Friday, May 22, 2009

Karunanidhi leaving a bad legacy

It is unfortunate that a consummate politician like DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M.Karunanidhi is playing the tough game of political bargaining in such an arbitrary and shoddy fashion. There is not a whiff of rationality in the way he deals with his party members. And he does not understand whether the people whom he recommends have competence enough to be ministers. With the exception of the late Murasoli Maran, who did a creditable job as commerce minister in the NDA government at the Doha round of WTO talks, there have been none who proved their political and administrative credentials. Messrs Dayanidhi Maran, Raja and Baloo had shown themselves to be miserable ministers. It is not that the DMK ministers do not communicate with the others, or that they prefer to speak in Tamil. Here Dayanidhi Maran may be an exception but his ability to speak in English does not compensate for his inability to be an efficient minister. It is just that they fail to give the picture of being responsible for the whole country. Mr Lalu Yadav does not speak English with the ease of Mr P.Chidambaram, but he showed that it is not necessary to speak English well in order to make the railways earn profits and perform well.
The problem with the DMK goes deeper. And this holds good of the rival AIADMK as well. These parties operate on the dictates of a single person. Perhaps, the DMK arrives at its party decisions through formal party dsicussions and resolutions. But the party does not show signs that there are thinking and articulate people other than Mr Karunanidhi. There is also the other negative aspect to DMK politics. They have spawned, like the CPI-M cadres in West Bengal, ruffians who terrorise the streets. It is a miracle then that the people of Tamil Nadu throw the DMK out of power from time to time. It proves the tremendous democratic sentiments of the people of the state rather than the democratic culture of the DMK.
It is surprising that Mr Karunanidhi has no hesitation asking ministerial berths for his daughter Kanimozhi, son Azhagiri and grand-nephew Maran, apart from pleading the case of Raja and Baloo. The last three did not exactly cover themselves with glory as ministers at the centre.
As a result, Mr Karunanidhi will be leaving a shameful legacy for the DMK, the party which he has nurtured over a lifetime. The party has lost its vigour and relevance after tasting power more than 40 years ago.
The people of Tamil Nadu deserve better than the DMK and the AIADMK.

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