A Mirage Called Grand Alliance

The attempts by some of the opposition parties to cobble up a grand alliance to fight Bharatiya Janata Party are in full swing. This illusionary preposition swings up every five years or so in the name of fighting communalism and fascism. Earlier they levelled the same charge on Congress and fought shoulder to shoulder with BJP, but when the BJP gathered enough mass and marched ahead on its own, they changed the tone.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was right when he said that that the opposition ‘mahagathbandhan’ or grand alliance was a club of ‘nawabs of negativity’ and the only ‘glue’ of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man Narendra Modi. They are so driven by their hate towards Modi that they can set aside all their differences and ideologies to form a hastily sewn alliance.
However, the situation has changed a lot since such Fronts came up on political scene in India about 30 years ago. At that time, the people wanted change at any cost and that meant voting in favor of an melange of a smaller parties without a strong and nationwide leadership.
The people today belong to an aspirational society which is politically conscious. It will never buy into this suicidal alternative. This ragbag may come into existence propelled by the egos of the individual parties (no pun intended) but they cannot take the nation where it rightfully belongs in the 21st century. All the players performing in this political circus carry zero credibility; in many places, they are liability than assets. Look at Telugu Desam Party which was battered in the recently concluded Assembly elections in Telangana in spite of forming a front with Congress and Left.
Just last week, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party entered an alliance for Lok Sabah Poll 2019. They announced that they would fight coming lok Sabha election jointly on seat sharing of 38 each in Uttar Pradesh. And what did they have to say about Congress, which was an ally of SP in UP Assembly election in 2017?
Addressing a joint press conference with Akhilesh Yadav at Lucknow, Mayawati said that Congress is not part of alliance as it is not beneficial in seat winning contrary it creates loss. She said that she is keeping away Lucknow’s Guest House incident away in interest of People and country. She said this alliance will continue for a long in future.
Interestingly, one can use the phrase ‘forging an alliance’ in all sense to describe these parties. This proposed ‘mahagathbandhan’ has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common program. They lack leadership and nor any of them has unblemished record. It does not aim at building the country but focuses on maintaining the imaginary halo of their respective leaders. Those who can’t even see each other are now joining hands out of the fear for their own survival. More than anything else, their ego will eat each other even if they manage to come closer.

Sheila Dikshit’s Selection Shows Lack of Choices

The appointment of Delhi former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as Head of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee comes as a very disappointing decision. It shows that Congress leadership is bereft of choices and has to fall back on old guards. This was evident in choosing choosing Kamal Nath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Ashok Gehlot as CM of Rajasthan. In an era where young voters are going to determine the future of majority of candidates in the ensuing Loksabha elections, choosing choosing 18 year old Sheila Dikshit will not help attracting the youngsters in any particular manner.

Sheila Dikshit, three times CM of Delhi, was appointed the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president on Thursday. She will replace Ajay Maken who had resigned from the post citing ill-health a few days ago. However in the political circles it is widely speculated that he made way for the new president to facilitate an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party. P. C. Chacko, the in-charge of the party’s Delhi unit, made the announcement. He said that Dikshit would be assisted by three working presidents — Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilotia.

In a true Congress fashion, Maken congratulated Dikshit. “Congratulations and well wishes to Sheila Dikshit on being appointed as president of Delhi Congress. I had the opportunity to work and learn under her as a parliamentary secretary and as a cabinet minister. I believe under her leadership we will play the role of a powerful opposition against Modi+Kejriwal governments,” Maken tweeted.

However, Sheila Dikshit will be hard pressed to infuse life in an almost dead party organization still reeling under the shock of defeat in Delhi. She is old and is not supposed to provide dynamic leadership that Congress requires at the moment. The Congress veteran was made the Chief Ministerial candidate for the Uttar Pradesh elections but it didn’t yield any worthwhile results for the Grand Old Party of India. Granted, Sheila Dikshit is the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, serving for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013 and she led Congress party to three consecutive electoral victories in Delhi; that is a past now. It is true that leaders seldom retire in Indian politcs, but to expect same performance from the octogenarian politcian will be nothing less than a cruelty.

It was Sheila Dikshit who was the CM of Delhi when infamous Nirbhaya episode happened that damaged Congress’s reputation for a good part. The Congress at the time was always on the backfoot and its leadership was lusterless. A kind of fatigue caughts up with the cadres and Congress gradually lost its footing in the competitive politics between BJP and the AAP.

