Letters TO the editor

Published: February 16, 2017 5:48:30 AM

Large sections of the media have taken it upon themselves to try and influence the course of political events in Tamil Nadu and shown their strong bias against VK Sasikala and the dominant AIADMK faction led by her in the process. The unabashed political bias has immensely eroded the credibility of the press among the discerning public.

Media biased against Sasikala?
Large sections of the media have taken it upon themselves to try and influence the course of political events in Tamil Nadu and shown their strong bias against VK Sasikala and the dominant AIADMK faction led by her in the process. The unabashed political bias has immensely eroded the credibility of the press among the discerning public. The choice of words by TV anchors and respected reporters has shown the suspension of their political neutrality. Each word was laden with inveterate hostility towards Sasikala. Few journalists argued the case for the swearing-in of Edappadi K Palanisamy to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and people’s will. Fewer commented that the apprehension that the newly-elected legislative party leader might act as a proxy for the jailed leader was not a good enough reason to stall his becoming the chief minister. The media’s criticism of Sasikala was as liberal as their praise of O Panneerselvam was lavish. Certain journalists have not crowned themselves with glory when they went so far as to term the power struggle as a “morality-versus-majority” issue, call Panneerselvam and Deepa Jayakumar as the “true inheritors” of Jayalalithaa’s legacy and certify the Panneerselvam faction as the “real AIADMK”, argue the case for his continuance as chief minister on the ground of “groundswell of support” for him. TV channels and newspapers were vying with one another to campaign for him. For all their intellectual air, journalists did not seem to appreciate that fighting corruption as a matter of principle is not the same as deploying a verdict as a weapon to fight a leader reviled by them. To put it plainly, a much-delayed “verdict of guilty” can’t nullify the popular will expressed in the mandate given to a party to govern. The impression that “something” more than majority support is needed to head a government strikes at the very root of democracy. The protracted political crisis in Tamil Nadu has highlighted our inadequacies as a democracy. Evidently, we have a long way to go before our emergence as a mature democracy. Are our journalist friends ready to play their role in shaping the nation towards this end?
G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

AIADMK’s subservience culture
Apropos of the edit “If SC had ruled faster…” (FE, February 15), the charismatic and yet ruthless Jayalalithaa enforced relentlessly a bonded subservience on her cadre and MLAs, and this is coming in handy even for her long-time aide. How else can one explain why almost all the party MLAs are sticking together despite Sasikala’s conviction by the Supreme Courts and the resulting adverse public opinion about her leadership. The anointing of E Palanisamy or any other stooge would have hardly mattered to their MLAs’ cohesiveness. What has been the singular contribution by Amma to her party may perhaps prove to be the greatest disservice she has rendered to her state in particular and democratic polity in general. Even autocratic set-ups as the SP, BSP, Shiv Sena, TMC, etc, have had internal rifts and rebellion. Not once in AIADMK, except for perhaps O Panneerselvam’s!

R Narayanan
Ghaziabad

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