பெண்களைக் கொண்டாடுங்கள்… தினங்களை விடுங்கள்

பெண்ணே
உன்னைக் கொண்டாட ஒரு தினம் போதுமா
களைப்பே உன் உழைப்பின் மீதமா

பெண் பிறப்பைச் சாபமென்றான் சாத்திரம் பேசியவன்
தன் பிறப்பின் மூலமே பெண்ணென்று மறந்தான்
உன் உறுப்பை மட்டுமே தேவையென்றறிந்தான்
பெண் சிறப்பு என்னென்று அறியாமல் திரிந்தான்

பெண்ணே
உன்னைக் கொண்டாட ஒரு தினம் போதுமா
களைப்பே உன் உழைப்பின் மீதமா

ஆதிக்கம் சூழ்ந்திருக்க பல தடைகள் உனக்கு
சாதிக்கும் பெண்ணுக்கு பயமிங்கு எதற்கு
நீதிக்கு காலமில்லை பெண்ணே நீ வெளியே வா
சோதிக்கும் ஆளையெல்லாம் அழித்து உன் வழியே வா

பெண்ணே
உன்னைக் கொண்டாட ஒரு தினம் போதுமா
களைப்பே உன் உழைப்பின் மீதமா

கற்பென்பார் இழப்பென்பார் காவல் செய்ய மறந்தார்
அற்ப மனிதர் அவர் புறம் பேசவே பிறந்தார்
சொற்ப காலமே வாழ வந்தாய் நீ வெளியே வா
கற்க நினைப்பதெல்லாம் கற்க உன் வழியே வா

பெண்ணே
உன்னைக் கொண்டாட ஒரு தினம் போதுமா
களைப்பே உன் உழைப்பின் மீதமா

மழலையாய்ப் பிறந்து வஞ்சியாய் வளர்ந்து இல்லக்கிழத்தியாய் இறுதிவரை வாழும் உனை
தினந்தினம் கொண்டாட வேண்டாவா
பெண்ணே
உன்னைக் கொண்டாட ஒரு தினம் போதுமா
களைப்பே உன் உழைப்பின் மீதமா
தினங்களை விடுவோம் பெண்களைக் கொண்டாடுவோம்

– சந்தோஷ் மாதேவன்,
திருச்சி, மார்ச் 8, 2017.

Advertisements

Nothing to do with Islam but, it is all about the individual

When there is a perception over an individual or a large community across the world, it is not so easy to change in a short span. It takes decades for them to come out of the identity, be it a positive or a negative shade. So is in the case of the followers of Islam after the 9/11 attack at WTO towers in the USA. But, that shade has been rapidly fading out to nowhere in the present scenario claims some known faces. I recently had an opportunity to interact with award-winning story-teller and leading stand-up comedian Aman Ali from New York City on the sidelines of the meeting organised at Amir Mahal, the residence of Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali. It was an enlightening session for me as I really went through certain eye brow rising facts during our conversation.

Firstly, his address at the meeting itself was on the subject, ‘Growing up as a Muslim in America’ in which he discussed about the change in the mind sets of people about Muslims across the globe and the positive vibes experienced by people belonging to the second largest holy faith of the world.

Aman told me that Islam was not new to the US as, “The oldest mosque of the States dates back to 120 years – sometime in the late 1920s. However, the Muslim population in the federal republic came way before that in the 1700s and so I would say Muslims have been in the US for over eight generations”. Further he came up with an added fact that the oldest mosque was erected by pioneers from what are now Syria and Lebanon. It was built in 1929 in a small village called Ross in North Dakota. Aman has visited mosques and Muslims in all 50 states of the USA which he took it up as a trip during the month of Ramadan a couple of years back.

“The cemetery, with the star-crescent symbol on its gate and on many of its gravestones, hold the remains of a Muslim community that date back nearly 120 years. Up a slight hill stood the oldest mosque in the United States,” Aman explained.

Aman, who has been to 28 countries and all the 50 States in the US, said, “I could only feel a complete positive reception for the followers of Islam throughout the world. There are a few idiots who are still offensive in their thoughts and words but, they need not be considered.” He also said the identity of Islam has always been taught as a violent rebel.