The need of the hour, for Congress, is a young and suave leader who could talk youths in their own language. Especially, when a large section of media is playing cheer girls for Rahul Gandhi, and a perception is being built that the party is on pheonix-like rise under his leadership, this was the least that he could do. Thus, he could ensure that the party would cover lost ground in the political epicentre of India.

Flogging a Dead ‘Rafale’ Horse: Rahul Gandhi Refuses to Mend Ways

Even after receiving severe admonition from the court, Congress dynast Rahul Gandhi refuses to mend his ways. He continues to flog a dead horse in the form of Rafale deal and hopes to gain windfall by raking up this issue in the run up to the impending Lok Sabha elections.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid Rs 20,000 crore to France’s Dassault Aviation even though it has not delivered a single Rafale jet, but refuses to pay the dues of the Indian aerospace major.

Gandhi scion’s attack two days after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ripped apart arguments in heated debate in the Lok Sabha. The Defence Minister gave a spirited reply and refused all charges leveled by Rahul Gandhi. A day prior to that, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley buttressed the government’s stand that the multi-billion deal with French fighter jet manufacturer was in the nation’s interest.

Yet, Rahul Gandhi, who has professed his readiness to become future prime minister, hangs on the already weak branch in the form of Rafale deal. On Tuesday, he accused the Modi government of weakening public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and destroying India’s strategic capability to benefit industrialist Anil Ambani.

“The PM pays 20,000 Cr. to Dassault before a single RAFALE is delivered but refuses to pay HAL 15,700 Cr. it is owed, forcing it to borrow 1,000 Cr to pay salaries,” Gandhi tweeted. “Meanwhile, the RM (Raksha Mantri) spins lie after lie but cannot answer my questions,” he said according to PTI. 

The Congress and the BJP-led NDA government have been involved in a war of words after a media report claimed that HAL, grappling with low finances, was forced to borrow Rs 1,000 crore to pay salaries to its employees, for the first time in years.

BJP Modi Rafale

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government has accused the Congress of not supporting HAL during its rule and asserted that the government is now strengthening the defense public sector undertaking.

Since the court having settled this matter decisively, the Congress scion’s attempt to malign NDA government and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom Rahul have personally targeted on many occasions, seems to be futile.

The Supreme Court on December 13 dismissed all the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract. The apex court also rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and the court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dealt with “three broad areas of concern” raised in the petitions — the decision making process, pricing and the choice of Indian offset partners (IOP) — and said there was no reason for intervention by the court on the “sensitive issue” of purchase of 36 jets.

The court’s verdict helped clear the air which was beyond doubt in the first place. All the experts and defence analysts had put their weight in favor of the Modi government. But, Congress and its coterie is not satisfied even after the apex court of the country outspoken in no unclear terms. It seems that the liberal camp is bent on creating confusion in the country to achieve their goals. Thankfully, people are not mislead by search tactics in this age of social media and free information. Therefore, Rahul crusade on Rafale will remain grounded and not take off as the liberal camp envisages.

Rahul Bravado Makes Good Show, But No Impact

Congress President Rahul Gandhi is unarguably in his prime as an opposition leader firing one after another salvo on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. he has got a good toy to play with in the form of Rafale deal. He and his coterie understand perfectly well that government cannot disclose all the facts pertaining to this deal due to the issues of national security. This allows him and his party to create confusion among the masses. However, unfortunately for him, people are not ready to buy his bravado as a serious act of a mature politician. With BJP coming with more counter attacks with every passing day, scion of the Gandhi family find himself in a precarious situation where he can neither lead the fight to its logical conclusion no can he leave it halfway.
In such a scenario, Rahul’s theatricks have only contributed to raising the entertainment quotient of the political discourse.

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi continued his tirade on Twitter and addressed Air Force officers, the families of martyred pilots as well as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited workers. He said that he understood the pain of jawans, and would work to bring to justice all those who dishonoured and stole from them.

“To every Air Force officer and Jawan who has served India. To the family of every martyred Indian fighter pilot. To every person who ever worked for HAL. We hear your pain. We understand how you feel. We will bring to justice all those who dishonoured and stole from you,” he said on Twitter.

Unlike his past campaigns, Rahul has shown some consistency in attacking the government on the Rafale deal, it must be acknowledged. However, he has already committed blunder by making his party organ, the recently rejected National Herald, to compare the scandal with the Bofors.

