Pari Yerum Perumal & others

The hype around the Tamil movie ‘Pari Yerum Perumal’,prompted me to watch this poignant story of discrimination based on caste.

 The story is based in Tirunelveli, in Southern Tamil Nadu, known for its caste based classifications and violence. People got killed for marrying out of caste, though such instances are declining, thankfully.

This film talks about the heinous treatment met to the lowest strata of the caste hierarchy – the dalits – in a government law college. The story is poignant, direction excels, metaphors glitter and the movie leaves one with a deep sense of exasperation and helplessness.

Let me get this straight. This is one hell of a film that hits one on the face, with a sledge hammer soaked in the reality called caste discrimination.

But, why should this situation prevail after 70 years of national independence and a 40 year state rule by the so-called backward communities? Did not the ‘Dravidian Rule’ result in overcoming the past structures?  This model of questioning would open up the simmering wounds that refuse to heal though artificially stitched for the last 40 years and made to appear as though all was well in the subaltern.

Were not Annadurai and Periyar Ramasamy Naicker, the much deified leaders in TN, supposed to have demolished the caste hierarchies in the state and made Tamil Nadu a ‘model’ , ‘rationalist’ and  an ‘egalitarian’ state for other ‘backward’ northern Indian states to follow? What happened to the long handed out history that has been proclaiming from the rooftops of the dawn of such an elite state in India?

If the scenarios depicted in the film are true -yes, they are true as most of the incidents are from real life acts in the state- then should we rewrite the history books in Tamil Nadu and throw the names, Annadurai and Ramasamy Naicker, to the dustbins of history?

The ending scene where two glasses, one with left over tea+milk and the other with just tea, depicts the reality in the state – that caste differences exist. The subtle message couldn’t have been conveyed with any other metaphor, for the prevailing ‘Two-Tumbler’ system in Southern Tamil Nadu cannot be hid under the carpet to paint a rosy picture in the state. 

Then there is the usual spineless caricature of the brahmins – the scene in TASMAC, the state run liquor shop, where a fellow drinker is shown as one wearing three strokes of the sacred ash and sporting a half open shirt that exposes a wrongly worn sacred thread while mouthing the peculiar lingo of the brahmins (‘mama jammnunu irukken paaru’). The liquor consuming brahmin had no role to play in the film. He appeared just for that scene. Then why should he sport the sacred ash, wear the sacred thread in a publicly visible fashion and mouth brahmin oriented lingo? Could that character not have been anybody else without any caste indicators? 

No Tamil film worth its salt is complete without such a down right racist and wanton degrading depiction of the brahmin community. Unless rabid hatred is infused into the genes, such a depiction is not possible.

Let us look at some Tamil films that have such rabid anti-brahmin sentiments.

The case about Kalam Hasan’s film ‘Virumandi’ is worth a look here. Leaving along the conflict regarding the title ( Sandiyar Vs Virumandi), the movie depicted a conflict between the militant Thevar community and a numerically minuscule Telugu speaking Naickers in southern districts of Tamil Nadu. The irony is that there is no conflict between Naickers and Thevars, both being wealthy land owning classes from the feudal setup. The real conflict in the southern states was between Thevars, the feudal landlords and Dalits, the landless exploited group. But portraying reality could have cost the film its very right to be screened. Could any movie maker worth his name make a movie on the annual ceremony to the legendary freedom fighter ( and a representative of the Thevar community) Muthuramalinga Thevar and the rise in tension in the region due to Dalit resentment opposing the ceremony?

The recent Tamil blockbuster ‘Kolamavu Kokila’ had a Brahmin character, with a ‘Sri Churnam’ – the traditional red mark that the Iyengar brahmins wear on their forehead – playing the role of a pimp. What is the obsession with ‘Sri Churnam’ is a question for sociologists to answer.

Kamal Haasan’s super hit movie ‘Viswaroopam’ had him play the role of a spy in the guise of a Brahmin that cooked chicken for his Brahmin wife that loved chicken. The wife works in the USA as an oncologist and Kamal Haasan is a live at home husband that tutors girls in Bharatnatyam. The role of a docile Brahmin is in direct contrast to a jihadi hunting spy is an excellent contrast, no doubt, and brought the extreme traits meet at a common point. But why should Kamal Haasan be shown as cooking chicken which he admits not to consume it in the film? And why should the wife be depicted as consuming the same? What kind of a retarded depiction is this?

Yet another Tamil film by name ‘Joker’ had another ‘Sri Churnam’ sporting assistant to a minister. Nothing wrong except that the assistant utters holy hymns of the saintly Azhwars ( 8th Century Vaishnavite saints) at the most inappropriate of places and occasions, one being near a toilet. There was no connection what so ever. Any comical relief that was sought to be brought never happened.

Let us come back to Pari Yerum Perumal.