Aman Ali seen in picture. Source: http://www.amanali.net

“Why not a Muslim is given an identity of a celebrity like Mohammed Ali, Janet Jackson or AR Rahman who have made a change?”, he queried. His perception could easily be understood from the tone of his speech towards this budding journo. At that time my crooked journalist mind tried to pull some words from him. I said if Aman was brought up in any of the countries from the South East or the Middle East and he performs such story telling or stand up comedy sessions, it would not go the way as now. He would have been struck in controversies, would have been asked to go to Pakistan and would be called a traitor.

For this, he reacted in a very mild and a smiling note. “There are stories of Muslims here in India that need to be told across the world. There are incidents where a lot of Muslims who had built temples for Hindus. There is AR Rahman and there are people like Abdul Kalam and Malala from the same region you have denoted”, Aman said. I was not so surprised from this response, as I wanted this answer from him to tell out to this world.

Later, our conversation turned towards Trump. I asked him whether the current scenario in the US is likely unfavorable for Muslims. He immediately responded that it would not be a huge problem for Muslims in this unstable situation created in the United States of America after Donald Trump sworn in as President. “Yes, I agree that it is a stressful situation that is persisting in the country and we have to go through all these struggles. But that does not mean the immigrants will be sent out of USA,” Aman said. I cross questioned how he was sure of it, for which Aman said, “There are a lot of Senators, bureaucrats, higher officials, judicial officers who are immigrants including Muslims. It is not possible for USA to make them all leave. So, it is not happening right now and I am sure of it.”

Further added that, “In America, above all, the native people of the country are with the Muslims and other immigrants,”. For this, he also came up with some justifying instances from the recent times. “When I recently went to JFK International Airport at New York. I could see a big revolt carried out by over 15,000 people supporting one Muslim family that was stopped by the immigration officials from entering the country. Finally, the Muslim family was allowed into the city out of the revolution. People’s power succeeded,” Aman said.

From all this, I could only say that, it is not the identity of a person that leads to him to act, but it is he himself and external influences, who push his ideas towards the actions. Nothing to do with the identity obviously!!!

Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, March 3, 2017

If its pan Tamilnadu, why only Neduvasal?

Ever since 2017 unfolded, a number of issues have been rocking the State. Now, it is the turn of the anti-hyrdocarbon extraction protest. Despite the process being carried out across various hamlets and towns in the Cauvery delta region and the rest of Tamil Nadu, it all commenced at small village, Neduvasal in Pudukottai district in the form of protests started by the villagers joining hands with college students from the locality.

According to sources, the process of Hydrocarbon extraction is carried out by the ONGC through various private petro chemical industries in the country. Especially in Cauvery delta region that includes, Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts, the hydrocarbon extraction process is likely being carried out in 16 different villages. Similarly, as many as 20 villages in Ramanathapuram district the process is being carried out.

With so many rural lands that are already being subjected to the hydrocarbon extraction process, it is the people of Neduvasal only have come to fight against the Central and the State governments to revoke the project.

When I could analyse the protesting grounds, several inferences were harvested out of it. Sources from ground zero say that it commenced as an awareness programme carried out by students of a private college in the neighbourhood. The provocation for this was an oil spill near the bore well. The students knew about the effects of fracking – a process of extracting hydrocarbon, informed the people of Neduvasal. Following this, it is said that the students joined hands with the people of Neduvasal and commenced a protest.

In the midst of this, sources from Karaikal and Nagapattinam revealed that the Central government’s public sector entity, GAIL, has been embedding gas pipelines across both the districts to transport the extracted petrochemical products beneath the agricultural lands spread over 6,000 hectares.

A small section of protesters at Neduvasal. Source: The News Minute


Voice of the protesters:

When I interacted with Raj Kumar, one of the protesters from Neduvasal, he said, ‘We see this as another Methane extraction project of the Central government just in the disguise of the name ‘Hydrocarbon’ and that is why, we have started this protest. We will not stop until the project is barred and revoked by the Union government’. He said that, there are a lot of countries across the globe including the USA and Australia have banned this method of extraction of Hydrocarbon in their territory. ‘In this juncture, we have no other go than to put an end to this all by ourselves through protest. It is our duty to save our environment’.