On Monday, he said the country’s “chowkidar” Modi snatched money away from the poor and handed it over to industrialist Anil Ambani. “The chowkidar of the country has taken out Rs 20,000 crore from the pockets of the poor, martyrs and the jawans and put it in the pocket of (Anil) Ambani,” Gandhi said at a meeting in the Jais area of his Lok Sabha constituency Amethi. This was one of the oldest statements made by Rahul ever since the Congress Party was relegated 44 seats in Lok Sabha and was forced to sit in the opposition.

However, the Congress’s past is going to haunt the party and Rahul for many days to come. if anything, Sambit patra’s counter attack proved this one thing.

BJP on Tuesday alleged that Congress was pointing fingers over the current Rafale Aircraft deal as it could not receive the kickbacks during the UPA regime and therefore the deal did not materialise. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra reiterated allegations that there was a close link between UPA chairperson’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari whose company has been red flagged by the NDA government. He claimed that during 2016 raids conducted at Bhandari’s places, several sensitive documents including papers related to Rafale deal were found.

Several TV channels have picked up pieces of this story and exposed supposed link between Rahul, Congress and Sanjay Bhandari. These charges are going to stick with the Congress party that has become synonymous with scams, scandals, inefficiency and nepotism. There is a large number of critics who see Rahul Gandhi as a very reluctant and inefficient leader who is yet to come to terms with his responsibilities. It is only recently that he has shown some seriousness towards his job and detractors have pointed out role of individuals like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Divya Spandana behind his makeover.

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“After Modi government came to power, we started action against Sanjay Bhandari and his company. Starting as Rs 1 lakh worth company, Offset India Solutions slowly turned big with Robert Vadra’s help. There were raids in 18 places across India in 2016 and important papers including on Rafale were recovered,” Patra said.

The documents also included ‘confidential documents of Ministry of Defence’. “The papers also included proposals to buy mid-air refuellers and defence acquisition council papers. There were minutes of deliberations of the Contract Negotiations Committee”.

Moreover, Pakistan has also shown some interest in this episode and has overtly backed Rahul. With Pakistan being a perpetual adversary of India, no right thinking person in the country will like that one of its political leader is like by Pakistan. Thus, ironically, people tend to support PM Modi rather than dislike him the way did it Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi.

Therefore, the fact remains that Rahul’s bravado makes a good show and provides good copy to the paper, good footage to the channel and a lot of kilobytes for the digital media. But on ground, it does not make any impact at all.

यह कैसा है एका, जहां हर कोई अकेला

मुट्ठियां भींचते हुए और भौहें तनते हुए कांग्रेस तथा उसकी मिली जुली पार्टियों ने जिस विरोधी एकता की ललकार की थी, वह एक झटके में तार तार हो गई। और यह सब 3 महीने के भीतर! तथाकथित महागठबंधन का वजूद बनने से पहले ही बिखर गया! राज्यसभा में बहुमत होने के बावजूद विपक्षी दल उप सभापति पद के लिए अपने उम्मीदवार को जीता नहीं सके और वहीं यह भाजपा नीत एनडीए ने अपने झंडे गाड़ दिए। इससे विपक्षी एकता का जो शगूफा कुछ लोगों ने थोड़ा है वह खोखला है, इसका नजारा भी लोगों को हो गया।

इस चुनाव में संयुक्त जनता दल के हरिवंश नारायण सिंह को 125 और बी. के. हरिप्रसाद को 105 मत मिले। लोकसभा चुनाव में एक वर्ष से भी कम समय रहने के चलते यह चुनाव राजग और संप्रग दोनों के लिए बहुत महत्वपूर्ण था।

भाजपा ने राजनीतिक सूझबूझ दिखाते हुए अपने सहयोगी हरिवंश को राज्यसभा उप सभापति पद के लिए मनोनीत किया। उन्होंने अपने प्रतिद्वंद्वी कांग्रेस के हरिप्रसाद को बड़े अंतर से हराया। हरिप्रसाद की राजनीतिक साख का अंदाजा इस बात से किया जा सकता है, कि पिछले 40 वर्षों के अपने राजनीतिक कैरियर में उन्होंने आज तक कोई चुनाव नहीं जीता है। कांग्रेस ने उन्हें अपना उम्मीदवार बनाकर अपनी फजीहत खुद की है। वैसे भी, राहुल गांधी के उदय के बाद पार्टी इसकी आदी हो चुकी है। खैर, अपना स्वतंत्र उम्मीदवार खड़ा करना देश की सबसे पुरानी पार्टी के लिए राजनीतिक चाल के रूप में समर्थनीय माना जा सकता है। लेकिन उस उम्मीदवार के लिए अन्य दलों से समर्थन मांगना किसके शान के खिलाफ था?

