In Dravidian land it is always a ‘Minority’ government
by Thamizhchelvan on 09 Jun 2011 13 Comments

“The AIADMK government will be formed with the Blessings of Jesus. My government will ensure assistance for Christians’ pilgrimage to Jerusalem like Muslims’ Haj pilgrimage. Christians can construct whatever they want to in their lands. Nobody has the authority to ban building of Churches in Patta lands. When we come back to power with the blessings of Jesus, we will remove the ban and allow Christians to construct Churches. Another demand of reservation benefits to Dalit Christians has also been placed before me. There is a commission for this. Once we form the government, we will take up the issue with the commission and get the required permission for extending the welfare measures enjoyed by the Hindu Scheduled Castes to Dalit Christians also. I am not new to Christian principles, prayer, worship and functions. I have studied in Christian Institutions. I have great respect and reverence for the Christian Missionaries, who have done great services in the fields of Health and Education worldwide. I have read the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. They are well entrenched in my heart. Following the teachings of Jesus, I will remove the darkness engulfing Tamil Nadu.”


Thus spoke Jayalalithaa during Christmas celebrations by Arumanai Block Christians Movement, in Kanyakumari, during the course of her election campaign. Ever since she drew a blank in 2004 parliamentary polls, she started wooing the minorities, many times yielding to their Machiavellian agenda.


On 25 May 2011, two delegations of Christian clergy met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, blessed her and committed their full cooperation to her government. They gently reminded her that their community had fully supported and favoured her party in the just concluded Assembly elections and urged her to fulfill her election promises. Representatives of the Tamil Nadu Catholic Bishops’ Council and the Church of South India dioceses called on her to wish and bless her and remind her of her election promises.


The representatives of Tamil Nadu Catholic Bishops’ Council were headed by Archbishop of Madras Mylapore Diocese, Rev. A.M. Chinnappa, and the representatives of Church of South India by Rev. Vasanth Kumar. Bishops Lawrence Pius, Prakash, Gnanaprakash, Lesley, Milton, Franklin, Vasikaran and Winner also called on Ms Jayalalithaa.


Congratulating her on her party’s spectacular victory, they assured her of the support and cooperation of over 21 lakh members of the Church dioceses in different states. After offering prayers for God’s blessings to help Jayalalithaa implement welfare schemes for the poor and downtrodden without any hindrance, they conveyed their hope that Jayalalithaa would redress their grievances.


Their “grievances” were reportedly submitted as a charter of demands to the Chief Minister, and included the following:

1.           Subsidy for Jerusalem Pilgrimage

2.          Vanniyar Christians must be included in MBC category, on par with Hindu Vanniyars, for reservation benefits

3.          Reservation Benefits for Dalit Christians, on par with Hindu Scheduled Castes

4.          Government aid for schools run by Christian Dioceses

5.          “Difficulties” in constructing Churches must be resolved and smooth construction facilitated.


In the party manifesto for 2009 Parliament elections, AIADMK gave exclusive commitments for Christians, such as reservations for Dalit Christians, subsidy for Jerusalem Pilgrimage, holiday on ‘All Souls Day’, hostels with all facilities at nominal charges in towns of minority religious significance, etc. The same were repeated in the manifesto for the recent assembly elections and Ms Jayalalithaa emphasized them during her election campaign.


Immediately after her victory, another Christian body, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) sent her a congratulatory letter, wherein its President Sajjan George stated, “We wish to remind you about the assurances given by your good self in the Kanyakumari Conclave that you would stand by the welfare of the Christian community in Tamil Nadu, as a large number of Christians are your admirers and have worked for the success of your party throughout the state.”


Meanwhile, the Christian lobby which dominates the Matriculation Education in the state, is said to have approached the Chief Minister with regards to their ‘grievances’ about the “Samacheer Kalvi” (Uniform School Education System – brought in by the DMK regime) particularly in the regulation of ‘Private School Fees’. It must be noted that the chief minister had already stated that her government would not interfere in the fee determination unless the schools asked for it. Apart from regulation of fees, the ‘uniform syllabus’ is also a cause for concern for the Matriculation Schools, as many Christian Publishers are in the trade of publishing matriculation syllabus.


It is reliably learnt that this matriculation lobby is moving through the chief minister’s old teachers at Church Park Convent. Though she has deferred the Uniform Education System for the time being, Jayalalithaa may eventually drop the policy altogether, yielding to the Matriculation lobby, as the policy was conceived and designed by the DMK. It is neither surprising nor unusual for Jayalalithaa to end a DMK project or scheme, even if good and beneficial; closing the “Uzhavar Sandhai” (Farmers’ Market – conceived and implemented by DMK in 1996-2001) in 2001-2006 is a classic example.


Ironically, a few Hindu organizations have also officially sent their congratulations to Jayalalithaa. Forgetting all anti-Hindu acts she committed during her previous regime, these organizations have lauded her victory as a victory of “Dharma” over “Adharma”! They hope her dispensation would ensure that Hindu interests in Tamil Nadu are not neglected! It must be remembered that she refused audience to a group of Hindu religious leaders comprising a few adheenams and a corporate guru just before the elections. One Hindu organization connected with Temples tried to gain her support before the elections by sending feelers through letters and messengers, but was ignored with contempt. After the elections, the same organization congratulated her and requested an audience; so far there has been no response! 


Unfortunately, these organizations fail to realize that Jayalalithaa has not done a single good thing in favour of Hindus, particularly after her rout in the 2004 Parliament elections. Since then, she has not only refused to support Hindus but acted against them. Also, she has not included even one agenda in favour of Hindus in her election manifesto or during her campaigns. Yet there is a considerable section of Hindu opinion makers who peddle that Jayalalithaa is a “staunch Hindu”!  


Immediately after the formation of the AIADMK government, the Minority Welfare Department issued a circular announcing that students (from I Std to XII Std) of minority communities could apply for financial aid. Jayalalithaa is very aware of this religiously discriminative policy of the Central government, but has not bothered to commit the same benefits to poor Hindu students. When she could commit reservation benefits for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, why not financial aid for poor Hindu students?


There are two important cases of Hindu interest in the Courts of Law, the ‘Tamil New Year case’ in Madras High Court and the ‘Chidambaram Temple case’ in the Supreme Court. It would be very interesting to see how Jayalalithaa’s government deals with them when they come up for hearing soon.


In the last five years, Jayalalithaa continuously ridiculed the DMK Government headed by Karunanidhi as a “Minority” government; Karuna used to respond that he was indeed heading a minority government as his government was working for the welfare of the Minority communities. Now, although Jayalalithaa is heading a majority government, she is also heading a Minority government as per Karuna’s logic!


It doesn’t make any difference to the Hindu majority, which has been groping in the dark since 1967, without efficient and effective leadership.


References: -

Deccan Chronicle dated 26 May 2011
Tamil Daily ‘Dinamani’ dated 26 May 2011


The writer is a political analyst

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