Take the case of the English professor who punishes the protagonist and his friend for being grossly ill-equipped in English. In the scene where he chastises the duo, he is shown with a clean forehead. In the scene where he recommends suspension of the protagonist for entering into the ladies’s room, the Professor is shown as wearing the ‘Sri Churnam’. Note the connection – Sri Churnam –> Iyengar –> English –> Punishment for not being proficient enough in English and therefore anti-dalit. 

Would the film have depicted a devout muslim, wearing a skull-cap, consuming liquor or a christian, wearing the holy cross, chastising the Dalit protagonist? The film didn’t even provide a hint of the caste of the oppressors in the film. And that is ‘Social Justice’ for the uninitiated.

In spite of these traditional lacunae, the film ‘Pari Yerum Perumal’ is a tight slap on the collective conscience of the dravidian strain of politics in the “Rational Republic of Tamil Nadu’. 

The vicious brahmin-hatred ingested into Tamil cinema’s blood stream in the last 50 years rears its ugly head in incremental fashion, from time to time, and makes its presence felt. Now the venom has permeated into the genes, thereby successive directors have inherited the trait and are depicting the same in some form and measure, without fail.  

Compare these films with gems such as ‘Asthu’, a Marathi film, on the Alzheimer afflicted Sanskrit Professor. Though I would want to ask ‘When would Tamil movie industry produce such films?’, I don’t expect any introspection and correction in the Tamil cinema community, for the pedigree speaks for itself through the films it produces.



Tamil Nadu’s Education Scene

I had earlier written a piece asking for more CBSE schools in Tamil Nadu and drew flak from many from the Tamil Nadu State Board Schools. Well, I don’t mean to beat around the bush and say ‘politically correct’ but ‘practically insignificant’ things. I write for progress and change. Here is how the state board education system sucks in Tamil Nadu.

Let us look at the number of children entering the IITs from the TN State Board. Here are some infographic reports that tell what we already know yet don’t want to acknowledge. This is for the year 2017. 


Why such an abysmal statistic when the TN state board’s education system is supposed to be ‘top class’? What ails the education system?

Even within IIT-Madras, the admission statistic paints a gloomy picture. Here what it says:

Out of these state board students who have joined the IITs, it would be a no-brainer to say that most of the students would have been from private schools affiliated to the state board and not the government schools. ( I don’t have data to substantiate this, but that could well be the case). And students would have attended expensive coaching classes for clearing the JEE.

For a moment, let us consider that the IIT-JEE entrance exam isn’t the barometer of excellence. Then the following data paints an even abysmal picture. TN’s mean score in English and Mathematics is way below the national average and abysmally below the mean scores from CBSE and ICSE boards. 

There is nothing wrong with the students. It is the state board, its curriculum and the woefully under-motivated teachers who are responsible for letting down the students who, for no fault of theirs, had chosen to study in Tamil Nadu’s State Board schools. 

Well, we can choose to recognise the lacuna and correct it or bury our heads in the sands of past glory and pretend as though all is well. 

Would the state government wake up?