इस चुनाव में ऐसा भी मज़ेदार नजारा देखने को मिला कि कांग्रेस को नेस्तनाबूत करते हुए दिल्ली की सत्ता हथियानेवाली आम आदमी पार्टी उसको समर्थन देने के लिए मचल रही थी और कांग्रेस उससे किनारा करने की जद्दोजहद कर रही थी। इसी तरह सरकार का विरोध करनेवाली किसी भी पार्टी से तालमेल बिठाना कांग्रेसियों ने जरूरी नहीं समझा। महबूबा मुफ्ती की पीपल्स डेमोक्रेटिक पार्टी भी भाजपा को परास्त करने के लिए लालायित थी। लेकिन उसका समर्थन पाने के लिए भी कांग्रेस की ओर से कोई कोशिश नहीं की गई।

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भाजपा की रणनीति

इसकी तुलना में, एनडीए नेतृत्व ने लगातार क्षेत्रीय दलों से संपर्क बनाए रखा। बीजू जनता दल जैसे जो क्षेत्रीय दल, जो एनडीए में नहीं है लेकिन जो घोर कांग्रेस विरोधी है, उन्हें पटाने में एनडीए नेताओं ने कोई कसर नहीं छोड़ी। विजयी और पराजित उम्मीदवार के मतों में केवल बीस का अंतर देखते हुए बीजेडी के 9 मत कितने अहम होंगे, इसका अंदाजा किया जा सकता है।

इसका नतीजा जो होनेवाला था वह हुआ। जेडीयू के उम्मीदवार ने भारी विजय प्राप्त की और अब इसके लिए कांग्रेस किसी और को दोष नहीं दे सकती।

भाजपा ने अपना उम्मीदवार खड़ा ना करते हुए एक तीर से दो निशाने लगाए। एक तरफ तो जेडीयू के खफा होने की खबरों को उसने पूर्ण विराम दिया, वहीं गैर भाजपा दलों को सिंह के खाते में वोट डालने के लिए प्रेरित भी किया। अब तेलंगाना राष्ट्र समिति को देखिए। तेलंगाना के इस सत्ताधारी दल ने कुछ ही महीने पहले तीसरे मोर्चे का आगाज किया था। टीआरएस के नेता चंद्रशेखर राव भाजपा विरोधी महागठबंधन की धुरी बनकर उभरे थे। लेकिन उसी टीआरएस ने अपना मत जेडीयू के पाले में डाल दिया। आंध्र प्रदेश के वाईएसआर कांग्रेस ने ना भाजपा को वोट दिया ना कांग्रेस को, बल्कि अनुपस्थित रहकर एनडीए की मदद की। हां, तेलुगू देशम पार्टी ने जरूर कांग्रेस को समर्थन दिया, लेकिन इसका मतलब यह नहीं कि कांग्रेस और टीडीपी में 2019 में गठबंधन होगा। कारण यह, की आंध्र में टीडीपी की मुख्य प्रतिद्वंद्वी कांग्रेस है और आंध्र में कांग्रेस का संघटनात्मक आधार बहुत ही कम है। इसके अलावा आंध्र प्रदेश के अव्यवस्थित विभाजन को लेकर वहां के लोग कांग्रेस और यूपीए से अभी भी नाराज है। इसलिए उसके साथ रहना कोई नहीं चाहेगा। तमिलनाडु की सत्ताधारी अन्नाद्रमुक ने भी सरकार के साथ रहना पसंद किया। तमिलनाडु के वर्तमान नेतृत्वहीन परिदृश्य में वहां की पार्टी मोदी जैसे सशक्त नेता से दूरी कभी नहीं बनाएगी।

अकाली दल और शिवसेना जैसे नाराज चलनेवाले दलों से दिलमिलाई करने के लिए भी भाजपा ने इस मौके का फायदा उठाया। यानि वर्तमान दोस्तों को कायम रखते हुए वह नए दोस्तों की खरीदारी करती रही।

