It is reported in the press, that you have made certain
pronouncements on the problem of Opposition Parties
in Madras State, while opening a Maternity Centre last
week. Many will think that the occasion chosen by your
goodself, for delivering a political thesis, conceived
it ought to have been after a deep probe into the charming
whirlpool of present day politics, a bit amusing. I
for one do not treat it in such a light-hearted manner.
One cannot and ought not to dismiss the doings and sayings
of men adorning the ministerial seat, as something amusing.
They are important—at any rate as long as those who
deliver such sermons happen to occupy important posts.
I repeat, Sir, I was not amused—rather I felt a bit
sorry, for the uncouthness, lack of polite manners,
that that incident revealed.
Having been invited by a local body, to open a maternity
centre, wherein, the leader of the opposition, was also
present on invitation, it is not expected of your goodself
to attempt at 'sermonising' about the role of the opposition
in the State of Madras. It is so unbecoming, and embarrasing.
Those who thought it fit to get honoured by your august
presence and participation in the function, would have
expected to get the benefit of your advice on matters
pertaining to Health—not the abstract or theoretical
side of it—but as it is related to the Governmental
activity. They would have expected, that you would be
placing before them the progress made so far, the target
set up and the march towards it. They had a right to
expect from the Minister of Health, as exposition and
explanation of the policy of the Government in which,
you have been given an important role to play. Mothers
of that place, would have gathered with a very natural
eagerness to hear from the Minister, the steps taken
and to be pursued for the amelioration of the rural
population. But you have chosen, a subject, least expected—you
began to lecture unto them, how the opposition was functioning
in the State. Perhaps you thought, that the problem
of struggle in the political arena, should be explained
while opening a Maternity Centre—another place wherein
another kind of struggle is to be witnessed. Or, was
it that the thought of still-born children, and abortions
was so torturing to your good soul, that you wanted
to take solace and cheer, by taking a stroll in the
Much as you might try to explain, none could fail to
note, that the occasion chosen, was the most inappropriate,
and that which was delivered was so uncouth that those
who with much hope invited you for an important function,
would have muttered in muffled tones, that this was
another case of love's labour lost. And pray, what was
the necessity and urgency for delivering your opinion
about the opposition party, at that place? Was it the
presence of the Leader of the Opposition that was responsible
for your itching? Surely, even one with a cursory acquaintance
with culture would have felt on seeing the Leader of
the Opposition there, a strong reason for talking non-controversial
problems. That surely is not the place for poking one's
nose into such affairs. If only you had bestowed some
thought over the problem, I am sure, you could have
understood the embarrassment caused by your unchivalrous
When for a function, the people of that locality invite
a Congress minister along with the Leader of the Opposition,
they would naturally think, that there would be no controversy,
no pricks and punches. But, perhaps you thought, that
one should not miss such chances, and began to take
a delight in having a dig ! Little did you forsee Sir,
the irritation, and even contempt that attitude created
in the minds of those innocent, unsophisticated people
of that locality. They were all along expecting something
better, nobler and more decent from a Minister. They
never thought that the Congress Ministers are so terribly
hungry that they would pick up anything to munch, from
Apart from the 'timing,' which to say the least means
indecency, why should you, Sir, take upon yourself the
task of parading the strength of the Congress Ministry?
There are many—poor me one amongst them—who were hoping
that you would be of a different disposition than the
other ministers ! For, most of the others, were Congressmen
before they became ministers, while you became a Minister
first and then a Congressman ! So anybody has a right
to expect, something unbiassed in your views. But having
been in the den all these years, you have perhaps acquired
their traits to an abundent degree. I fail to remember
the appropriate proverb in English to explain such situations,
and shudder to mention the Tamil proverb, for it is
Unconcerned with inappropriateness and urged by the
jungle instinct, you began a tirade against the opposition.