முதல்வரின் கிருஷ்ண ஜயந்தி வாழ்த்து – சில குறிப்புகள்

முதல்வர் பழனிச்சாமியின்(@CMOTamilNadu) கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்தி வாழ்த்தும், அதைத் தொடர்ந்து பகவத் கீதை பற்றிய அவரது செய்தியும் நம் மாநிலத்திற்குப் புதுமையானவை.
எடப்பாடி கிருஷ்ண ஜயந்தி
கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்திக்கு ஜெயலலிதா வாழ்த்துச் சொல்லியிருக்கிறார். ஆனால் கீதை பற்றியெல்லாம் சொன்னதில்லை. பகுத்தறிவு / மதச்சார்பின்மை தீட்டு பட்டுவிடும் என்பதால் கொஞ்சம் மிகுந்து பேசாமல் இருந்திருக்கலாம் என்று நினைக்கிறேன்.
ஆனால், அதற்கு வாழ்த்துச் சொல்வதற்கு மேல் அவரால் வேறொன்றும் சொல்லியிருக்க முடியாது என்பதையும் நான் அறிந்தே இருக்கிறேன். பெண் / சாதி இவற்றைக் கருத்தில் கொண்டே அவர் பேசியிருந்திருக்க முடியும் என்று எனக்குத் தெரிகிறது.
அதற்கு முன்னவருக்குக் கிருஷ்ண ஜெயந்தி அன்று ஆரியன் / திராவிடன் என்பதெல்லாம் நினைவிற்கு வரும். தீபாவளி அன்று நரகாசுரன் நினைவிற்கு வருவான். நரகாசுரன் புகழ் பாடும் கூட்டம் என்று ஒன்று திடீரென்று முளைத்து மேலெழுந்து வரும். சில நாட்கள் ஆடிவிட்டு அந்தக் கூட்டம் ஓய்ந்து போகும். தீபாவளி தேவையா என்பது போன்ற பட்டிமன்றங்கள் சில நாட்கள் நடைபெறும். நல்ல உணவு, ஊக்க பானங்கள் முதலியவை கிடைப்பதால் வேலை இல்லாத சிலர் வந்து செல்வர். மீண்டும் அடுத்த தீபாவளி, அடுத்த வசவு.
அதே போல் நவராத்திரியின் போது காளியின் கற்பு பேசப்படும். மஹிஷாசுரன் மஹாத்மியமும் சனாதன தர்மத்தின் சூழ்ச்சியால் மஹாத்மா மஹிஷாசுரன் கொலையுண்டதும் கருத்தரங்கங்களில் பேசப்படும். இதற்கு நடு நிலை வகிக்கும் பெரியார்கள் எனப்படுவோர் ஒத்து ஊதி, நம்பிக்கை உள்ள மனிதர்களின் வயிற்றெரிச்சலைக் கொட்டிக் கொள்வர்.
பின்னர் பொங்கல் அன்று சின்னதாக ஒரு களேபரம் நடக்கும். வேலை போன பெரியவர்கள் சிலர் பொழுது போகாமல் பரிதிமாற்கலைஞர் பெயரை இழுத்து நம்பிக்கை கொண்டோரின் சாபத்தைக் கேட்டுப் பெற்றுக் கொள்வர்.
செப்டம்பர் 15-16 தேதிகளில் கருப்புச் சட்டை போட்டுக்கொண்டு வசை மழை பொழிய ஊர் முழுக்க முச்சந்திகளில் திட்டுக் கச்சேரிகள் நடத்திக் கலைவர். விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி வந்துவிட்டால் மீண்டும் திட்டுக் கச்சேரிகள், வசைக் கூட்டங்கள், ஒப்பாரிக் கருத்தரங்கங்கள். எதிர்க்கட்சியின் ஸ்டாலின் ஒருமுறை விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி வாழ்த்து சொல்லிவிட்டார். பின்னர் தனது உதவியாளர் தவறுதலாகச் செய்தி அனுப்பிவிட்டார் என்று பகுத்தறிவு மழுப்பல் கலந்து புளுகினார்.
விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி அன்று இந்த ஓய்வு பெற்ற புலவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் ஒரு ஆராய்ச்சித் தலைப்பு திடீரென உதயமாகும். அதாவது: விநாயகர் தமிழ்க்கடவுள் அல்லர். வாதாபியில் இருந்து கொண்டு வரப்பட்டவர். எனவே கொண்டாட்டம் தேவை இல்லை. இப்படியாக ஏதாவது எதிர்மறையாகச் செய்துகொண்டே தொலைக்காட்சிகளில் பெயர் வரும் படியாகப் பார்த்துக் கொள்ள வேண்டும். அப்போது தான் வரும்படி சரியாக இருக்கும்.
ஒருவழியாகத் தமிழ் நாட்டைத் திட்டு நாடு என்று பெயர் வரும்படிச் செய்து விட்டனர் திராவிட அரசியலாளர்.
Edappaadi Palanisamyஇதற்கு மாற்றாகத் தெரிகிறார் எடப்பாடி பழனிச்சாமி. நெற்றியில் திருநீறு அணிவதற்கு அஞ்சவில்லை, சில நாட்களில் குங்குமமும் உண்டு. சிரித்த முகம். நேரடியாகப் பேசுகிறார். முத்தாய்ப்பாக இந்த ஆண்டு கிருஷ்ண ஜயந்தி வாழ்த்து.
ஊழல் செய்யவில்லையா, நேர்மையாக இருக்கிறதா ஆட்சி என்று கேட்க வேண்டாம். முந்தைய ஆட்சிகளும் இப்படியே தான் இருந்தன. ஒரே மாற்றம் முதல்வரை எளிதில் அணுக முடிகிறது, முதல்வர் சனாதன தர்மத்தைப் பின்பற்றுவதை மறைத்துச் செய்யவில்லை. வெளிப்படையாகக் கோவில்களுக்குச் செல்கிறார்.
சமீபத்தில் தமிழகம் சென்றிருந்தேன். பல கால்வாய்கள், ஏரிகள் ஆழப்படுத்தப் படுவதையும், தூர் வாரப்படுவதையும் நேரில் பார்த்தேன். பருவ மழைக்கு முன்  இவ்வளவு பெரிய அளவில் இம்மாதிரியான செயல்கள் நடந்து நான் பார்த்ததில்லை. காரணம் யோசித்தேன். முதல்வர் வேளாண்மைப் பின்புலம் கொண்டவர். நீரின் அருமை, தேவை பற்றி அறிந்தவர் என்பதால் இருக்கலாம் என்று தோன்றியது.
நல்லது நடப்பதாகத் தோன்றுகிறது. தொடர்ந்து நடக்க வேண்டும். தவறுகள் களையப்பட வேண்டும். ஆனால் நல்லதைச் சொல்லாமல் செல்ல முடியாது.
வாழிய செந்தமிழ் வாழ்க நற்றமிழர்
வாழிய பாரத மணித்திரு நாடு
வந்தே மாதரம்.