कुल मिलाकर कांग्रेस के पास तृणमूल कांग्रेस, समाजवादी पार्टी, बसपा, डीएमके, पीडीपी और वामपंथियों के वोट रहे। क्या यह सारे दल अगले चुनाव में कांग्रेस के साथ खड़े रहेंगे? क्या राहुल गांधी का नेतृत्व उन्हें रास आएगा? इस चुनाव ने दिखा दिया, कि अधिकांश क्षेत्रीय दल अवसरवादी है और जिस दिल के पास सत्ता स्थापना के अवसर अधिक है उसके साथ जाने में उन्हें कोई दिक्कत नहीं है। जिस तीसरे मोर्चे की डिंगे यह दल हांक रहे थे, और कांग्रेस उनके सुर में सुर मिला रही थी, वह बस दूर की कौड़ी है।

यहां कोई एका नहीं है बल्कि यहां हर कोई अकेला है।

करुणानिधी – अपरिपूर्णतांना पूर्णविराम

तमिळनाडूच्या अन्य दोन प्रसिद्ध मुख्यमंत्र्यांप्रमाणे प्रत्यक्ष पडद्यावर आलेले नसले, तरी करुणानिधी हेही चित्रपट कलावंतच म्हणूनच पुढे आले. कलैञर (कला मर्मज्ञ) या नावाने परिचित असलेल्या करुणानिधींकडे काव्यप्रतिभा आणि तमिळ भाषेवरील हुकुमत ही दोन अमोघ अस्त्रे होत. अनेक चित्रपटांच्या पटकथा लिहिण्यासाठी त्यांनी या अस्त्रांचा वापर केला.

करुणानिधी यांनी तमिळ चित्रोद्योगात पटकथा लेखक म्हणून पाय ठेवला. त्यावेळी त्यांचे वय विशीच्या आसपास होते. राजकुमारी या चित्रपटाच्या पटकथेला त्यांच्या लेखणीचा स्पर्श लाभला होता. याच चित्रपटाचा नायक मरुथुर रामचंद्रन या नावाचा एक नट होता. त्यापूर्वी काही चित्रपटांतून छोट्या-मोठ्या भूमिका केलेल्या या नटाचा नायक म्हणून हा पहिलाच चित्रपट होता. या चित्रपटाने गल्लाबारीवर कल्ला केला आणि या जोडीने मागे वळून पाहिलेच नाही – कोणाकडेच नाही!

द्राविड आंदोलन आणि नास्तिक विचारांच्या प्रसारासाठी ऐतिहासिक आणि सामाजिक कथा लिहिण्याबद्दल करुणानिधी प्रसिद्ध होते. यातील ‘पराशक्ति’ हा चित्रपट विशेष महत्त्वाचा. यातील काही दृश्यांमुळे हिंदूंनी त्याला विरोध केला होता आणि काही काळ या चित्रपटावर बंदीही आणण्यात आली होती. सन 1952 साली हा चित्रपट प्रदर्शित झाला. योगायोग असा, की या चित्रपटाद्वारे तमिळ चित्रसृष्टीतील आणखी एका भावी दिग्गजाने प्रवेश केला होता. तो दिग्गज होता शिवाजी गणेशन. अशा प्रकारे मक्कळ तिलगम (जनतेचा नायक) एमजीआर आणि नडिगर तिलगम (नटश्रेष्ठ) शिवाजी गणेशन या दोघांच्याही चित्रसृष्टीतील यशाची पायाभरणी कलैञरची होती!

परंतु चित्रपट ही करुणानिधींची ओळख नव्हे. चित्रपटांत येण्यापूर्वी कित्येक वर्षे करुणानिधी हे राजकीय आंदोलनांत सक्रिय होते. वयाच्या 14 वर्षीच (1938) त्यांनी हिंदी विरोधी आंदोलनात भाग घेतला होता. त्यानंतर एक वृत्तपत्र आणि ‘मनवर मण्ड्रम’ नावाची युवकांची संघटना काढली होती. द्राविड चळवळीची ही पहिली विद्यार्थी संघटना होती. त्यांची लेखणीवरील हुकूमत पाहून द्रविडर कळगम पक्षाने त्यांना चित्रसृष्टीत आणले आणि त्यांनी यशाच्या नव्या कथा रचल्या.

