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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2793

Tamilnadu - 2008

By Ravikumar Balakrishnan

The year 2008 maybe described as tumultuous and tortuous. A year of re-alignment, reunion and repercussions in the political arena, all in one way or the other connected to the Parliamentary polls to be held in 2009. We have a few headline snatchers for you.

Oh come ye comrades

The Communists proved media speculation true by joining the AIADMK alliance after ditching the DMK-led DPA. Leaders of both the Left parties, the CPI and the CPI-M called on Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence, where they were welcomed with a 'red' carpet, true to their color. Meanwhile, no day passed without a protest for the AIADMK. Issues ranging from leakage in drinking water pipes to inflation made Jayalalithaa to ask her party cadres to stage demonstrations.

Sky is the limit

Vijayakanth, clinched the headlines during the first half of the year, but underplayed during the latter half. His critics claim that he is not decisive over the Lankan Tamils issue. However, the ‘Captain’ brims with hope and expects a change in the Thirumanglam bye-election.

Step-child treatment

Stalin moved a step ahead in DMK’s hierarchy as the party’s treasurer. This is being viewed as Karunanidhi’s unofficial announcement of Stalin as his political heir. Reports have it that supporters of his Madurai based son M K Azhagiri were unhappy over the decision.

Cementing relationships

Karunanidhi turned emotional during his family’s reunion with estranged grand nephews, the Maran brothers. Karunanidhi, who penned a letter to party activists hitting out at Marans 10 days before the reunion, is yet to come out with an explanation on the ‘surprise act’. Grapevine has it that that a huge money transaction took place.

Cat on the wall

The question of Rajnikanth’s entry to politics has been left unanswered in 2008 too. After his fans started their own political party in Coimbatore, the ‘superstar’ issued a warning to them.

Where is the party?

Both the BJP and the MDMK share a common point— the AIADMK. If the former was ‘disappointed’ with the AIADMK’s joining hands with the Left, the MDMK, which is a longtime partner in Jayalalithaa’s alliance, is yet to get due recognition, if one has to go by political pundits.

The BJP has recently announced that it was ready to partner with Vijaykanth’s DMDK or Sarathkumar’s AISMK, if they come forward to accept the leadership of Advani.

Take it easy

The DMK, which showed the door to its alliance partner PMK during the middle of the year, later sent signals for reunion. Union Minister T R Baalu met PMK chief S Ramadoss, following which the latter’s close aide Kaduvetti Guru was released. He was earlier arrested under National Security Act.

Cinema, cinema

Citizens of the tinsel town came out on a couple of occasions to voice their ‘support’ for Tamils. While Rajnikanth’s address at the fast protest over Hogenekkal issue sparked tension in Karnataka, directors Seeman and Ameer at a meeting in Rameswaram led to their arrest.

Sarathkumar floated Akila Indhiya Samathuva Makkal Katchi in February at Madurai and pledged to become the Chief Minister of the State.

Berth not yet confirmed

The DMK, which is sharing hefty portfolios in the Union cabinet led by the Congress, is reluctant to give Ministerial berths to the national party in the State cabinet.

Though Tamilnadu Congress leaders (K V Thangkabalu and EVKS Elangovan) put forth the demand, the DMK leadership played it smart by directly dealing the issue with the Congress high command.

Power play

State Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy became the hot topic in SMS and e-mails, pushing George Bush and Lalu Prasad Yadav to backstage. He has taken Tamil Nadu to the dark ages. Back to the future, you should say.

Hitendran lives after death

In a country with a dismal rate of 0.05 per cent cadaver transplants, a youngster Hidendran (which means, a man of heart), died in a road mishap and became the ambassador for organ donation in the state. As the regional dailies repeatedly gave heart-rending stories of how various organs from a brain dead Hidendran gave life and eyesight to so many people, triggering a wave of cadaver transplants.

- Asian Tribune -

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