Kalaignar Karunanidhi (1924-2018)

An era has ended. May Kalaignar’s soul reach the abode of the Lord that he publicly announced to have despised.

Kalaignar will be remembered for all that he had said, stood for, and done. So, what did he stand for and what does his era signify?

Kalaignar’s era was characterised by nepotism, hatred towards Hinduism in general and the Brahmins in particular,  funded by missionaries who never stopped short of calling him their saviour and benefactor, and any thing even remotely anti-India. 

A quick thinker and a fast learner, he switched sides, without compunction, to stay in power at any cost. Having worked for and against the Congress party on three different occasions, he chose to ride with the right wing BJP to enjoy the fruits of power at the center and without any second thought, quit the right wing alliance towards the end of the term and switched back to supporting the Congress. He was called a ‘Chanakya’ but was actually a rank opportunist and a clinger to power.

He roused the emotions of the people on every issue and then reaped rewards from those. The anti-hindi agitation was one such.

Kalaignar did not have a single stand on any issue. He always had a minimum of two stands and was adept in reasoning out both ways. Sri Lankan Tamil cause is a case in point. He supported the Tamil rebel groups that opposed LTTE, for the latter was patronised by MGR. Later, when the LTTE eliminated all other Tamil groups, he didn’t feel shy to support the Tigers. From supporting India’s intervention in Sri Lanka to calling for IPKF’s withdrawal, to passing on classified secrets to the Tigers, to denying their existence in Tamil Nadu, in supporting secessionism, to occasionally standing for India’s unity when he found berths in the central cabinet, from ridiculing hindu rituals and symbols and castigating his party men from following hindu rituals, to turning a blind eye to his family members’ association with temples and rituals, from casting aspersions on hindu saints to welcoming Sai Baba home, he had a dualist approach in all that he touched. 

His often touted contributions to Tamil are mostly over-hyped emotion tinged statements meant for public consumption. His reign saw the mushrooming of low quality English medium matriculation schools ( MGR and Jayalalithaa are no exceptions here), degradation of the state’s primary education infrastructure, and general apathy towards corruption among public servants. When the state’s educational infrastructure is often connected with K.Kamaraj, the state’s decline due to corruption and malfeasance is linked with Kalaignar. MGR and Jayalalithaa helped carry forward this legacy with the result that dravidian rule has come to be known as the reign of corrupt politicians.

It started with Kalaignar’s  Veeraanam Scam in the late 60s. Justice Sarkaria’s report on the then government’s corrupt practices termed Kalaignar’s reign thus: ‘Scientific Corruption’. Tamil Nadu’s march towards decadence and rust was initiated by Kalaignar and carried forward by MGR and Jayalalithaa. Being corrupt is now not a cause for remorse or regret. That is the victory for the dravidian reign.

A defining aspect of Kalaignar’s rule has been a gradual lowering of standards in public discourse. Indecent words, swear words and double entendres, that ridiculed women in public, became the norm. Especially with Jayalalithaa as the arch-enemy, the volume and intensity of the talks increased. And the pity was, Kalaignar rewarded such talks with plum positions in government and in the party. 

World Tamil Conference, espoused by his mentor Anna Durai, later carried forward by his arch rival MGR, became a pricking point for Kalaignar. He was not able to conduct a World Tamil Conference during his last term in office as that was not approved by the world organization that had to give a go-ahead. He brought about another festival – the Semmozhi Festival- at great expense to the public exchequer to ostensibly promote Tamil, but ended up promoting family ‘talent’. During his reign, academic research in Tamil became a thing of ridicule (he awarded a Ph.D to a ‘scholar’ who produced a thesis that said Thiruvalluvar was a disciple of St.Thomas). 

Whenever Kalaignar assumed power ( five time Chief Minister), anti-national rhetoric gained traction  and the government turned a blind eye to such nefarious activities. Debates in the legislative assembly were either verbal assaults on the opposition or singing competitions eulogising Kalaignar (Jayalalithaa wasn’t far behind in this). Rivalry between MGR and Kalaignar became so virulent that mere exchange of pleasantries between the ruling and opposition members were scoffed at. The trend continues to this day, to the merriment of the politicians from other states.

Kalaignar’s last term was characterised mostly by corruption, nepotism, and bland display of sycophancy at every level. Governance became a casualty, with his own children and extended family members fighting for the spoils of the administration, both at the state level and at the central level where the DMK had a say.

