Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You too.. Chidambaram?

Tamil Nadu Assembly elections are less than a month away and the campaign is heating up with every leader of any political party of any relevance hitting the campaign trail. This is the first assembly election I am observing since I came back to Chennai and things are very different from the ones I had seen when MGR was around.

Thanks to technology, electioneering has come to the living rooms in Tamil Nadu. With the Tamil Cable Channels heavily polarized, you get totally divergent views delivered right via the stupid box. (If Mr. Karunanidhi has his way, then every household will have one.)

While Amma and Sarath Kumar fill Jaya TV, its reach is no match to the multi channel delivery capability of Sun network. While Jaya TV has to contend with taped broadcasts of various interviews and election events, Sun TV is flexing its muscle by deploying direct telecast vans and beaming the speeches of various DPA leaders directly as they deliver it across Tamil Nadu. I got to listen to Mr. Chidambaram via one such telecast.

I have always considered Mr. Chidambaram to be cut above the rest in Tamil Nadu politics, so I was disturbed by his spiteful speech against Ms. Jayalalitha. Instead of attacking her policies and political plays, he chose to attack her at personal level about her caste and background. He went to the extent of castigating her as an outsider who is doing business in Tamil Nadu implicitly raking the Aryan / Dravidian controversy.

Mr. Chidambaram, I have lot of respect for your stewardship of Indian Finance, Why are you stooping so low when it comes to Ms. Jayalalitha?