Villagers second the protesters:

‘We never knew that the project of hydrocarbon extraction would be this hazardous until the college students from the neighbourhood came up and gave an awareness. So, we have joined hands with them to fight for saving our landscape and water resources’, said a villager on the conditions of anonymity. He also said that, Neduvasal is a completely agriculture based village and that could be spoiled through the extraction of hydro carbon.

What do technical experts say?

According to technical experts, the contract that was signed between GEM laboratories Private Limited, (a company based out of Davangere in Karnataka, started by late BJP Member of Parliament, G Mallikarjunappa) and the land owners of Neduvasal, it does not mention any particular type of hydrocarbon. So, it could be any kind of hydrocarbon, like Petroleum products, Methane, Coal gas, Shale gas and others. In that case, if shale gas is to be extracted using the fracking process the damage could be considerably more. Likewise with methane which if it leaks has a much higher carbon emission than coal. However, due to this process, the Water table would be affected only to a certain extent to a limited area from the extraction point.

The political fallout:

With the protests being carried out by the locals and the youth of Neduvasal and other parts of the State, already several pro Tamil outfits have landed in the agriculture hamlet to show their support to the protesters. Convener of Naam Tamilar Katchi, Seeman has been carrying out visits in the village and is interacting with the people of Neduvasal. He has been stressing the people to not to stop fighting until the entire project itself is revoked by the Central government. Similarly, leader of Tamil Desiya Periyakkam, P Maniarasan has quoted this Hydrocarbon extraction process as a disguised Methane extraction project by the Central government through Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL).

How does the ruling party reply?

The Central government has been defending its side from the allegations of the protesters. Union Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan recently in a press conference has said that the people have been induced without a proper scientific knowledge. The project right now carried out in Neduvasal is to extract only petroleum crude oil from the underground and it is not a shale gas or a methane extraction project.

Neutralists demands:

From all these inferences, neutralists and political analysts have been demanding a proper explanation from the Central and State governments to the people of Neduvasal. ‘First the Petroleum Ministry has to give an assurance that Methane and Shale gas extraction will not be done and only Oil or Natural gas in the conventional method will be extracted at Neduvasal’, says Sumanth Raman, a political analyst. Further Sumanth has asked the State Government to form a committee to supervise and ensure that safety and environment standards are being adhered to, not just at Neduvasal but also at all the other much bigger sites where exploration is going on.

‘Perhaps there can be a citizens committee that can be formed as well. The Petroleum Ministry or Oil Companies have to explain to the farmers of Neduvasal clearly what is going to be done and what measures are to be taken to minimize the damage to their lands and the environment’, he said. Farmers must also be given a revenue share in the overall extraction made from the field, Sumanth added.

Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, February 28, 2017.

Kanavu Variyam: A dream that needs more reception

It all started with Tamil Thai Vaazhthu right after the censor certificate by putting a hidden question to the spectators, that if you are ready to stand up for national anthem, why not for your mother tongue’s anthem? And this is that one reason, I feel that Kanavu Variyam (U) should be watched in theaters just to respect their attempt to propose this in their agenda. After watching this movie, I felt that I should really pen a viewer’s note (which I write usually on rare occasions) for the movie which I had told my friend Ram too who came with me to watch the movie out of my compulsion.

I was having no expectations over the movie except for the hype created for it in its promotions quoting the international awards it has already been conferred with. But to my disappointment, the theater was with only a handful of viewers. That too in a huge audience capacity screen like Devi, the number seemed to be almost negligible.

However, I should say that the entire disappointment faded out just after watching a couple of scenes of the movie and I just returned with a fulfilled heart after watching the movie. It is all because of the content delivered in the movie despite few technical glitches.