Kalaignar would be remembered for two schemes –  Uzhavar Sandhai ( farmer’s market)  and Valluvar Reading Rooms, both of which are now defunct. He would also be remembered for his attempt to sell arrack in polythene sachets and converting the state to a place of ugly statues. Another star scheme that helped attract many followers was the ‘First Graduate Scheme’ that has indeed helped many from the poorer sections to become graduates with a little push from the government.

Kalaignar Karunanidhi – A man who had very humble beginnings, yet raised his family’s wealth to stratospheric levels at the cost of the state’s administration and the country’s standing in the international comity of nations. That the party which suffered several splits during his term did not disintegrate into un-noticeable subgroups is a testimony to the organisational skills of Kalaignar. He kept his party together and the DMK stands tall as a cadre based party that has some potential left.

Kalaignar, who is called the ‘Last Dravidian Stalwart’, was a man who had all the chances to become a Lee Kuan Yew but gave up all those in pursuit of personal glory and family wealth to the detriment of the state and nation.

Welcome to the Tamil Mind

The most unworthy seek the most attention. Worst part is, they get it.
People flock to such unworthy humanoids that are funded by hatred and avarice. Real worth gathers dust in the remote corners of the society.
This applies to literature as well. A brief look at the topics that are debated in literary societies prove this beyond doubt. Not considering the current political, economic and societal situations, the debates and celebrations talk about imaginary situations and those that are not even worth a mention. In this way, the literary committees are ‘staying clear’ of controversies, it seems.
The topics don’t encourage intellectual vigour, evidence based analysis or anything even remotely connected with basic human intelligence.Any normal intellect based discourse or debate is becoming extinct. Either it is for or against a topic.By all these, the literary societies are progressively marching towards intellectual oblivion and are becoming irrelevant, to say the least.
This degradation of intellectual discourse extends to normal conversations too. Either you are pro-Modi or anti. Either you support Nehru and are willing to build temples for him or you want to dump him in the drains of India. Either you a ‘Periyarist’ ( what ever that means) and hence have to oppose any progressive activity in the state or you are not and, by virtue of you not opposing a developmental activity, you automatically become a brahmin – the new-age Jew- and hence you automatically become despicable and sub-human instantly.
Once a topic trends, the visual media in the Tamil Land would gravitate towards two sets of intellectuals – movie actors and unknown fringe rabble-rousers. The issue could be anything – a rocket launch, mars mission robot, artificial intelligence’s impact on human employment, machine learning and deep learning. It could even be as simple as a depressed student’s attempt on his life or as complicated as the anti-money laundering case against the CEO of a large bank. It could be a movie star’s wardrobe malfunction or BASEL regulation. The topic doesn’t matter. The panelists on TV remains the same – movie producers, disgruntled and failed political activists and evangelists. The panel’s
ratio varies but the composition remains the same.
One cannot say ‘ India is a secular nation’ before being branded ‘Nehruvian Hypocrite’ or ‘India is a Hindu-majority nation’ (a truth though) before being branded ‘Hindutva hate monger’. There is no middle ground, no mixture, no acceptance of alternate ideas.
That India is a Hindu-majority nation is in itself a reason for secularism to exist till now. This fact cannot be told. If you want to state this fact, either do it during your morning ablutions in the bathroom.
If the talk is on ‘Sterlite’ and if you speak Tamil, you are expected to oppose it, and, as an add-on, express anti-Modi sentiment in the same breath. It doesn’t matter that Modi or even the party he belongs to, did nothing to bring the company to India and did nothing to ensure the company’s existence in the country. If the discussion is on ‘Sterlite’, the only way to not be abused is to say ‘No to Sterlite’. Same goes for any other project. If it is the Salem- Chennai highway, then it has to be ‘opposed’, for if you don’t do so, you would end up bullied or ridiculed when you are in a group. While ‘opposing’ an airport expansion in India, you ought to praise a new terminal recently commissioned in say, Dubai (
substitute with any country other than India).
You could own two cars in your family, go to hill stations on week-ends in the same car, but would have to sound ‘anti-Methane’ or ‘anti-ONGC’ at every given opportunity. For you are a Tamil and hence you can’t sound otherwise.
You could own several posh apartments in the OMR area of Chennai that was once a conglomerate of coconut, mango and casurina groves, but you would still speak and write, with fervor, to save agricultural lands from ‘corporate’ influence. It doesn’t matter that the OMR apartments live on water sourced from near by agricultural wells.
You would have migrated to the US of A and become a citizen after going through several tests, you could have put your children through SAT to make them enter the elite US universities, but, as a Tamil, you would still hold placards in support of ‘Say No To NEET’ (the medical entrance
exam in India).
You would be only too willing to flash your SSN to get your drivers’ license, your telephone connection, your apartment lease, your bank accounts in the US, but when such a number is mandated in India (AADHAAR), you tweet, ‘Say No to AADHAAR’. You could only be too willing to pay a differential pricing for homes bought in countries such as Singapore, without murmuring equality, but when there is even a semblance
of perceived and imagined inequality in India, you would start shouting from the roof-tops ‘Inequality’.
This eternal double standard is the new normal. Choose to be ridiculed and reviled, if you opt out of this game.
Welcome into the ‘Tamil Mind’.

