via Finally, Shashi Tharoor admits NYAY would have picked pockets of hardworking middle class taxpayers


Finally, Shashi Tharoor admits NYAY would have picked pockets of hardworking middle class taxpayers



10 Aug 2018

Sub:  Vairamuthu, “Now, my phone will remain silent in the mornings”, Times of India, 10 Aug 2018


This has reference to Mr Vairamuthu’s memoir about his friendship with (Late) Sri Kalaignar Karunanidhi. [Henceforth, Sri Kalaignar] appearing in today’s Times of India, Tiruchchirappalli Edition.

It was very moving reading the article. One can see that he has written it from the bottom of his heart. I could almost touch the void caused in Vairamuthu’s life due to Sri Kalaignar’s demise. All good things have to come to an end, and so did Sri Kalaignar’s time on earth. We can only extend our heartfelt condolences to those who were touched by this breeze called Kalaignar and pray that he should be blessed with better worlds, which I do. Well.

I would like to recall here an incident that happened in my life vis-à-vis Kalaignar when I was a final year student of BA [English] at National College, Tiruchchirappalli [Trichy]. I don’t exactly remember if it was late 1974 or early 1975.

A couple of my classmates hit upon an idea that we must meet Kalaignar who was then at Trichy. He was staying at Hotel Sangam. I told them, “hey, look, he is our Chief Minister, there must be hell a lot of protocol surrounding him; it may be difficult to get to him”. Then a knowledgeable guy among us said, “Oh no, he is easily accessible, and he has a soft corner for college students”. That settled the issue and we reached Hotel Sangam. We informed the Reception that we are from National College and would like to meet the Chief Minister. They checked-up with him and lo and behold we were ushered into his presence in no time.

After paying our respects, we introduced ourselves. When he learnt that we were English Literature students, there was a twinkle in his eyes. He asked us, okay, can you quote any memorable lines from Shakespeare? Fresh from memorizing many of his soliloquies, I raised my hand and belted out:

                    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

                    That struts and frets its hour upon the stage,

                     And then is heard no more. It is a tale

                     Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

                     Signifying nothing.

from Macbeth.

Can you explain it for me, he asked. I said life is just a dramatist’s stage where we all have an assigned role. When we finish our part, we are shown the door, and at the end of the day, when we look back upon it, we realize, the things we valued high at that point of time are nothing but hollow withered Oaks whose value is zilch. [Since his base as a Kalaignar (Artist) is from Cinema-Drama field, it was but natural of him to be interested in Shakespeare.]

There was pin-drop silence. He patted me, and said once your examinations are over come and meet me at Fort. [St. George]. And he gave me a slip¹ written on it, “Meet me at Fort St. George” and signed “Thi Mu Ka” in Tamil. With a mischievous smile, he asked me what does “Thi Mu Ka” stand for? I shot out immediately, “Thiru Mu Karunanidhi”. He clapped his hands, and bid us adieu.

My results came in May 1975, and I immediately left for Delhi beckoned by my Grandmother. Somehow my meeting with Sri Kalaignar, the Chief Minister, never happened. I never realized the import of that slip! I joined JNU, and my life veered away from TN. I returned back only in 2011 following my retirement.

During all these years I shifted residence so many times that, that particular slip from Sri Kalaignar I had kept safely preserved in one of my college books [Shakespeare’s Macbeth] got lost along with the book. That’s my story or of a destiny of “what could have been”.

  • – Sri Aiyer Raju Sreenivasan

¹He fumbled around for paper when I tore one from my spiraled notebook and gave it to him. Apparently he looked at the notes I had taken in it which was in Sir Isaac Pitman’s Shorthand. He asked me what is that you have scribbled, to which I replied, I take notes in Shorthand when the Professor gives his lecture. (I started learning Shorthand as a 16 year old during my PUC vacations).


You sow wind, you reap whirlwind

For four full years, the opposition, very few in number but voluble in noise, accompanied with hysteric laughter of Soorpanaka kind, made it impossible for our beloved Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi aka Sri NaMo to run the affairs of the State from both Houses of the Parliament. Yet, he manfully tolerated this fish-market like ambience, and gave the country the best possible administration in its entire 71 year independent history. He could have easily managed the show through joint sessions of both the Houses. But he didn’t. He had already made up his plans like a Champion Chess Grandmaster. He gave the Opposition a long rope and they rolled it around them to their own peril. Sri NaMo out-thought all the criminal elements and beat them in their own game.

The opposition never had anything of substance to shout against in all these four years as Sri NaMo gave spotless, corruption free rule. And one scam after another of the previous Prime Minister Manmohan Singh skilled in taking shower with raincoat on, kept surfacing day after day: Bofors, 2G, 3G, CG, TG, CWG, AW, NH etc. In order to carpet down these scams they tried their best to drown them in cacophony. But they couldn’t. Public already has a measure of their loot and that should pay dividends in 2019.

Fortunately or unfortunately they had an opportunity to gang up against Sri NaMo’s government and bring about a No Confidence Motion [NCM] and impeachment of the Hon’bl Chief Justice of India [IHCJI] on flimsy imaginary grounds. But to make that possible, proper decorum needs to be maintained. Naturally, no business can be taken up in a raucous din. 

Our beloved Prime Minister is having a hearty laugh. The opposition is getting paid in their own coin. Earlier, Sri NaMo pleaded with them, and the Speaker in both the houses requested the “Honourable” members to maintain propriety for full four years, but to no avail. 

If handful of members can stall Parliament’s functioning for that long, I believe it should be cake-walk for the Government to hedge the proceedings through “other” means [taught by the Opposition themselves] rendering impossible taking up these two vital motions of NC and IHCJI till the time 2019 General Elections are announced when their discussion or outcome would be meaningless.

You sow wind, you reap whirlwind. I hope the opposition mob would have learnt its lesson. It should stand them in good steed from 2019 onwards under Sri NaMo’s second round!  They’d rather behave then.