Recently (December 10, 2016) after the death of Jayalalitha, my friend Rakesh thought that people celebrating her was totally unwarranted by citing some issues mentioned in left-wing propaganda website – https://www.savukkuonline.com/9097/ . I say that it is a by-product democracy and reflection of common psychology to behave like that – to celebrate leaders (political), when there is a dearth of decisive people?
Below is the chain of conversation
Me: In the age of Kali, what we are looking for is a lesser evil, because we know that nobody ever can be 100% perfect at all times, by that sense Jayalalithaa is a lesser and necessary evil. Remember, DMK was a greater evil and they had to be kept at bay. Every human has three sides – what others think they are, what they think they are and what they actually are. In the above mentioned three facets, the first one is important especially in a democracy, ie., what others think they are, the other two indicators are hardly relevant on a material plane at least. By that benchmark she is above par. To stay in politics of Indian type, money is needed and acquisition can never be completely legitimate. But, there should be limits and we know that she has not exceeded those limits. Her acts as a public figure outweigh in greater magnitude the other acts (alleged) of financial impropriety.
Point to remember is that savukkuonline is a website for Left-wing propaganda. At the end of the day they will suggest us to overthrow the democratically elected government and join in their armed revolution which shall be 1000 times more painful and is impractical too. What they are saying about Jaya may (may not) be true but these acts shall not be used to build a grand narrative against Jaya. For eg: – a rape (truth) in Delhi cannot be cited as proof to call India a Rape country. The truth (ie., rape in this case) has a value for propaganda. What we as educated urban class (quantitatively speaking) essentially should do is to list out good acts in one column and bad acts in another along with their impact value (probably measure it in a scale of 1 to 10, the higher the better) and see if the value of good acts is more than the bad ones. If it is more then, she should be accepted at her face value. You can do the same exercise with the alternative choices like DMK and compare, you shall get to know the outcome. Jaya was the best among the available choices. It never meant that she was perfect in absolute terms, what we are looking for is a degree of perfection and she won hands down.
One should only read the press statement she issued after Godhra Carnage to understand her national outlook. No regional leader has such a national outlook.
Rakesh: I think my point gets diluted here in an explanation to different axis. Just keeping the opponent at bay is not the sole reason to delegate power. I am never a supporter of DMK as well. Two wrong doesn’t make it right at end. My actual intention was to point out that the mafia staying close to her in the name of confidante and aide should have been kept in check. Just because I reject DMK I cannot endorse ADMK and it’s supremo. The socio economic condition could have been far far better if the so called rare of the rarest niche qualities were used prudently we could have been much better. The underpinning point is like how we never retrospect with critical thinking and trained to go along with mass in the social media we would never see and happen to sense the naked truth. The idea is scale is of no fit for this purpose cos as said both the groups has ransacked the state for 40 years. The site referred was incidental but the fact remains the same. Inappropriate analogy may mislead the whole idea. Of course, I respect everyone’s individual wisdom and up to one to stand by it. I prefer to stand for what I say.
Me: Of course you should stand by what you say, actually I may also stand by what you say.
If the concern is about how can she have a Mafia at her disposal? Then I ask you to tell me who doesn’t have it? We should note that the Mafia (if you will) was under her strict control. Probably the worry apparently at the moment is what they would do in her absence.
There are certain niches peddled and pushed in to the psyche of urban middle class elite through popular culture by Communist and Naxal Sympathizers. And we fall for that unknowingly. One such niche is – “two wrongs doesn’t make a right”, the other popular ones include – “fascism”, “majoritarian”, “Dalit oppression”, “Minority rights” etc., If we are looking for absolute integrity from our leaders then it means that we are either unreasonable or too utopian.
I am with you on the truth part of what is said in savvukku online about Jaya, and I have explained in detail in previous comment that truth has a value for propaganda. In one life people can do severe criminal acts and extraordinary acts as well, for eg: – Valmiki was engaged in Dacoity and robbery for a living, but it is the same Valimiki who recorded (written) Ramayan for all of us to cherish. It is one thing to highlight his acts of Dacoity and say that he is a crook and another thing to highlight his act of writing Ramayan and call him a legend. And no one is denying the “naked truth” that he was a thief.
Both may have ransacked the state for 40 years, which is indeed true. The point about ranking (like risk assessment & CB analysis) the available choices is to ensure that we judiciously choose best among the available alternatives. We are essentially looking for who is relatively best. And Jaya is undoubtedly the best, relatively speaking. And don’t tell me that 49-O is available for those who are looking for absolute integrity, they are a minuscule minority.
You see, people do retrospect. That is why same party could not form governments successively. The interpretation of such a phenomenon is that people do retrospect and they punish the non-performers and pick the one who is relatively best. We may ask then why only these options (DMK & ADMK) were available? That is not people’s fault.
It is unjust (Sociologically speaking) to expect critical thinking from the illiterate masses of a wounded Nation and at the same time their illiteracy should not be interpreted as their stupidity. For they are really politically aware and adept.
The Point I am driving home is that even if we consider for a moment that all that is said in the Savukku Online is a “Naked Truth” about Jaya, she was still the Best (if not tall) leader among the available options.