ஊழல் – உளவு – அரசியல்

51y9y0vbjplSavukku Sankar, as he is known after his popular website ‘savukkuonline’, is an ex-employee of the Tamil Nadu police force. In his Tamil book ‘Oozhal-Ulavu-Arasiyal’ (Corruption-Espionage-Politics), he explains, in first person singular, the trials and tribulations that he had undergone when he had to be tried for a suspected leak of supposedly classified information, while the truth was, he had inadvertently raised suspicion to have leaked a recorded telephone conversation concerning a then state government minister.

The book is racy, has its share of thrilling moments and lots of instances that portray the decay and nadir the police, state government and the judiciary have reached in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

That Sankar mentions the crime perpetrators by first name, who, in most cases, are government officials, chief ministers, judges and police officials, should not only ring alarm bells in the minds of corrupt officials, but also in the minds of the readers to look at the worthies using the spotlight shown on them.

Sankar also mentions some Jihadist elements, whom he had met in jail, who were later connected with some political parties connected with the minority community. This shows the kind of leaders who are heading such parties and who define the destiny of the followers of their ideology.

While we cannot compensate Sankar for the trouble and pain he had undergone in the hands of the supposed ‘protectors of law and justice’, we need to thank him for bringing out the politico-legal-police nexus and for highlighting the extent to which the united trio would stoop, at tax payer’s expense, to safeguard one another’s interests.

I do not subscribe to Sankar’s views on Islamic radicalism or left oriented activism. But, I would applaud his efforts in bringing out the decay in the govt machinery.

The books is mostly riveting and straightforward yet callous and monotonous in a couple of chapters.

P.S.: Not recommended for heart patients.

+1, +2 மாணவர்கள் கவனத்திற்கு..

+1, +2 மாணவர்கள் கவனத்திற்கு:

தற்போதைய விடுமுறைக் காலத்தை நல்ல முறையில் பயன்படுத்திக்கொள்ள இணையத்தில் பல வழிகள் உள்ளன. நீட், கிளாட் (NEET, CLAT) முதலான தேர்வுகளுக்கு என்று யூடியூபில் (Youtube) பல வடநாட்டு ஆசிரியர்கள் பாடம் நடத்துகிறார்கள். எல்லாம் 30 நிமிடக் காணொளிகள். சில வகுப்புகள் ஆங்கிலத்தில் உள்ளன. பெரும்பாலும் ஹிந்தியில். கொஞ்சம் ஊன்றிக் கவனித்தால் புரியும். ஒரு நாளைக்கு 2 மணி நேரம் என்று சிறு சிறு குழுக்களாகச் சேர்ந்து இக்காணொளிகளைக் கண்டு, பின்னர் கணக்குகளைப் போட்டுப் பார்த்து வந்தால் 4-5 மாதங்களில் எந்தத் தேர்வையும் சமாளிக்க முடியும். உடன் ஒரு பட்டதாரி ஆசிரியரையோ, தன்னார்வ உறுப்பினரோ இருந்தால் இன்னமும் எளிது.

அத்துடன். கேம்பிரிட்ஜ், கார்னெல், ஐயோவா, ஹார்வார்டு முதலிய பல்கலைகளின் ஆசிரியர்களின் காணொளிகளும் உள்ளன. டேட்டா சயின்ஸ் (Data Science) துறை தொடர்பான காணொளிகள் பல கிடைக்கின்றன. கோர்ஸெரா(Coursera), எட்எக்ஸ்,(Edx) உடெமி (Udemy) என்று பல நிறுவனங்கள் இலவச வகுப்புக்களையும் நடத்துகின்றன. வாரத்திற்கு 3 மணி நேரம் என்கிற அளவில் நடக்கும் வகுப்புக்கள் எளிதில் புரியும்படியும் உள்ளன. பயன்படுத்திக்கொள்ளலாம்.

இதையெல்லாம் விட, ஐஐடி, ஐஐஎஸ்சி கல்வி நிறுவனங்கள் NPTEL என்னும் இணையக் கல்விக் கழகத்தை நடத்துகின்றன. ஐஐடியின் பேராசிரியர்கள் பாடம் நடத்துகிறார்கள். பெரும்பாலும் இலவசமே. ஆனால் எப்போதுமே வகுப்புகள் நிரம்பி வழிகின்றன. சிங்கப்பூரில் இருந்து இந்தக் கல்விக் கழகங்களில் பலர் பயின்று வருகின்றனர் (அடியேனும்).