Ideological aspect:

The movie scatters over several ideologies including the importance of organic farming, acquisition of knowledge through experience, importance of a library and above all, the central context ‘what actually is leading a self sustained and self sufficient life style’. The theme of knowledge through experience is justified on screen in a couple of scenes. For an instance, the school days sequence of the protagonist Ezhil, where he witnesses the instant treatment to his classmate when he faints down out of gastric complexities and in another scene where he learns how does a radio works from a technician who explains it well even in a better way than his teacher who suffers from the protagonist’s array of questions.

The importance of traditional farming methods too is said in the movie with an another protagonist who comes from a completely different field to agriculture and how he succeeds to reach that. The solution he finds for getting the proper yield is also delivered in a technical way thus by insisting the importance of an integrated farming method (ஒருங்கிணைந்த பண்ணை முறை விவசாயம்) justifying it by highlighting on the significance of cow dung (means importance of cow).

Ever since the first frame, both these ideologies are connected with a coincidental point which is said  before title that, all discoveries are made only after a ‘sudden spark’. And this spark works out well in both the cases. Until you get the spark, you will be getting through a lot of hurdles like the people in town quoting you as ‘moron’ and a ‘loser’.

Script aspect:

With a parallel running screenplay, the writer Arun Chidambaram who as well plays one of the two protagonists has dealt both in a right pace. The only place where I felt as hitch is love sequence and the songs followed after that. Otherwise, the entire movie runs in a normal pace. Despite having two protagonists, the screenplay does not affect each other and is in a simple run which will even entertain C-center and that would be the movie’s success.

Similarly, the attempts of both the protagonists to attain their ultimate goals are portrayed in a perfect pace throughout the movie. Their obstacles in their path are shown down to earth instead of singing a five minute song to grow up all of sudden. Be it using various materials of belt for coupling the motor of his device or changing the methods of cultivation, efforts of both the protagonists are portrayed well.

Of all three, it was the dialogues part of the script which I feel that is the strength of the movie. The one liners of the hero’s mom, his friend, a passer by villager and the retired head master turned librarian comes one after the other throughout the movie. With this it was so difficult to recall most of those one liners. Apart from one liners, there are some serious in depth dialogues too like the one referring the protagonists with Thomas Edison.

Technical aspect:

It is Selvakumar’s (a newbie, I think) camera work of the movie that runs along with the screenplay. One frame I can never forget is the scene where the protagonist enters the library and picks out his first book during which the sunlight shines over him from a window behind the rack which gives the gesture that he is getting enlightened.

On the other hand, the imagination of Ezhil shown on his house’s ceiling and also in a scrap dump yard in a completely animated world. In both these sequences animation experts have worked really hard to bring up perfection.

Next to these, it is the lyrics, be it a village childhood number, a love number or the other one tagging the hero as kirukkan (moron), lyrics are completely in an simple but in a deep note. It is Arun Chidambaram who again gets the credit since he has penned the lyrics for all those numbers.

There were some technical glitches too in the movie like coloruing hairs of characters in white to show ageing. It was looking little odd. Similarly, there could be some edits in love sequences and long conversations of the movie.

Casting:

With a star cast having actors like Ilavarasu, Gnanasambanthan, Black Pandi and Yog Japee where each of them is a pro of their style, the director has given them enough space to establish their performance. Especially in one scene in the midst of the row of one liners, Ilavarasu gets a place to act without any dialogue after getting cured from the injures of an accident where he leaves his son to resume following his dreams. In the case of Balck Pandi, he travels throughout the movie as a Watson for Sherlock in a comical character without boring the audience.

Overall view:

For me, Kanavu Variyam is a complete director’s movie which has no major commercial interruption. As most of the major crew works are taken by himself expect for the cinematography and the music, a pure ownership of Arun Chidambaram could be witnessed throughout the movie. For a perfect movie like this, which speaks of social causes a reception from the same society is what I feel as the right recognition than any number of international awards. It is the people, who have to judge the rest, as a good movie sans adult content, alcohol scenes (the movie does not even have the statutory warning message) and extreme violence is hard to get nowadays.

Santhosh Mathevan
Chennai, February 25, 2017.

