Karuna, call it a bad Tamil dream, give up Setu project.
Give up Setu project, because it will be little value added to the coastal peoples’ livelihood. In fact, it will destroy their current livelihood opportunities, shrinking the fishing area by 26% and denying accress to the fish-nurseries. And, of course, it is nautical folly which will make the Setu corpn. lose over Rs. 150 crores every year, taxing the poor Indian tax-payer. There is a good alternative project: creation of Marine Economic Zones with potential to increase foreign exchange earnings by marine products export – from Rs. 2k crores per annum to Rs. 8k crores per annum since fish-landings have increased five-fold during the last 40 years in the Indian Ocean.
June 05, 2008
Ram Sethu for a gift
This is with reference to the report, ‘Call it Sethu Ram, but do it: Karuna’ (MM, June 4). It was not altruism or his love of Tamil Nadu that made TN Chief Minister Karunanidhi request the PM to complete the Sethusamudram project as a gift for his 85th birthday. It is common knowledge that T R Baalu, the DMK minister in the UPA cabinet, owns several companies that are directly involved in the implementation of the Sethu project. It is alleged that the DMK chieftain has interest in these companies and is bound to lose heavily in case the project is scrapped. Had he been really interested in the welfare of the people, he would have asked the PM to gift him the Cauvery.
- Vijay Mohan
Bungling Birthday Script! By BR Haran
On April 14 2008, the entire state was celebrating Tamil New Year Day despite the government's '(ir)rational dictum that Tamil New Year must be celebrated only on 14 January (Thai Pongal day). On that auspicious day, the state's Electricity Minister Arcot Veerasamy made a thundering declaration that, the party would ensure the movement of the first ship through the Sethu canal on Kalaignar's birthday, that is, the 3rd of June.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK Patriarch, Kalaignar Karunanidhi has celebrated his eighty fifth birthday in a grand manner. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's direction to the GOI on the Rama Sethu case, he decided not to celebrate his birthday, especially after his brief hospitalization due to neck and back pain. Political observers felt that, the covert feud between the three power centres within the family circles have induced him to take that decision. But, Karunanidhi's longtime colleague and the state's Finance Minister Anbazhagan prevailed upon him and convinced him to give his assent for a big birthday bash on the grounds that the cadres would get de-motivated and demoralized and that the DMK adversaries would have a whale of a time in concocting stories maligning the party and the CM's family if the b-day is not celebrated. So, the birthday boy (!!!) made himself ready for the big bash with well-scripted dialogues, after all he has been a script writer and a dramatist through out his life.
On the eve of his birthday, Karunanidhi has written a poem in the party organ 'Murasoli' appealing to the opponents of SSCP not to oppose the project in the name of Bhagwan Rama and sought to placate them by saying that he was even prepared to name the project as 'Sethu Ram Ship Canal Project'. Also in the General Council meeting and later in the evening in the cassette release function of the film 'Uliyin Osai' (Chisel's sound), he claimed that the opposition to SSCP has been only to thwart the good name and credibility likely to be earned by him and Congress President Sonia. He felt that the opposition was not religion, but pure politics in the guise of religion. He asked the politicians (BJP/RSS/VHP) to come out of their religious guise and face the issue politically. It is an irony that Kalaignar, who has used 'religion' to the hilt in the name of secularism and social justice in his political career, is blaming the rightwing politicians as abusers of religion. .
In his speech at the general council meeting, he had stated that he was never an adversary of Bhagwan Rama. It can be recalled that only in September 2007, he insulted this nation by asking, 'was the Adams Bridge built by Rama? Is Rama an engineer? If so in which engineering college did he study? Not satisfied with this, he hurt the religious sentiments of Hindu majority by saying that Rama was a drunkard. He also ridiculed the epic and insulted Sage Tulsi Das by saying that Tulsi Das has projected Rama and Seetha as brother and sister in his Ramayana Kaavya. After ridiculing Ramayana and Rama Sethu, insulting Rama and Tulasidas and questioning the faith of the Hindu majority, he now has the audacity to say that he is not an enemy of Rama. This is what is called as the 'Double standards of the Dravidian order!