Rakesh : What I meant mafia is the mannargudi mafia. They were not kept at bay for ages and they have slowly rooted up to a level that they could keep the whole nation to speculate on the health status of the CM for 2+ months. I know 49-o doesn’t work technically. I don’t shy away that I used to be an ardent observer of her for the boldness, knack to command authority in a male dominated political fraternity but it was overdone to redefine authority into oppression, from my stand point. Her so called charisma, boldness and iron fist move can all be appreciated only until she stepped into her first regime 1991. It doesn’t matter you do the atrocities yourself or you tolerate the atrocities of your close confidante and aides for decades together. For more than 5 years now there is no economical progression in the state. The investors are reluctant to engage business due to the immense control of daily affairs of government at all layers for hefty loot through power brokering. Enormous projects were stalled purely because of the brokering deal failed between the corporates and mannargudi Mafia. The magnitude of this should not be taken light as the whole system was hacked by this gang and they are running a puppet government under JJ’s banner.
These so called elites use the “Roman’s bread and circuses” technique through freebies and ultra-cheap meal to cater the superficial needs as an act of appeasement.
The populace is distracted and mislead by the superficial facts and misguided by the manipulative media house and skewed social networking propaganda. We are culturally tolerant, emotional and less retrospective. As a result we take things for granted to conveniently convince ourselves that it’s OK and acceptable norms to choose the rogue who is best amongst the two rouges based on our perceived quantum of their atrocities. My point is we should NOT lessen our demand and expectations to convince ourself that no one is budhaa and Mahatma.Even if I politely accept that we are forced to choose one amongst the two offenders, lets not celebrate them which they don’t deserve. I too appreciate the welfare schemes at one hand but lets not forget the atrocity done to take away the life of 50 innocents in kumbakonam, 3 girls were burnt live when she was arrested and the recent mismanaged disaster is the Chennai flood management & the sticker boys’ barbarity.
The crux is – if we have chosen then as last choice with no other choice thats just OK but lets not “celebrate” them. We will apparently set a wrong example to be called be called pseudo-democratic.
The website I referred is just a incidental sample I got to see and it did not inspire me to reach conclusion nor I resonate their ideological view. We can connect the dotted lines to prove the authenticity of this specific topic that they have written but i don’t vouch guarantee and truthfulness of the site itself and their ideology.
The above said expectations might have a flavor of Utopian society expectations but we should essentially demand it – at least. Toleration is one of the biggest disease we are stuck with. Its imbibed into us through fear, collective greediness and fake cultural fever.
Me: 1. So, I see that we are agreeing on the point – we have no choice but to accept the best among the available alternatives and Jaya is relatively best. I see that as an improvement in your original position.
- If your only worry is that why the celebration? The answer is – Power(political). There is a theory called as aestheticization of power and I want you to read and understand it. It is only through aestheticization, aggrandizement of Political Power is possible, this is equally applicable to all types of polities/regimes – Democratic, autocratic, kleptocratic and totalitarian etc., In a similar position you will do exactly the same, you may say that you are not interested in politics but that is not the point.
2a. My Advice : If your intention is to educate people on the dangers of celebrating an imperfect leader, it is essential to impassionately explain the case with facts and its effects. Scorning them (educated elite & Masses) will only have an opposite effect.
- In a democracy the majoritarian will is the law/norm subject to judicial review – It is your responsibility to educate us on the next best option, if you think Jaya is bad. Else, we have no other choice but let the people enjoy the freedom of expression, just like you and I are making use of it. shaming (using this for the lack of better term in my repository) them for celebrating her, will only harden their position and I hope that is not what you wanted.
- On the economic growth/progress – I think you need to define the parameters based on which you have deduced that there is no economic progress. – Just because projects are stalled we cannot say that there is no economic growth, they are simply not related. For each and every project its economic benefits should be quantified. I plainly don’t agree with this projects are stalled argument. How about other public goods? Law & Order, health care, Social Sector, Education, Electricity, industry etc ? I want you to go through all these metrics and decide against which you want to compare. And her achievement on Cauvery dispute? Let me tell you that on this single point, the whole farmer group/s are in her favor and they are going to celebrate her for years to come, whether we like it or not.
- On freebies – The term freebie is indeed a derogatory term, I think. Invented by westernized Indian politicians like Ramdoss. People have totally rejected politicians like him. We accepted our Nation as a socialistic pattern of society and in principle we are a welfare state. Actually it was declared by Nehru in 1950 – Avadi session of Congress. In Socialist State means of distribution is owned by state, hence the role of the state is to identify the deserving beneficiaries and distribute the goods to make a more equitable society. That is why we have Ration shops, slum clearance board, Reservation Quotas, Gas subsidies, fertilizer subsidies etc., The problem is with the implementation, which has to be fixed just like Modi is doing it with Gas and fertilizer subsidies.
- On that three girls dying, flood management and Kumbakonam etc., – Of course, she has her own quota of sins. Not denying that. The reason why majority of people are not considering that as an issue is because they think her other acts outweigh these sins you talk about. That is the only explanation as to why people are celebrating her or voting for her. Is it not?
- On being pseudo democratic – If people celebrate a leader of their choice, how are we becoming a pseudo-democratic society? You should explain that. In fact, every democratic country including the developed nations is a pseudo by that standard.
- On Utopian society – Aspiring for a Utopian society is good because we will never be complacent, but the other danger is becoming victims of frustration for not having one with in a stipulated time. It is just not possible to have Utopian society with in a definite time frame.
In conclusion, I still think that you are yet build sound arguments against her to convince (or educate?) people (Masses & elite) that celebrating her is a dangerous thing to do.
Note: Just added a file photo of Jaya to make it more dramatic