Monday, December 15, 2014

The Three Wise Men

These are days when we look around in dismay at politics, our politicians who can't be seen separate(d) from it and the political scenario in tote; the only politicians available today, fit snugly into the definition of politics when "poly" means 'many' and "tics" means 'a blood sucking parasite'. We hardly have a chance to make any sensible choice these days in a situation where in the name of majority sensible wishes just get heaped beneath a pile of less chosen minorities. Perhaps Pareto Principle works well here according to Murphy's Law for what must go wrong, to go wrong. Yet, yester-years did see some legends whose dedicated work of selflessness has given us a political foundation strong enough on which today's wobbly structure though shaky and weak still manages to carry on. These Three Men I present are very simple people who led a simple life with high thinking and why, oh why, I wonder don't we have people like this anymore...

Ex-CM of TN, Arignar Annadurai, was known for his literary intelligence and classing it up a bit. There are umpteen stories about instances when he delivered his mettle and this is my favourite: Once a kid when offered a candy, looked at Arignar and told him as a matter of fact, "Did you know Sir, that 'sugar' is the only word in English where 'S' is pronounced as 'Shu'?! Our man turned to the kid and without missing a moment asked, "Are you 'Sure'?! smiled and walked on having made his point...
Incidentally, his funeral entered the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest number of attendees, a 15 million plus.

A rebel, a Communist and a legend, he holds the record for being the longest serving CM from 1977 to 2000 (23 plus years) until his retirement due to ill health; Mr. Jyoti Basu, one of the most loved politician from West Bengal, like in life, a giver, mentioned that his body even after death should be useful for the nation and pledged his body for medical research.
At a time when hideous masks of people who took one Rupee as salary is revealed as we sink our heads in shame, geniuses like this, leave this world literally giving their all and much, much more and above all a legacy of a good life to talk about with pride for the rest of us for a change... Laal Salaam!

Though a school dropout owing to poverty, he became the first to introduce the 'Mid-day meal scheme' so that lakhs of children attending school may have a decent meal atleast once a day; further, he initiated the distribution of free uniforms in schools so that children may learn without any class discrimination based upon the clothes they wear. Even the IIT in the state was introduced during his reign as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Even after being a CM for 9 years he was known as an extremely simple man full of integrity; after his death in 1975, all that he left behind was 130 rupees, 2 pairs of sandals, 4 shirts, 4 dhotis and a collection of books; yet, he has a a road in Chennai and another in Bangalore, the domestic airport in Chennai and an university in Madurai named after him; he was also awarded the Bharath Ratna in 1976. It is both refreshing and a delight to know that the people of my place (Nagercoil) voted him to power in their constituency during his last tenure; Mr. Kumarasami Kamaraj a.k.a the King-maker, will stand undefeated if he stands an election even today and will always remain victorious in our hearts...

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