सी. एन. अण्णादुरै यांनी मोठ्या दूरदृष्टीने आपल्या पक्षाचा प्रसार करण्यासाठी चित्रपटांचे माध्यम वापरायचे ठरविले. त्यासाठी करुणानिधी, शिवाजी गणेशन आणि एमजीआर यांच्यासारख्या कसलेल्या कलावंतांचा वापर करण्यात आला. ही सगळी मंडळी आधी राजकारणात, म्हणजेच द्राविड चळवळीत, सक्रिय होती. त्यानंतर ती चित्रपटांत आली, कशासाठी? तर पक्षाच्या प्रसारासाठी. आपल्याकडे दादा कोंडके यांनी अनेक वर्षे शिवसेनेचे विचार जनसामान्यांपर्यंत पोचविण्याचे काम केले, किंवा निळू फुले यांच्यासारख्यांनी सेवादलात काम केले, त्याच जातकुळीचे काम होते हे.

प्रखर तमिळनिष्ठा आणि ज्वलंत हिंदीविरोध ही त्यांच्या कारकीर्दीची वैशिष्ट्ये. त्यांचे मूळ नाव दक्षिणामूर्ती. हिंदी विरोधी आंदोलनाच्या काळात त्यांनी ते बदलून मुथ्थुवेल असे करून घेतले. इतकेच नव्हे तर घरातील सर्व सदस्यांचे नाव संस्कृतला समानार्थी नावांचे ठेवले. उदा. कनिमोळी (मधुरवाणी), मारन (मदन), अळगिरी (सुंदर) इ. सन १९५३ मध्ये द्रामुकने पहिले मोठे आंदोलन हाती घेतले दालमियापुरम (तिरुचिरापल्ली जिल्हा) या गावाचे नाव बदलण्यासाठी. या नावामुळे रामकृष्ण दालमिया या उत्तर भारतीय व्यक्तीकडून दाक्षिणात्यांच्या शोषणाचे उदात्तीकरण होत असल्याचा आरोप करून द्रामुकने नामांतराचा आग्रह धरला. मु. करुणानिधी या २९ वर्षीय तरुणाच्या नेतृत्वाखाली कार्यकर्त्यांनी दालमियापुरम रेल्वे स्थानकावरील हिंदी नाव पुसून टाकले आणि गावाचे नाव कल्लकुडि केले.

जवळपास 75 पटकथा लिहिल्यानंतर मिळालेल्या लोकप्रियतेच्या आधारे 1957 साली करुणानिधींनी तमिळनाडू विधानसभेत प्रवेश केला आणि वर म्हटल्याप्रमाणे एमजीआरच्या साहाय्याने पक्षाचा प्रचारही केला. सन १९६७ साली अण्णादुरै मुख्यमंत्री झाल्यानंतर केवळ दोन वर्षांत त्यांचा मृत्यू झाला. त्यांनीच आपला वारसदार नेमलेल्या एम. करुणानिधी यांनी मुख्यमंत्रीपदाची शपथ घेतली. करुणानिधींनी सुरुवातीपासूनच पक्षात स्वतःचे एक स्थान निर्माण केले होते. त्यांच्या चातुर्याचा निदर्शक म्हणून एक किस्सा सांगितला जातो. १९५० च्या दशकात एका पोटनिवडणुकीत विजय मिळाल्यानंतर अण्णादुरै यांनी द्रामुकच्या कार्यकर्त्यांची बैठक घेऊन त्यांचे कौतुक केले. त्यावेळी तरुण करुणानिधींना बोलावून त्यांनी खास एक अंगठी देऊन त्यांचा सत्कार केला. पोटनिवडणुकीत अंगमेहनत घेतलेल्या कार्यकर्त्यांना साहजिकच ही बाब खटकली. त्यांनी अण्णादुरैंकडे ही तक्रार मांडली. त्यावर अण्णादुरैंनी त्या कार्यकर्त्यांना सांगितले, की ती अंगठी मुळात करुणानिधींनीच दिलेली होती. कार्यक्रमात ती अण्णादुरैंनी ती सर्वांसमक्ष द्यावी, यासाठी करुणानिधींनी ती आदल्या दिवशी अण्णांना दिली होती. “तुम्हीही पैसे द्या, तुम्हालाही दागिने देऊ,” असं अण्णांनी या कार्यक्रमात सुनावले. सन 1969 साली ते मुख्यमंत्री झाले आणि त्यांनी द्रामुक पक्षावर नियंत्रण मिळविले. त्यानंतर चार वेळेस ते मुख्यमंत्री बनले.

