thought for a moment and gave a fantastic solution. “Ellai kallai nagathungal” (readjust the boundary of the town panchayat on the northern side because Madras city was only to the south of Trivottriyur and marginal adjustment on the northern side would not make any big change in the revenue division of the panchayats to the north of Trivottriyur). Even a well read person could not have thought of such a solution instantaneously. Truly a very tall, simple, pragmatic and outstanding political personality!! One of the famous songs of Kaviarasar Kannadasan, “padithathinal peru pettravar aayiram undu paadam padikatha medaigalum paarilum undu” is best suited to this great personality. On this day, thinking of Kamaraj, let us try to lead a very simple living.
1. Kamaraj was likely that rare incorruptible Indian leader.
But Kamaraj also deserves huge blame for his Himalayan blunder of helping the worthless Indira Gandhi to become Prime Minister after Lal Bahadur Sastri’s death.
Kamaraj and other members of the Syndicate faction of Congress disliked the legitimate claimant Morarji Desai so much that they supported Indira Gandhi mistakenly believing she’d be more pliant.
Eventually Indira Gandhi screwed Kamaraj and all members of the Syndicate (post 1969 Congress party split and more so after the 1971 elections, Kamaraj and other Syndicate leaders became completely irrelevant).
India paid a heavy price for the rule of that monster Indira Gandhi by way of imposition of Emergency, rise of Sanjay Gandhi, forced sterilization, imprisonment of senior leaders, destruction of democratic institutions etc.
Kamaraj’s record is deeply sullied because of his enormous blunder in helping to elevate Indira as PM. In 1966, Morarji Desai was a far more capable leader compared to Indira Gandhi.
As a young kid, I vaguely remember seeing Kamaraj at the Salem Junction station late night in the 1970s from inside a train. People got excited and exclamations of “Kamaraj, Kamaraj” passed through the train compartment
On a related note, here’s what I wrote in 2011 in response to a comment on Kamaraj:
2. Kamaraj was also an overconfident idiot.
In the 1967 elections, he famously declared after an accident Naan paduthukonde jaeippen (that he would win while lying down).
He lost to a young student leader Seenivasan.
Kamaraj’s defeat was often cited to us as an illustration of what happens in life if you become overconfident or take things for granted.
3. Regarding credit to Kamaraj for IIT Madras, BHEL, NLC, all three had their genesis under different circumstances.
Kamaraj might have merely given a fillip to them. With or without Kamaraj, IIT Madras, BHEL Trichy and NLC would have most likely come into being. An IIT in South was inevitable, Lignite was discovered in South Arcot District on Jambulinga Mudaliar’s land as early as 1934 and a BHEL in Tiruchi or one of the other Tamil Nadu cities was also inevitable given Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous addiction to Public Sector Enterprises or ‘Temples of Modern India’ (Nehru’s words) across the country.