Calm After Storm: Capital city gets back to normal life

Be it Vardah, Tsunami, floods, a Chief Minister’s death or AIADMK’s faction fight, Chennai that witnesses chaos at its peak in every of these events, easily gets back to normal routine just a day after the hubbub comes to an end. The city that was experiencing various kinds of turmoil including traffic rush, media attention and security hikes across it for the past fortnight due to the faction fight in the ruling party AIADMK has turned back to it regular life immediately after the swearing in ceremony of the new council of minister led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

When I came across the residence of former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam that is located along the Greenways road and was with media attention in its peak till last weekend has now completely faded out of the spotlight, posing like an ordinary government quarters with normal security force. To be noted, the name board that was carrying Panneerselvam’s portfolio including finance and public works department has a major make over.

Portfolio possessed by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam covered with tape. Photo: Santhosh Mathevan

His portfolios have been covered with strips of cellophane tapes thus by showing only his name. Above all, the name board has been removed from his residence ‘Thenpennai’ and has been placed as one among the other name boards at the gateway of Kanchi government guest houses premises where Thenpennai is situated. The Greenways road, that was filled with an array of OB vans and vehicles of various visual and print media houses is all silent since Sunday (February 19, 2017) morning.

On the other hand, the number of security forces at the entrance of newly sworn in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has become a hub of various AIADMK cadre vehicles. Located right next to Kanchi’s premises along the Greenways road in Raja Annamalaipuram, the whole scene has been showing off a changeover within several feet in the same road stretch.

Leaving the residences of the former and the present Chief Ministers, the other hot spots in the city during the past fortnight too show a dimmed pose. Poes Garden, where AIADMK’s general secretary VK Sasikala was residing until she was imprisoned in Parapana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru was the next location to expose an emptiness. Until Friday (February 17, 2017) when Palaniswami sworn in as Chief Minister, the narrow roads of Poes Garden had a rushing traffic with tight security.

Entrance of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s residence in RA Puram. Photo: Santhosh Mathevan

But, the traffic had almost cut to half when Sasikala was imprisoned last week while the left out crowd too disappeared since the new cabinet’s swearing in ceremony. However, the four levels of security remains in stand by position in the garden roads. General public and media persons are allowed only till the third level while the residents of Poes Garden only are allowed after security check through the last level. “We have been instructed to maintain the security by our higher officials. They have told us not to revoke any personnel until further notice. So, we are going to stay here only till then”, said a security personnel on the conditions of anonymity.

Similarly, the party head quarters of the AIADMK located along the Avvai Shanmugam salai in the city too is under tight security sans party cadre crowd. “It is a normal crowd that visits the office on any day of a year. It seems to be the party office has come back to a normal state after a two week chaos”, says a tea shop owner at Avvai Shanmugam salai.

Vacant road of Poes Garden in Chennai. Photo: Santhosh Mathevan

Finally, the most happening spot of last week, the Secretariat that was with full fledged security too has come back to normal page. The high security at the secretariat complex has been pulled down to the ideal level. Usual petitioners and visitors are being allowed inside the premises through normal screening by security personnel.

Apart from these, the tombs of former Chief Ministers J Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran that became frequent visiting places (and meditation spot) of both the present and former Chief Ministers, cabinet ministers, party men and AIADMK’s general secretary VK Sasikala have been opened to general public with normal levels security posing as if nothing had happened there in the recent past. Surprisingly, Chennai that was in hustle bustle till last weekend due to the faction fight has totally came out of it and is continuing with its routine as it was in the post-Vardah and post-Jayalalithaa demise in past three months.

Stalin does an MK – Tries out the Kalaignar way?

Breaking cacophony in the party that was existing among the ground level cadres, DMK’s working president MK Stalin is now all set to fill the vacuum that was created after the party’s president Karunanidhi’s hospitalisation and bed rest. Stalin has commenced to write a new chapter in the party in which he is trying to emerge out in the shades of his father Karunanidhi.

Recently, when addressing the scribes at the party head quarters, Anna Arivalayam in Teynampet, I could easily notice that Stalin was gently exposing himself with the mannerisms of Karunanidhi with utter confidence and boldness in his speech.