And, what is it that you, after a careful study, patient
analysis and deep research, discover ? The mighty truth,
that the opposition was not strong! May I respectfully
inform you, Sir, that the people are not conversant
with G.Os, and D.Os, they read no files and compute
no sums, but they know this much, that there is a Brute
Majority for the Congress and that the Opposition is
composed of distinct parties, and hence there is no
strength, that number yields. They know it, and are
sorry that it is so and they are but waiting to reverse
the picture when the next opportunity arises. That apart,
may I point out, the truth, bluntly—the opposition is
composed of men, who have courage of conviction, and
sincerity of purpose. They are not of the sort, who
bark just to get a bone, and wag while munching it!
True, they are fighting against odds. True too, they
have not strength enough to thwart the attempts of the
ruling party when it robs the people of the barest justice.
True too, their voice of reason and caution, is not
paid due respect. But in spite of such unfavourable
circumstances they refuse to 'yield', they refuse to
bend'! Democracy is best maintained by the emergence
of such tough men. Who knows not, that some seek out
a snug place on the opposition benches, only the cast
their hungry eyes at the Ministerial side, catch the
wink distributed from here, exhibit their weakness and
beg for favours?
One need not take much trouble to illustrate this point.
You are yourself a monumental example of an opposition
member hugging at a opportunity and munching the crumbs
thrown! Were you not, honoured Sir, the sponsor and
the leader, of the Common Weal Party? Did you not indulge
in a tearing and rearing propaganda against the Congress?
Were you not championing the cause of the backward communities,
and did you not place before them the plea, that the
Congress would crush their rights and aspirations? Loud
used be your voice of protest, an long your list of
acts of commission and omission perpetrated by the Congress.
Constant tours, anxious consultations, deft declarations
need I remind you about all those methods?
And I will not be true for myself, if I do not point
out that you are the same person who volunteered to
sign the pledge issued by the D.M.K—assuring your support
for the demand for Dravida Nadu in exchange for the
support during the elections ! Is your memory so dimmed,
that needs, poor me, to remind you of that incident?
Oh! No! You are not devoid of intelligence to such an
extent, as to forget certain of the important events
in your political career.
Having obtained the mandate of the people did you act
up to that? Today, you make a pontifical statement,
that the Opposition is weak. When you had your chance
of building up an opposition, did you harness your energy
are employ your intelligence, for strengthing the opposition
party? No! You placed yourself at the disposal of the
Discarding principles, betraying the confidence place
in you, you Sir, without pang or shame, walked in the
parlour of power-mongers and sold yourself, lock stock.and
barrel for a place! And yet, you have the guts to say,
that the opposition is not strong. Numerically yes!
But in political morality, ethical standard, we are
not weak and vacillating. We refuse to vend ourselves
despite temptations, refuse to yield despite threats,
we do carry aloft the torch of sincerity and what little
light it throws, drives to some extent at least the
darkness hovering over the lives of the people.
With what an amount of sheepishness would you have faced
your audience, if somebody, following your method, placed
before that audience, a short political 'Who is Who'?
But the people, at least the politically conscious amongst
them, are conversant with the truth. They know from
whom they are getting this wholesome political lesson!
Just as even butchers are sometimes tolerated in 'Bhajan'
so do the people tolerate the presence of political
turn-coats amidst them—just for the fun of it.
And if you Sir, were to think, that because of your
position as a Minister, you could go on emitting any
kind of nonsense, you are mightily mistaken.
It is indeed an 'irony of fate' that you should sermonise.
Most sinners do! But let me assure you, that the opposition
is based on a definite policy and programme, and speaking
for the D.M.K., I make bold to say, that the policy
is becoming popular day by day, and the people are but
waiting to get the means of unseating the unscrupulous
rulers. You may not be aware of it—no tyrant hears the
rumble of revolt—but the hunger and poverty, ignorance
and disease, that the people are now asked to bear,
are enough to convince them, that they are under a regime,
which has got a silvery tongue and wooden head.
Please, hence, do not hasten the pace, by such indecent
attacks. You have found a cosy place—fatten yourself,
Sir, by employing the chance you have got. The proverb
only enjoins to make hay while the sun shines, but not
to............. I refrain from filling up the gap—for
old time's sake.