अशा पद्धतीने पक्षात स्वतःचे स्थान वाढविल्यामुळे करुणानिधींकडे साहजिकच अण्णांच्या मृत्यूनंतर पक्ष व सत्तेची धुरा आली. त्यानंतर दोन वर्षांनी बांगलादेश युद्धातील विजयाच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर इंदिरा गांधी यांनी मुदतपूर्व निवडणुकांची घोषणा केली. चाणाक्ष करुणानिधींनी ही संधी साधली आणि काँग्रेसशी घरोबा केला. त्या निवडणुकीत काँग्रेस आणि द्रामुक दोघांच्याही पदरात चांगल्या जागा आल्या. त्यातून दोन गोष्टी साध्य झाल्या. पक्षाला यश मिळवून देणारा नेते म्हणून करुणानिधींनी स्वतःची हुकूमत द्रामुकवर स्थापन केली. शिवाय लोकसभेसाठी राष्ट्रीय पक्षांना आणि विधानसभेसाठी स्थानिक पक्षांना झुकते माप देण्याच्या सूत्रावर युती करण्याचा मार्ग रूढ झाला. तुम्ही राज्यात लक्ष घालायचे नाही आणि आम्ही केंद्रात लुडबुड करणार नाही, असा द्राविडी पक्षांनी जणू करारच केला. काँग्रेस आणि भाजपसारख्या देशव्यापी पक्षांनी द्रामुक व अण्णाद्रामुक या पक्षांशी सोयीनुसार केलेल्या सोयरिकीची ही पूर्वपीठीका होय.

इंदिरा गांधींच्या सहकार्यामुळे उत्साहित झालेल्या आणि द्रामुकवर मांड बसलेल्या करुणानिधींनी एम. के. मुथ्थु या मुलाला वारसदार म्हणून पुढे आणण्याचे प्रयत्न सुरू केले. पक्षासाठी मेहनत घेणाऱ्या नेत्यांना हे खुपले नसते तर नवलच. एमजीआर यांनी या असंतोषाला वाचा फोडण्यास सुरवात केली. १९७२ साली पक्षाच्या अधिवेशनात एमजीआर यांनी खर्चाचा हिशोब मागितला. त्याची साहजिकच प्रतिक्रिया आली आणि एमजीआर यांची द्रामुकमधून हकालपट्टी झाली. अन् सख्खे मित्र पक्के वैरी झाले. वैराचा तो वारसा जयललितांनी पुढे नेला. अन् जयललितांच्या पश्चात् करुणानिधींना दफनासाठी हवी ती जागा न देऊन त्यांचे अनुयायीही तो वारसा पुढे नेत आहेत. अर्थात करुणानिधी व त्यांच्या अनुयायांनी जे पेरले तेच आज त्यांना मिळत आहे.

विवेकवादी आणि नास्तिकवादी म्हणून करुणानिधींना काही जण डोक्यावर घेऊन नाचत असले तरी ते काही खरे नव्हे. त्यांचा नास्तिकवाद हा हिंदूंच्या प्रथा-परंपरांचा उपमर्द करण्यापुरत्याच मर्यादित होत्या. एरवी हिरव्या रंगाची शाल शुभ मानणे, ज्योतिषाला विचारून कामे करणे इत्यादी अनेक प्रकार ते करत असत. ते रुग्णालयात उपचार घेत असताना त्यांच्या प्रकृतीसाठी प्रार्थना करावी की नाही, यावरून त्यांच्या पक्षातील आस्तिक व नास्तिक कार्यकर्त्यांमध्ये जुंपली होती.

अशा रीतीने जीवनभर ज्या तत्त्वांचा प्रचार-प्रसार त्यांनी केला, ती सर्व मुरडून टाकण्याची वेळ त्यांच्या आयुष्याच्या शेवटी आली होती. आज तमिळनाडूत हिंदी ही अस्पृश्य भाषा उरलेली नाही. राजकीय कारणांमुळे दूरदर्शनवर हिंदी बातम्या दिसत नसल्या तरी हिंदी चित्रपट व वृत्तवाहिन्या सर्रास दिसतात. चेन्नईमधून राजस्तान पत्रिका या हिंदी वृत्तपत्राची आवृत्ती निघते. मंदिरांमध्ये व अन्य प्रार्थनास्थळांमध्ये भक्तांची संख्या वाढली आहे. भाजपसारख्या पक्षाशी युती करून त्यांचे उरले-सुरले धर्मनिरपेक्ष सोवळेही मिटले होते. जयललितांचा पराभव करून मुख्यमंत्री म्हणून निधन व्हावे, ही त्यांची इच्छा होती. तीही अपूर्ण राहिली, म्हणजेच सगळेच अपुरे राहिले.