MK Stalin and M Karunanidhi sharing a stage at a DMK’s event couple of years back, Source: Times of India

Replying to the questions in the same satire tone of Karunanidhi, the DMK’s working president Stalin was also commenting on present political situation persisting in Tamilnadu. He said, “The State government went dysfunctional for the past nine months ever since former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was admitted to hospital. It has now become a very serious and immediate need for the State to get through the turmoil”. He claimed that, every scheme and plan that were proposed by all three Chief Ministers in past nine months are still in papers and are not put to action yet.

Stalin, who has never responded to the press in such an ease and comfort level, firmly objected that the former caretaker chief minister O Paneerselvam is not real opponent of the Sasikala faction but, it is the DMK that is carrying out the entire counter force against the events that are being staged by the ruling party in the State and the assembly. Adding fuel to his own confidence level, Stalin addressed the press from the default chamber in Arivalayam from where Karunanidhi usually meets the reporters.

Further he said that the DMK is making attempts to meet the President of India Pranab Mukherjee in order to elaborate on the situation of politics in the State. “We will point out the confusions made in the no-confidence motion held recently in the State assembly and will push for a transparent and genuine no-confidence motion in the assembly right in the immediate next session”.

Party sources said that Stalin will be travelling to New Delhi on Wednesday evening after completing a hunger strike in Trichy against the recent no-confidence motion brought out by the Council of Ministers.

During the meeting, Stalin denoted that it is against the laws of the assembly to evict a party’s MLAs during no-confidence motion and also denied the allegations made by the AIADMK that the DMK members led to violence in the house. “We are inviting the youth and the students of the State to come out to the streets to participate in the State-wide hunger strike on Wednesday as this protest is not only for the DMK but for the welfare of entire Tamil community”, Stalin said.

Stalin with his shirt ripped off after the recent no-confidence motion at the State assembly, Source: Hindustan Times

From all these inferences and the recent events (be it political stunts like the ripped shirt incident after no-confidence motion) in which Stalin has been exhibiting himself in front of the public and the media, all I can sense is the attempts of Stalin to replace himself in the minds of all his party cadres especially of those who have Karunanidhi close to heart. Leaving all these, I feel that Stalin strongly believes that a large emptiness is about to be created in Tamil Nadu politics in the near future for which he is heading to fill by harvesting a next level face value for his name.

There are advantageous factors that could boost himself into the vacuum right now is the absence of strong opponent. As Sasikala is imprisoned in one side, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is a newbie to the CM chair, O Panneerselvam has almost faded out from spotlight and the BJP is not yet ready to establish itself in the State. Similarly, unlike other familiar faces in the K-family, like Alagiri, Kanimozhi or Dayanidhi Maran, it is hard to point fingers at Stalin with a bigger allegations or scams.

So, all I feel is Stalin has some sufficient chances in this opponent less pitch to score and fill the run board. In the absence of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, Stalin really needs to act fast which hopefully he does at least to fulfill his long time CM dream.

Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, February 21, 2017.

Every number matters: A preview on confidence motion for Edappadi Palanisamy’s cabinet

After all of those nail biting moments of the State politics, numbers have become the significant parameter at the end of a fortnight long faction fight that has been eventuating in the AIADMK. It is going to be a confidence motion at the State assembly on Saturday (February 18, 2017) that will decide the fate of the Chief Ministerial term for the next couple of years from now on the basis of trust votes casted by the law makers of Tamil Nadu State assembly.

Apart from their own supporters, I feel that it is the take of the minor opposition parties in the assembly that is to be taken into a serious account.
Fort St. George – SourceMinnambalam
With Edappadi K Palanisamy sworn in as the Chief Minister of the State on Thursday, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao had asked the Palanisamy led Council of Ministers (CoM) to prove its majority in the assembly within 15 days. Following this, a floor test session is going to be conducted on Saturday in the house. During the session, the CoM should get trust votes more 50 per cent of the overall MLA count in order to continue with its rule for the rest of the ruling period.