சினிமா, அரசியல், விளையாட்டு என்று நேரத்தை வீணாக்காமல், வீணாய்ப்போன மதமாற்றுக் குழுக்களின் பணம் பெறும் புதிய அரசியல் வியாபாரிகளின் பேச்சுக்களில் உங்களை விரயமாக்காமால், மேற்சொன்ன குழுக்களில் இணைந்து பயன்பெறுங்கள். உங்களுக்கு நீங்களே உதவி.

இவை தவிர, வேறு கேள்விகள் இருப்பின் நான் பதிலளிக்கிறேன், அல்லது தெரிந்தவர்களிடம் கேட்டுச் சொல்கிறேன். எனது முகவரி :

நினைவிருக்கட்டும்: நாளைய பாரதம் உங்கள் கையில்.

சில சுட்டிகள் :

Statistics and Probability

Learn to Program: The Fundamentals (LPT1)

Crafting Quality Code (LPT2)

Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization

Machine Learning by Stanford University

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by Dr. Barbara Oakley and the University of California, San Diego via Coursera

Introduction to Databases by Stanford University


IIT / NIT admission – state board performance

This graph shows IIT / NIT admissions by education board for the year 2016-17.!/vizhome/shared/7KHCSBNW8

It clearly shows that CBSE students outshine the state board students. Telangana, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh boards do while Tamil Nadu State Board doesn’t appear in the list. Probably TN board students who got admission were so minuscule that they didn’t figure in the data set.

Time the educators make a note of this. ( based on data from india vidya . com)


Tamil Nadu to Taliban Nadu 3

The concept of learning took a beating under the Dravidian rule. Rote learning became the norm. In the name of social justice, all out efforts were made to make the school syllabus as ridiculous as possible. If there was ever a ‘tough’ question in the exam- meaning ‘not from the book but slightly twisted to test the out-of-the-box thinking of the students- the authorities intervened and provided grace marks for the question so as to show a pre-agreed pass percentage. This ensured that none had to think to learn.

MGR, one of matinee idols who turned chief minister, brought in the ‘matriculation’ system – euphemism for english medium schools. With the craze for an énglish medium’running high in the state, many entrepreneurs lapped up the opportunity and shifted from, say, prawn fishing to matriculation school business. Anyone who had money and could afford a school building, however ramshackle that be, was given a licence to run a school. Government run schools began to lose lustre while petty entrepreneurs made the most of this money making system.

MGR didn’t stop with schools. He opened the flood gates for higher education too, by lowering the bar on the norms to be met to open private engineering colleges. Result: Arrack shop owners became Vice Chancellors  for ‘self-financing’ engineering colleges. Today every former history sheeter has an engineering college of his own while some have private universities too. Every religious Mutt worth its name, started a college with the surplus cash and, in the process, minted more money. Not wanting to be left behing, every movie star founded a college. Education suffered in the process.

In the name of ‘çampus interview’ – process by which private companies visit the campuses to select personnel for their businesses- deliberate mockery of ‘talent selection’ was made. Many of those who were selected soon were asked to quit from the companies due to reasons of non-performance.

This lopsided and skewed focus on éngineering’ education has produced its own problems. There is an over-supply while demand has not increased due to shrinking global demand. The quality of the ‘supply’ – lesser said the better.

In the name of ‘social justice’, the regular entrance exam to the professional courses was done away with, the ostensible reason being children from rural schools were at a disadvantage when it came to competing in the exams. With the demise of the entry test, the marks obtained in the higher secondary exams were taken as the qualifying criteria for entry into the engineering and medial colleges.

Thus rote learners gained entry into premier government run professional colleges. But the professional stream was run, thankfully, according to the AICTE norms ( All India Council for Technical Education) and hence the syllabus was at par with the central government run colleges ( except the IITs). The rote learners struggled to complete the courses. When the pass percentages turned abysmal, the private colleges in the lot turned to illegitimate means to boost their pass percentage.

Result: The current status of over supply of under skilled engineering graduates.

To rectify this anomaly in TN and other states such as Karnataka, the central government had come up with a standardized entry level testing scheme called NEET. While every state has acquiesced to this new pattern of one all India entrance exam, Tamil Nadu has scored the distinction of being the only state that has repeatedly sought an exemption from this centrally administered exam.

What a fall !


Tamil Nadu to Taliban Nadu – 2

Take the case of a terrorist who does a heinous crime. Any normal civil society would ask for the most extreme punishment to the devil. But what happened in the case of Sandalwood smuggler Veerappan was the exact opposite. The hardened criminal that he had become, Veerappan was audacious enough to kidnap Rajkumar, a famous Kannada actor, and demand ransom like he did with various other people. He shot to notoriety by smuggling sandalwood and elephant tusks. He was ruthless in killing the forest guards and policemen.

