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Calcutta Diary

Unchanging India, and even the World Bank has now joined the troupe of excuse-mongers: India has been unable to reap the full advantages of liberalisation because of natural calamities that have befallen the country. Suppose some dull character were to ask whether the entire point of development was not to extricate the economy from the vicissitudes of nature, what answer would the mandarins, including the foreign ones, provide?

Vanniyar Separatism

The vanniyars' case for a separate state stands on loose ground. The movement, nevertheless draws attention to the current absence of a rallying point for a caste-based party in the context of the strengthening multi-caste, multi-party nature of electoral politics.

Tamil Nadu : Send Her Victorious

As the mass euphoria over Jayalalitha's by-election victory and resumption of chief ministership fades, one is left wondering about the secret of this extraordinary woman's success.

Tamil Nadu : Travails of a Statue

It is no secret that there is no branch of 'futurology' from which Jayalalitha, now getting ready for the Great Return, does not seek guidance, no action, votive offering or placatory ritual she will not undertake to nullify evil influences and promote good fortune. Her latest consultants are experts in vaastu, the sastra dealing with propitious planning, positioning and structuring of buildings and the like. The result has affected a certain statue in Chennai, a 40- year old landmark in the city.

Calcutta Diary

The ferocity of the attacks launched against the Tamil Nadu governor for having called upon Jayalalitha to form the government has transgressed the limits of fair criticism. The fault after all lies with the electorate for having elected a person who has been convicted to lead them. The malady lies with civil society as a whole, its paraphernalia having been appropriated by bigots.

Tamil Nadu - Election 2001: Changing Equations

While the AIADMK vote share has gone up significantly, corruption charges against Jayalalitha were not vote-catching slogans. After all, the AIADMK under Jayalalitha has emerged as a 'rural industry' which has become a channel for 'money circulation' that the party manages to mobilise while in power. Its return to power has much to do with ensuring a return to status quo, especially in the western industrial regions of the state. Nevertheless, the poll results are likely to bring about changes in the political landscape, because it is now clear that populist mobilisation based on the dichotomy of anti-Aryanisation versus Dravidian nativity will no longer yield results.

Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu's personality-oriented politics, many aspirants for power have thronged to Jayalalitha's side because of her perceived ability, demonstrated time and again, to rise phoenix-like from disgrace and defeat. Will the feat be repeated? Jayalalitha's disqualification from contesting the election has added a major element of uncertainty this time.
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