He went on to say that the Sethupathis (Kings of Ramnad) have protected the Sethu waters for ages and hence the name 'Sethu' could be connected with the name of Bhagwan Rama, so as to name the project as 'Sethu Ram', which would satisfy both the government and the Hindu Religionists. He reiterated that the SSCP has been a 150 year old dream of the Tamil people and that it is the only project, which could pave the way for the over all development of the state, as the three neighbours Karnataka, Andhra and Kerala are not willing to help it by giving its legitimate share of Cauvery, Krishna and Periyar waters respectively. The state's political history shows that he has played a vital role in bringing the Cauvery, Krishna and Periyar River issues to this sordid state of affairs. After writing the prologue in the early seventies for the Ramnad District Gazetteer, which glorifies Rama Sethu and the Sethupathis of Ramnad, he now tries to give a picture as though he is doing a favour for Bhagwan Ram and the Sethupathis by suggesting the renaming of the project as 'Sethu Ram'! In other words, he is trying to show that he gives credence to the faith of millions of Hindus worldwide and it is also an attempt to equate Bhagwan Rama with the likes of Anna and Periyar, which would give him immense 'sadistic' pleasure.
He demanded that the project, which was dreamt by stalwarts like Kamaraj and Ramasamy Mudaliyar and okayed by engineers and scientists must be implemented at any cost. Ramasamy Mudaliyar had never supported a 'sea based' channel, but only a land based channel and he was also emphatic in his opposition to break Rama Sethu. So far, Karunanidhi has never talked about Kamaraj in connection with this issue, but now he is raking up his name with an intention of putting pressure on Congress party. One also wonders which engineers he was talking about, when the experts from various fields have clearly established that the SSCP is a good for nothing project and a disastrous one too!
In a veiled threat, he has said that he was even prepared to lose his Chiefministership and the government, for the sake of the project. In a more threatening tone, he had called upon his party cadres to be ready for a 'massive battle' for the implementation of the project. This is just to indicate that, his party would go to any extent to achieve its goal.
Finally, sounding apologetic and in a tone of begging, he pleaded to the opponents of the project to sanction his birthday wish by clearing the project for implementation. He begged his opponents to award the project as a birthday gift, not for him or his family or his grandchildren or his party, but for the poor people of the state and for the future generation. As a last attempt he begged his opponents to award this project for the so-called service he rendered to Tamil, Tamil people and Tamil Nadu! This again shows the level to which he is prepared to descent down to achieve his objective!
After going down begging to the 'communal' forces on the eve of his birthday, he climbed again on top of the tree of 'pseudo-secularism' on his birthday, probably emboldened by the company of the likes of Pranab Mukherjee, Prakash Karat, D.Raja and Raghuvansh Prasad. At the public meeting organized by the party in the evening at the 'island grounds', he declared that the 'communal forces' (read BJP) must not be allowed to gain grounds, as they would spoil the secular fabric of the country. The patriarch, who brazenly enjoyed everything under the sun during the NDA regime sharing power with the very same 'communal' forces, gave a clarion birthday call to all the so-called secular forces to come together to fight against the 'Sanatana Dharma', which is a danger to the peace and progress of the country! Probably for the first time in his 'Adharmic' political career spanning more than fifty years he has 'publicly' espoused the cause of 'Adharma'.
The political pundits, who have been watching Karunanidhi's politics for the last fifty years are well aware of his antics, mannerisms and his speeches saddled with sarcasm, avarice and audacity. The point to note in the whole 'birthday-script' is that he has repeatedly harped on the so-called 'dream' and 'development', but not a word on how the state would develop and how employment opportunities would be created and how thousands of fishermen and their families would be rehabilitated and how thousands of rare species and organisms would be protected. The script doesn't have answers for the various opinions and objections raised by the experts against the project and its implementation.
On the Tamil New Year Day, when Arcot Veeerasamy said that the first ship would sail through the Sethu Canal on Karunanidhi's birthday, one wondered how it could be possible in such a short span of time! But, no one would have imagined that he would have meant only a symbolic representation. He made it a reality by erecting the stage of the public meeting in the shape of a 'SHIP' and the meeting was held at 'ISLAND' grounds near the 'Bay of Bengal'!
So, what is the motive behind such a prepared birthday script? It might be intended to convince his electorate in future that despite his sincere attempts, he couldn't attain success with regards to SSCP. Or it might be intended to indirectly threaten the Congress, conveying a message of quitting the alliance if it doesn't improve its electoral fortunes in the coming days. Or it might be intended to convey a message of readiness to the BJP for rejoining NDA. Or it might have been prepared with all the three motives of quitting UPA, joining NDA and convincing the party cadres and supporters, which could be done in one stroke! Or it might be a simple tactic of diverting the attention of people from the 'smoking' family feud. What ever said and done, it is very clear that he has taken the people for granted and that is what he has been doing for the last fifty years!
Cheers to Dravidianism! Long live Kalaignar! Doom for Tamils and Tamil Nadu!