But when the state wanted to take some stern action on him, his caste became an issue of debate. Political parties such as the one headed by a medical doctor espoused his cause and argued for a pardon to the saint – Veerappan. His story was serialised in a local Tamil magazine and he became part of folklore. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in a one of her heroic acts, eliminated him by engaging with him in a kind of deceptive combat. He was lured into a trap and was killed. Then, his wife became a hero and was the talk of the town later. She even formed a political party. I don’t know what came of the party.

Would this kind of madness, of eulogising a hardened criminal, happen in the democratic society elsewhere? I would think not.

The LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi in cold blood. It denied its hand for many years until Anton Balasingham confessed to it in an interview before his death. Along with Rajiv, 23 other ordinary citizens of India were killed too. Just because the killers happened to be members of the LTTE – the so called saviours of Tamil – the terrorist organisation’s members had to dealt with kid gloves, claimed the chauvinists. The killers, even after 25 years of Rajiv’s death, are languishing in Indian prisons after clever lawyers helped them escape the noose. Now, it has become a fashion to sport the terrorist outfit’s emblems in public and claim the fight for a greater Tamil cause.

The January 2017 ‘protesters’ in the Marina beach, who were ostensibly fighting for an ancient animal sport, held out placards that had LTTE insignia. The ‘protesters’ held seditious placards that espoused secession from the Indian union, an old and un-intelligent call that even its originators abandoned in the late 60s. They had also shown thoroughly objectionable and crude messages against the nation’s Prime Minister, in completely base language that spewed with obscenity. So much for upholding Tamil, the classical language – what ever that is meant of the adjective.

Rev Robert Caldwell (1814–1891) sowed the first seed of secession with his ‘Dravidian Linguistic Unity Theory’. However he never concealed his evangelical intentions. He calculated correctly that once the southern languages are separated from the mainstream cultural unity based Sanskrit, it would be easier to reach the head count goals for which he had come to the country. Evidence for this is available aplenty.

His disciples carried forward his ideology and sanctified him in the annals of Tamil history. Now he has become an inalienable icon of Tamil hagiography. His evangelical intentions, however, do not eclipse his scholarship in Tamil. He took pains to learn the language and the many Bakthi literature ( eg : Thiruvachakam ) and became quite an expert in those. However, those that carry him in their higher scaffolds lack even the basic knowledge needed in Tamil to read and understand these Bakthi-era poetry.

The offshoot of Caldwell’s school of though was the dravidian separatist movement of the 50s. It proponent, E.V.Ramasamy Naicker, tried to enlist the Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam speakers into this ‘Dravidian’ channel and failed miserably at that. His protege, Annadurai, tried to carry this legacy, though a subdued one aimed only at the gullible Tamil audience, and abandoned it when Pt.Nehru threatened him with the new ‘Sedition Act’. Later Annadurai became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after committing to safeguard the Indian Union.

From then on, his protege, Karunanidhi, a screen play writer, and later a matinee idol M.G.Ramachandran became Chief Ministers in the same order. After the death of M.G.R, his screen pair and protege Jayalalithaa came to power in the state. The effect of all these was that the state had become the hotbed of movie centric madness. A stint in the movie industry became a path way to political power, with the result that, today every minor screen actor aspires to become the Chief Minister one day.

The supremacy of the show biz industry, easy access to power, excessive and unchecked flow of unaccounted money in the industry made sure that the persons associated with the industry were invincible. The ascendancy of people associated with cine industry to political authority led to lowering of standards in the educational scene. The screen stars who became political leaders began to believe in much of what they had mouthed in the movies. This resulted in empty rhetoric becoming academic mainstream. If one was able to deliver a mouthful of movie dialog without batting his eyelid, he was considered an academic and a person of erudition. Academic institutions became empty vessels that made the most noise, mostly unintelligible in nature.

Result : MGR, Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and Sivaji Ganesan became ‘Doctors in Philosophy’, with each state run university falling over another in conferring these ‘honorary’ doctorates to the worthies out of which the highest educated one was a Class X pass out.

Leaving aside the assault on the national psyche, the damage that this did to the Tamil literary circle was enormous. That directly contributed to the speeding up of the downward spiral.

Annadurai, a former Chief Minister penned base stories like ‘Oru Iravu’ ( One Night), ‘Velaikkaari’ (Maid) and depicted not so honorable scenes in them. These were regarded as a sort of rebellion against the ‘brahmanical’ literature of those times.  His protege Karunanidhi, a former movie script writer and three time Chief Minister, carried Annadurai’s legacy forward and helped bring down the standards of literature in general.

The one who wrote the most obscene of scripts and songs became the most talked about in town, was conferred with the most prestigious government awards with the result that a cartoonist of a local daily presented a scene where a garbage picker lays his hands on a multitude of awards dumped in a garbage bin.

Getting an award became tantamount to purchasing one.