Sunday, June 03, 2007


For me driving around in Chennai over the last few weeks has been a nauseating experience. I just can’t understand how people can be such sycophants and plaster the city with unlicensed, illegal hoardings of one man and his family and treat him above God Almighty and surrender their conscience and soul to him.

M.Karunanidhi has done nothing publicly to rein in his delinquent son M.K.Azhagiri for the murderous violence his supporters perpetrated on the employees of the ‘Dinakaran’ newspaper. I have little sympathy, mind you, for the Maran brothers who have thus far ridden happily on the back of a political empire to become all-powerful in this state. But to return to the earlier point, the DMK rank and file, far from mourning the behaviour of their colleagues in Madurai, far from hanging their heads in shame for belonging to a party responsible for the death of three people, are instead going berserk displaying their 'love' and loyalty. From laser shows and talking images of Periyar and Anna singing MK’s praises to people turning up from all corners of the state to wish their leader on his birthday, this celebration smacks of vulgarity that has become too commonplace to make news.

Why is a private function so public? Why must we be subjected to having our already ugly cityscape made worse by pictures of corrupt, duplicitous politicians?

Why isn’t there any outrage?

What can we do?


simondenyer said...

Why is there not more outrage?
Because not enough people, journalists, opinion leaders, ordinary people have the perspective or courage to stand up and point out just how ridiculous and outrageous this is.
Or because people simply don't care?
What can people do? Never lose that sense of outrage.


What can we do? Nothing, of course, since we are a state of cows. What did we do when an earlier CM used up the state's resources to celebrate with unprecedented pomp the wedding of an adopted son -now disinherited?
We deserve the government we get, and we get the government we deserve, because the inertia that envelops us prevents us from constructive and progressive thinking, that will let us break free of this demogogic stranglehold.

Sathej said...

Hello Alaphia,
A post after a long while!Missed reading your blog.
There is nothing much we can do really, apart from writing about it.There is so much that is wrong in this great country of ours that the very thought of undoing the wrongs prompts the question 'What difference can I make?'Inertia is the word.We all have the oft-repeated laid-back attitude.Very sad,very sad!

Neodawn said...

What can we do? Just make it a point not to vote for them…campaign people not to vote for them… These functions are arranged because the parties want to play to a crowd i.e. their party men… It is a way of showing their ‘power’. These things won’t change overnight, so there is simply no use cribbing about them…

Btw, an offbeat question…
How strong can a journalist have a position on a subject...? Won’t the neutrality be affected by holding these positions?

For e.g., Assuming, you hold a strong dislike to how the Dravidian politics is played out here. How will that affect in your reporting on some good initiatives by the same parties?

REFLEX said...

How can we say that KK didn't do anything abt Azhagiri. He ordered a CBI enquiry. This is what which was asked by the immatured oppisition patries. Cho said that the result of the CBI enquiry will be nothing more than the other enquiries. ppl who asked for this CBI enq would hav thought twice before asking this. KK is smart in this and even if media asks him, he can say "I ordered a CBI enguary and lets waid and see who is the real gulprit".

donthecat said...

I think the TV media should use the RIA more effectively. Like finding out how much of public money is wasted on crap like this, get details and then feature a 1 hour slot with the information. Expose. Make them look like demons. Do it everyday :-). It will work. Just that some channel needs to give it a start...

Also, the media hardly gives out public opinion. More of "hey, our # showed you this first" kinda stuff. (like the Woolmer Mystery - at some point it was like watching a feature film between the news). On the other hand, the Madurai incident was never followed up after a few obligatory speeches and peranis protesting against the assault on the press.

What we need is More Views, not just More News. My two sense...

Karthik Narayan said...

wow look at this.. everyone talking abt my "hero" karu... woohoo.. this calls for a celebration.. definitely a post in my blog about this great supremo who has taught us the "values" of a hoarding free city - all highlighted with dazzling lights all over Mt Road 4 days before his b'day... we have all the "power" in the world. psst - CV Raman Road residents know best that 2230 is the time for lights off!

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hi Delhieditor,
I think the problem is also the lack of an effective Opposition. How can they take up such issues when they live in a glass house themselves? So the level of politics and debate is so pathetic that such issues are seen as too trivial... quibbling over a few thousands when we all know that frauds worth millions are probably going on in broad daylight.

Hi Raji,
Yes I am coming around to the view that people do largely get the government they deserve. Remember we voted out Jayalalithaa and in her next term she was forced to be more austere. So if these guys think that they can get away with abusing public property its because the public allows it...or has no time to protest really.

Yes Sathej, I agree... but are we really to drop all the work we are doing to chase every fraud the government commits every single day?

Hi Neodawn...Interesting question. A good journalist will not let an opinion get in the way... just the facts. For example, the free colour TV scheme I believe is an extravagant waste... they could've given people free helmets perhaps... but I think the free gas stoves were not such a bad idea. Women can finally cook in a smoke free environment without inhaling the harmful fumes. But let me also say that journalists do come with their own preudices that are not always influenced by facts. So hope I've answered your question even while giving myself a pat on the back!

Reflex - You're so right! The opposition was foolish to settle for a CBI enquiry. Lets see what the CBI comes up with. We already know that the state is providing more than enough protection to Azhagiri. They have not even filed an FIR against him despite several pleas by the 'Dinakaran' employees.

Hi Don,
Views sure...but you can't sustain it only on views. But there are also very few people who are ready to really say whats on their mind. Its a combination of fear, apathy and a certain degree of timidity. And of course a lot of people are just so busy they couldn't be bothered with these things.

Karthik - Our office is just down the road and they've just been stealing electricity from the box downstairs to put up those complete unnecessary lights!