Excepting the OPS-faction that has less than 10 MLAs as of now and the prime opposition party DMK, that is opposing the CoM during the session, I could sense that the spotlight has now turned towards the other minor parties in the house. As of now, the Sasikala faction with Edappadi as Chief Minister, is said to have 124 numbers to support them which is almost in the border mark level.
So, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) that is with eight MLAs in their side has turned out to be a significant participant of the trust vote session. Despite being the second important party of the DMK alliance, the Congress party still has not officially announced its stand in the trust vote session yet.

Apart from this, the BJP that does not hold any seat in the State assembly still has been opposing the swearing in of Palanisamy. Earlier, Union Minister and a senior leader of the State BJP Pon Radhakrishnan told the media persons, “I don’t think that the cabinet of Edappadi Palanisamy would sustain for even one day in the chair. He also said that the cabinet has come to power against the wish of the people”.
Taking this into concern, the Congress that has BJP as its strong opponent in the rest of the country might take a supporting stand for Palanisamy led cabinet of the State assembly. It is very sure that the Congress would not support the CoM. But, at the same time, there are some mere chances for them to support too as the OPS faction is said to be backed by the BJP. 


“Anyways, at the end of the day, it is going to be the decision of the respective MLAs who are going to cast their votes’, says Safi Irfanullah, a political analyst and legal expert from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. Further he clarified that the MLAs of the same party taking different stand during the confidence motion too might put them in trouble.
“The chief whip of every party in the house would be directing the other MLAs of his party to cast their vote for or against the CoM. At this time, if any of the members fail to follow the directions of the whip and take his own stand, then through his discretion, the speaker of the house can disqualify members on the ground that they defied the instructions of their party whip and voted against. (Remember, in 1988 the then speaker Pandiyan disqualified the MLAs who supported Jaya faction in the Assembly). He has the right to terminate him from the house thus by disqualifying him/her from his legislative assembly membership”, Safi added.

From the words of Safi, I could see that the take of the Congress would be a unanimous call but, still is not revealed. The Palanisamy cabinet is only with 124 MLAs to support them, so they could take some steps to rope in more supporters for them in order to ensure their strength.
While, Congress denies this saying that they will take an opposing stand against the cabinet. “We are utterly against them and we will surely cast our trust votes against the CoM only”, said a close source from the TNCC on conditions of anonymity. The source further added that, the Congress is with the DMK in Tamilnadu and so the decisions in this kinds of situations would be on same page for both the parties. “As we stood against both the factions of AIADMK in 1987, the same will continue even now”, he added.

On the other hand, another senior Congress person and an MLA Vijayadharani said in a talk show on Friday evening that the Congress will take a decision that will benefit to the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu. She even hinted that the current situation is completely different from Jayalalithaa era during which Congress firmly opposed the AIADMK.

Similarly, the Indian Union Muslim League, that has one MLA, Muhammad Abubacker in the assembly too has become one of the deciding factors of the fate of the assembly for next four years. However, sources from the party said that they will decide on this matter only after a meeting that is going to be held on Friday evening and still nothing has come out officially from them. Meanwhile, the coalition party MLA Thamimun Ansari has already announced his support to the CoM earlier this morning.

Despite all these number games, sources from the Koovathur Golden Bay Resorts, where all 124 supporting MLAs of Sasikala faction are accommodated told that, as many as 18 MLAs from the faction lined up against Palanisamy and that is why they were not brought to the swearing in ceremony of the cabinet. However, the party sources denied the claim and have ensured that they are strongly united and will continue their rule in the State.

The situation is almost like a cat on a wall as the voting process predictions are still mysterious even hours before the session. If Palanisamy cabinet triumphs, then it is going to be a successful four year rule for the Sasikala faction. And OPS faction MLAs could be terminated from office as they don’t stand alongside of the party’s decision.
On the other scenario, if the confidence motion ends up in a negative note, then the ball would be in Governor’s court and he could invite anyone else from the house to form the government be it O Panneerselvam or MK Stalin, why not, even Thamimun Ansari as anything is possible in Indian politics.

– Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, February 17, 2017.