It is no surprise to anyone in India that there is a vacuum in Political leadership of the state of Tamil Nadu. Apart from the demise of Ex-Chief Ministers J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, two of the biggest political stalwarts in the state, there has been a clear uncertainty in the dominance of either of the mainstream Dravidian parties.
With Stalin, DMK President and apparent political heir of DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, in a cold brawl with his brother Alagiri on establishing supreme authority over party members, things don’t look rosy in the AIADMK camp either. Caste leadership is at an all-time high in the AIADMK as cadres end up camping around with two of the major sects within the party, probably one headed by current Chief Minister while other is headed by his deputy.
They say the best way to fish is in troubled waters, hence the role of TTV Dhinakaran to extract leaders from AIADMK to his newly formed party cannot be disregarded.
Congress, which is a natural ally to DMK, is playing a patient wait and watch game, trying to estimate the number of seats they can extract in elections which is around the corner. The BJP, the underdog in Tamil Nadu politics, is probably the most confused lot of them all.
The current political situation in Tamil Nadu is what one would call, a once in lifetime opportunity to create a presence. Most leaders within the state BJP leadership think that the easy way out is to align with any one of the Dravidian parties. The state party unit lacks, what can be called as a clear vision for the state or increasing their party presence.
Several Political pundits, Journalists and intellectuals would swear by the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity in south India could never be considered a factor in the state elections, unfortunately they are wrong. To substantiate my claim, I would like to narrate a small incident as described to me by one of my friends. The incident revolves around the fact how Tamil Nadu reacted to Modi’s visit after the death of J Jayalalithaa.
With the announcement of J Jayayalithaa’s death, there was a minute to minute live relay of all the dignitaries who visited her funeral, so it is not an understatement to say that every family in Tamil Nadu were glued to their television sets. My friend’s family was one such family which spent an entire day watching the proceedings on TV.
When the arrival of Modi was announced, the whole Tamil News industry simply went crazy. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the moment of how Modi would react on seeing his close friend in the state that she was.
While my friend was glued on to the TV, with probably the same intention, she heard a curious comment from her mother. Her mother said and I quote, “See the presence of this man, very similar to that of a Lion”. My friend was quick to respond to her mother, “But you hated him for announcing demonetisation, you said he caused havoc for several months that followed”. Her mother’s reply was quick, “Yes I did hate him, but there is no denying the fact that he is one of the most respected yet powerful leaders of India”.
For the state of Tamil Nadu, the image of a leader is everything, right from the way he/she behaves to their presence on television. The people of the state are looking for a humble yet powerful leader to run the country, something which the state has not witnessed since the days of Kamarajar.
The above statement from a housemaker in Tamil Nadu suggests the popularity of Modi in the state. Unfortunately, the state BJP leadership is not able to complement this in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The people of Tamil Nadu have seen the way J Jayalalithaa has snubbed the likes of Karan Thappar or other celebrities who challenged her in the past. They have also observed the shrewd behaviour of M Karunanidhi and the powerful grip M G Ramachandran had over his party leaders.
The decision of Tamil Nadu BJP Chief Tamilisai Soundarajan to challenge the statement of 22-year-old Louis Sophia, for her “fascist BJP government down, down” statement is probably what one would call political immaturity. I agree that several TN BJP leaders are at the receiving end of abusive tweets and comments from well-co-ordinated IT Cells, but one cannot deny the fact that this is part of a larger strategy to expose the party’s leadership.
A co-passenger Louis Sophia in a flight with BJP TN president Tamilisai shouted "Fascist BJP government down Down" at Tuticorin airport while collecting baggage.
Tamilisai entered in verbal tiff with the her and pax was detained by police. pic.twitter.com/6NUsl7lk4v
— Nagarjun Dwarakanath (@nagarjund) September 3, 2018
I had the opportunity to watch the video which was captured at the Tuticorin airport, clearly the TN BJP Chief seems to be unaware of her surroundings. Making such a scene has just worsened their party’s chance to establish a presence in the state.
Youngsters of Tamil Nadu are closely watching their leaders, any mistake by any leader is quickly transformed into a MEME or Viral Video. Be it the bloopers of Stalin or Sasikala’s antics at Jayalalithaa’s memorial, they have a MEME for everything.
If the BJP wants to establish a presence in the state, the only solution is to make quick changes in the leadership and try to resolve such unnecessary drama.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi.