The chief minister is worried

The chief minister is a worried man. His confidantes, I am reliably told, have told him to abandon his yellow shawl. It’s not the right colour, they have told him. He has been asked to shift to the colour of logic and Marxism, red, and lose all his yellow shawls.

The chief minister is troubled. The ghosts of Rama’s monkeys are challenging his political future. To dig a simple canal, he has lately realised, is not easy. He has to now disprove things that happened even before he was born. He has tried, and the gods that existed and didn’t know how hard has tried, to convince people that the canal is important. But they won’t listen to him.
The chief minister has found that the voice of reason is not appealing anymore. Because ever since the days he took part in the anti-Hindi protests, his has been the voice of reason, not of logic essentially, but merely one that could be supported by facts. For once, he now realises that facts are not important. Beliefs are.
The chief minister is at a loss. No one can know if the bridge was Rama’s bridge. It cannot be proven. In fact, none of the things that are a matter of belief can ever be proven.
Now the fate of a project rests on a matter of belief and the partisan politics associated with it.

22 Comments so far

  1. ram (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 6:29 am

    Karunanidhi has done a lot of things for this state the Anti-Hindi protests would be one of the highlights but people these days pay no respect to that. If this was not done Tamil culture and language would have been wiped of the map. Unforunately these days people don’t appreciate such things Hindi culture is spreading through Chennai like wildfire what will be the end result?

  2. Ram (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    Thanks to Periyar, MK and his disciples, more and more millions are believing in GOD – that Hindus are a tolerant lot has been evident when they silently accepted images of Gods adorned by shoe / chappal garlands, when statues of Periyar were installed in front of the temples — but their faith cannot be washed away. Why, even in MK’s household there will be secret admirers of Rama and Krishna! I think it is time MK stops this tomfoolery and does not interfere in other people’s belief!!
    I would not like to comment on his yellow shawl!!
    that is an act of convenience!!

  3. surya (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 9:11 am

    MuKa is publicising his senility, let him carry on his comical nonsesnse, he has an audinence and he catering to them. He has to talk BS, he cannot do it on Islam (his home will be burnt down the next minute), nor on Christ (he would lose funding)By the way what else can you expect from a man who has many wives? Ignore this barking dog.

  4. surya (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 9:11 am

    MuKa is publicising his senility, let him carry on his comical nonsesnse, he has an audinence and he catering to them. He has to talk BS, he cannot do it on Islam (his home will be burnt down the next minute), nor on Christ (he would lose funding)By the way what else can you expect from a man who has many wives? Ignore this barking dog.

  5. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    Every philosophy and philosopher seem to have an `expiry’ date like drugs. They are as useful as the expiry dated drugs. On the negative side such drugs may do harm. Hence the need to discard them.

  6. Me (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    Oh My god, you have spoken against the Chief Minister of our state. Not sure if that is a smart thing, Please make sure you are in hiding because the DMK cadres are after you for sure. I hope chennai.metblogs is hosted outside Tamil Nadu or else it will be closed down.

  7. nandhu (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

    doesn’t anybody have anything funny to say?

  8. Murali (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

    Its amazing!!!! People like karnu and Mr. Nandu wants a canal to be built stating there is no proof for Rama. At same time they don’t want to learn Hindi stating the Aryan’s want to control Dravidians. Now how do you prove Aryan/Dravidian divide. Why can’t you dump Tamil and learn Hindi.
    Just as Tamil is important to me so is my religion. Don’t play with it.

  9. foo (unregistered) on September 17th, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

    Can we stick to verifiable facts please? It’s respectable to debate about the canal based on its transportation benefits vs environmental costs and things like that which can be checked by others. It’s the height of stupidity to either attack it saying Rama built the bridge or to support it saying Rama never existed. Is it too much to expect some dignity in the debates? The canal is NOT about Rama, and it is NOT about Aryans and Dravidians. The canal is a proposed engineering project. No less, no more. Please let us discuss only that.

  10. nandhu (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 12:40 am

    Foo, unfortunately it’s not possible to discuss the project as an engineering project that benefits the nation. or whether it will at all. what we are discussing is religion.

    Murali, will my learning Hindi get you proof of Ram?

  11. me (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 1:52 am

    No, but it will keep you busy from questioning our politicians.

  12. Murali (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 2:21 am

    Fact or not, you are questioning the belief of half a million people. Try that on any other country other than India. Now what is that you are going to achieve by constructing a canal? An engineering marvel which will be appreciated all around the world? Great Wall of China looks good. So what? Now you guys will bring in Panama Canal and Suez Canal, so what? The world did run when they weren’t around. How many people died either directly while constructing or indirectly due to the wars these canal caused?
    I don’t know how you came to a conclusion that it is just an engineering project? Where were you when a Ramayan telecast on Sunday morning shut down the whole nation? That’s the power of belief. The world runs due to these beliefs if not anarchy would have taken over a long time ago.

    Learning Hindi is your choice, I have no call on that. The same is true if your choice is not to learn Hindi. But if your reasoning is based on Aryan/Dravidian divide, then there is a serious flaw. BTW, I am a Dravidian and I don’t know Hindi and I have no intention of learning that language.

  13. nandhu (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 2:28 am

    world doesnt go around on beliefs. we need to believe in things that we want to. in a matter like this, we need to consider if a bridge is a matter of belief. it looks to me that that is a verifiable fact. whether ram existed or not, he is god. some of us believe in god, some dont. the nation is not run by atheists, or believers. the nation is run by people who were voted in to serve us.

    if the bridge was indeed built by a man or whether it was natural formation, let’s verify that. in fact, we should get as many verifications from independent agencies as possible. a project should not be stalled on the basis of a belief.

  14. nandhu (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 3:11 am

    the author of the post above is a geologist. he put up an faq on sethu. interesting.

  15. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 10:56 am

    It is correct the nation is run by people who were voted in to serve them. An engineering project, or for that matter any public project like highways/roads, that would benefit people should not face obstacles in its implementation.

    People in metro cities and many towns, facing severe traffic jams and pedestrian problems, due to location of places of worship in the middle of roads and on pavements everywhere and anywhere, would get great relief if these are removed/relocated. Once roads are decongested by removing/relocating places of worship and innumerable margin encroachments like petty busnesses, statues of various leaders etc that block traffic flow, passage becomes smooth.

    People would adore governments and their leaders when they take up such constructive works that immediately affect them in their daily life.

  16. foo (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my previous comment.

    I’m not supporting the canal, and I’m not attacking the canal.

    I’m saying – whether you decide to support or oppose the canal, please do so on sensible grounds. Note that I always refer to the CANAL, not any BRIDGE, natural or otherwise.

    No, religion is not a sensible ground either way. Using religion to attack the canal (“The canal will destroy Rama’s work!”) is stupid. Attacking religion to support the canal (“Rama was not a civil engineer and could not build a bridge”) is also stupid.

    We are NOT discussing Rama’s existence. If he existed, we are NOT discussing his civil engineering skills.

    If you support the canal, please choose some reason such as transportation, economy, efficiency. Those are all valid reasons.

    If you attack the canal, please choose some reason such as cost, complexity, environmental impact. Those are all valid reasons.


  17. Reflex (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

    MK can ask his daughter whether Ram existed or not. She visited Sri Rangam temple in the recent past. If MK cannot convince her daughter that God never existed, if he cannot clean his hom why is he trying to clean the street. Its a sentiment like the Yellow shawl and the Sai Baba worship by his family members.

  18. me (unregistered) on September 18th, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    Does Muka believe in Santa Claus…I hope he does…or should we show him proof.

  19. nandhu (unregistered) on September 19th, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

    it’s really not the chief minister’s rationalism that is the problem. at the end of the day, are we gonna get empirical evidence for or against the so called is the real moot question.

  20. suppamani (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

    The leader (THALAINGAM” written inThinamani ,Tamil Daily raises several questions to MK are very interesting and fruitful

  21. bhamadeviravi (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

    MK may have thoguth he was being very clever when he asked “which engineering college Rama passed out of?” Little did he relasie that made peopl wonder at his and T R Baalu’s ability to grasp and act upon technical intricacies of a 150-year old proposal, where qulaified brains were unconvicned of the feasibility/desirbaility/econmic returns of a canal. And these were men wo oeprated at a time when kickbacks ,we assume– MK the historian can correct us there– did not determine if a project moved ahead or no.

    When MK departed from debating protocol by indulging in perosnal attacks–“Rama was a drunkard and Valmiki has said so”– he lost his place at the hgih table. Can you think of a feebler argument–“Valmiki said so”.
    MK may think he has won brownie points for his rationalism but he has nto, We cna concede that he has succeeded in reducing Congress to that of a hand wrining old woman, incapable of stopping the damage. Which other Party could have got away with it?
    But MK seems not to have counted one cost– the after shocks would be felt by his heir apparent when the mantle falls on him fully.
    MK is not yet senile– only he is not the powerful script writer that he was– the audience are leaving him and the theatre will empty fast.

  22. zaheer ahmed sayeed (unregistered) on September 30th, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

    MK has been most inappropriate in his comments on Ram.There is no need for intemperate remarks.MK and the ruling DMK will pay for their wordy spouts and rubbish emissions.I dont think Citizen India will give them repreive.

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