Dear Chief Minister,
Please accept my sincere thanks. I will tell you why.
5 years ago when you came to power, I was one of the many who rejoiced. When you said that you would meet the press every week, I was over-joyed.
5 x 52 weeks have passed. And you met the press once.
The state was then ruled by a sycophantic conglomerate that whiled away its time ogling at semi-clad actresses gyrate on stage. Now that does not happen. However, I don’t know what you and your govt do.
The state was, albeit 40 years ago, the knowledge capital of the country. Today, it is the ‘water’ capital of the country – literally and figuratively. Either there is no water or an abundance of it.
I often thought your ministers had hunched backs. But later I learnt that their backs were bent due to an occupational hazard of having had to bend while standing in attention with hands folded, in mock respect.
You promised ‘corruption-free’ governance. What I got was ‘free’ corruption. Yes, either there is corruption or it is ‘free’ and hence corrupt.
I have not forgotten you. But I never understood why you had to remind me of your face when ever I step out of home – in the form of posters, billboards et al.
I wanted ministers who could speak. But what I got is a bunch of people who repeat what they say. And they repeatedly say what they repeat.
I can still recall Karunanidhi’s ministers by name. What they ministered is a different matter. But they had a name and I could remember them. The only minister I can remember in your government is you.
I expected rapid turn-around in governance. And I got an assembly resolution to release Rajiv killers.
I didn’t expect statesmen in your team. But I did expect men. Not only biological men but also who would stand for what they believed and know what they believed in.
I wanted men and women in assembly who could speak and act. What I got in return was a bunch of bench tappers.
The state of Tamil Nadu had produced such stalwarts like R.Venkatraman, O.V.Alagesan, Kamaraj and Rajaji. I didn’t expect your ministers to be like those folks. But I didn’t want bench bangers either.
Name one awe inspiring act of your government and I will change my name to ‘Blistering Barnacles’. Other than keeping the other bunch of looters out of power, what is your contribution to the state?
The more countries I visit, the more depressed I am. The Japanese Prime Minister walks with the commuters. Even Obama’s motorcade needs just 3 mins of traffic hold-up in New York. So, what is so special about TN?
Didn’t you find even one English speaking minister in you cabinet? The ex-BJP MP Maitreyan who joined your chorus brigade – where is he now? Why not allocate some decent work for the guy?
Your government has the dubious distinction of making people disappear into thin air at the drop of a hat. Not sure what the trick is. If one face from your party appears in a TV talk-show, then he would be expelled by you in the next one week or so. I think that people wanting to leave your party only take part in TV talks. And what a mess they make!
Neither are the opposition speakers on TV any good. They flounder and stutter and swear at one another. If only you had some speakers whose speech didn’t start with eulogies to you every time they opened their mouths, your points of view would have been made known. For by the time they finished singing your hosannas, we lost patience and changed channel.
I am not going to talk about the flood management in Chennai. But for the army, some bureaucrats, the NGOs and some well meaning youngsters, the capital would have been washed away, literally.
Dear Chief Minister, the state deserves better than what it has got.
But, is there a choice for us? Here are the alternatives:
- 2G looters who can’t count the zeroes in their bank balance.
- Wood-cutters, armed with pick axes, roaming around to cut off heads of lower caste folks.
- A semi-conscious alcoholic that doesn’t complete a sentence.
- The other lumpen elements that surface during election time.
With the above choice, ‘None of the above’ seems to be the best option. So, it seems, you have a chance again. And don’t let us down, yet again.
Final point before I close: Neither MGR nor Annadurai took anything with them when they departed. And that holds good for any Chief Minister. If at all, do good. If not, refrain from doing what you have been doing so far – just in case you were doing anything at all.
Let me know in case of clarifications. But don’t ask your ministers to talk, for I can’t wait until they finish your hosannas.
An Indian in need of a change
P.S.: My earlier letter to you and your predecessor