Arun Ram (for Info only, not official)

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Arun Ram

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    ...On a few others was another ambitious woman leader doing a more courteous ‘vanakkam.’ In the few remaining vacant spots on the road medians, a certain Mr Naidu, with goggles and all, managed to install his modest hoardings joining the leaders in ushering in Shah: Come, come (varuga, varuga)! Amit Shah didn’t come. Chennai, meanwhile, was hosting another drama— that of the merger of two AIADMK factions led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and his predecessor O Panneerselvam (OPS). OPS now becomes the deputy chief minister with the finance portfolio, and the coordinator of the party steering committee. ...

    TOI on Aug. 22, 2017, 12:38 p.m.

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    ...After J Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5, 2016, Sasikala taking over the party reins and making an attempt to helm the government was not entirely surprising despite the hostile public mood. But what came earlier than expected to some AIADMK leaders was Dinakaran’s appointment as the deputy general secretary of the party. Sasikala obviously wanted a trusted family member to run the show while she remained behind bars. Given that a majority of leaders, especially legislators, support Sasikala for mutual survival, the nephew too might have thought it the best time to take charge. But Dinakaran cannot be oblivious to the immediate challenges – at least three of them – he faces. One, the all-pervading public ire. Dinakaran, even when he denies it in public, knows better than anyone else that Sasikala and, by virtue of being her family nominee, he are not exactly heroes in the public eye. ...

    TOI on March 2, 2017, 10:01 p.m.

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    ...For the protester and the sympathiser, it is a fight for one’s cultural heritage being trampled upon by biased, insensitive, even ignorant, decision makers. Look beyond the placard-holding student who boycotted classes to be a sentinel of Tamil culture on the Marina beach and you see a deeper reason: angst of a second generation muffled through systemic de-politicisation of campuses. What makes this reading difficult for even the discerning is that the protestor himself is not conscious that he represents a generation denied the right to stand up and be heard. With the last of powerful leaders gone with Jayalalithaa’s death, what we see today could be an eruption of that pent-up anger, say observers. Jallikattu came as the right spark, with all the ingredients of hurt pride and unrecognised valour. ...

    TOI on Jan. 20, 2017, 1:01 p.m.

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    ...And this can be an opportunity for the state to change its political culture too. For close to three decades, two giants – M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalithaa – had dominated the state’s political landscape. So bitter were they towards each other that they never saw eye to eye after the March 25, 1989 fracas in the assembly where Jayalalithaa accused DMK legislators of manhandling her. She left the House with dishevelled hair, promising to return only as the chief minister. She kept her promise — and unleashed vengeance. What followed was politics of vendetta: In the late 1990s, the ruling DMK filed corruption cases by the dozen against Jayalalithaa; after returning to power she ordered the infamous midnight arrest of Karunanidhi on June 30, 2001. They alternated between the treasury benches and the opposition, but they were seldom seen in the assembly at the same time. ...

    TOI on Jan. 12, 2017, 3:14 p.m.