अशा प्रकारे त्यांच्या निधनाने विविध प्रकारच्या अपरिपूर्णतांना एक पूर्णविराम मिळाला आहे…!

When Political Motives Turn Shameless….

The anxiety and political motives of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are turning into shamelessness with every passing day. Her brazenness has reached such a state that she is openly threatening the government and the nation of a possible civil war. The lady who was once hailed as a fiery leader has metamorphosed into a militant leader.

Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam was done with a “political motive” to divide people and warned that “it would lead to bloodbath and a civil war in the country.”

As has become her habit for quite a time, she attacked the central government and BJP also saying that the saffron party was trying to divide the country and asserted this will not be tolerated.
“The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country,” Banerjee told a conclave.

SC-Driven Exercise

The massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam excluded over 4 million people from the final draft list. The issue rocked both house of Parliament after which Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the opposition not to politicize the sensitive matter as the list has been published on the directives of the SC and the Centre had “no role” in it.

He asserted that no “coercive” action would be taken against those whose names were excluded from the NRC draft list.

The truth of the matter is that TMC, like Congress and left parties, has nurtured a culture of illegal immigrants and infiltrators. These parties owe their existence and success to this dubious voter base. They can hardly afford to alienate them. That is why Banerjee and her ilk make a hue and cry over the issue. Joining them with chorus is Congress Party. Yes, that same old party which has lately habituated itself to play second fiddle to strong regional forces.

It is a hard-established fact that India is suffering from illegal immigrants for decades. The problem dates as back as Nation’s independence. Even past prime ministers like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have appreciated this fact and vowed to eradicate this menace. Security experts have pointed out a number of times the risks involved in allowing infiltrators a free access to the country. Besides eating up a sizable chunk of resources, these infiltrators have caused huge population explosion. Rather, this inhibited infiltration is said to be one of the main reason of India’s population after 1980s and 90s. This was also the time when the successive central governments were weak and the country witnessed a number of terrorist attacks.

It is true that the first waves of illegal immigrants came to India owing to their poverty in search of livelihood and security, due to extreme poverty and unemployment. . It is also true that the first settlers were, if we may say so, consisted of Muslim as well as Rhodium Libreus. However, once it was seen that India is a very open country that welcomed immigrants from every side, the trickle soon turn into a stream. And soon, the camel enjoyed hospitality of the tent while his owner had to live in the open ground.

With central governments showing little interest to find a solution to the infiltration problem and state governments willing partner in the crime, it ultimately became one of the biggest security concerns for India. Many of the illegal immigrants were found involved in nefarious activities like human trafficking, counterfeit currency and drug trade. Gradually, the professed secular parties turned these groups into captive vote banks. They not only harbored these groups but also actively encouraged them to flourish. It is no secret that these secular parties encouraged illegal migration and encouraged them to get citizenship of India. Many leaders of these parties procured jobs, even government jobs, to them. This was the classic modus operandi in Kashmir, Assam and West Bengal.

Disappearing Vote Banks

It is this vote bank that Mamata Banerjee is seeing being eroded with a single stroke of national register of citizenship (NRC). All the noise that she is making is because of this. Mamata is terrified even with the thought of deporting illegal migrants as they form the core of her ‘constituency’. She became hysterical the moment Assam government announced the NRC list in which 4 million people were identified as aliens. Even assuming that this list will be modified and a half of them are retained, yet Congress, TMC and Left will lose 2 million voters.

This is why they are spewing venom on government accusing the latter of dividing the country. This same gang opposed deporting Rohingya Muslims even after conclusively proving that they had terrorist affiliations.

Notwithstanding these theatrics, the citizens of this country vehemently support the move regardless of the fact that it was carried out on Supreme Court’s order and not by the government itself. This long pending and much needed development will have serious repercussions. Most importantly, it has bared open the groups that think in national interest and those otherwise.