Ramayan revisits India: 'Bharat' Panneerselvam steps in for 'Ram' Jayalalithaa during 'jailvaas'?
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam stepping in for former minister J Jayalalithaa after her arrest in the disproportionate assets case reminds us of 'Ramayan' one of the India's most popular mythological tale.
Similar to Bharat's sacrifice, Panneerselvam and many other staunch loyalists of Jayalalithaa's ministry broke into tears when they were given the responsibility to govern the 'kingdom' of Tamil Nadu in their 'Ram' Amma's absence.
When Lord Ram's younger brother Bharat learned of his departure, he sought Ram in the forest and reminded him that the eldest must rule. "Please come back and claim your rightful place as king."
Ram refused to go against his father's command, so Bharat took his brother's sandals and placed them on the throne as symbols of Ram's authority. "I shall rule only as regent in your place, and each day I shall put my offerings at the feet of my Lord. When the fourteen years of banishment are over, I shall joyously return the kingdom to you."
Ram was very impressed with Bharat's selflessness.
Today's political tale:
Yes, not exactly this, but something similar has happened in the modern day politics.
A verdict by a special court in Bangalore has pronounced Jayalalithaa as guilty of amassing wealth of Rs 66.65 crore - an amount disproportionate to her known sources of income - during her first term in office.
Jayalalithaa is the first serving CM in India to be convicted and disqualified as a legislator. The court has sentenced her to four-year imprisonment and has imposed a Rs 100-crore fine.
While Jayalalithaa waits in jail for her bail plea to be heard, Tamil Nadu had got its new chief minister in her absence.
Panneerselvam, who on Monday, 29th Sep, took oath as 28th chief minister, choked and broke down during the swearing-in ceremony in Chennai.
Old connection to a new story
Panneerselvam is a staunch loyalist of Jayalalithaa. He entered politics in 1996 and became the head of a local body. In 2001, he was elected to the assembly from Periakulam and became Minister for Public Works Department.
He had become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for six months in 2001 when Jayalalithhaa was jailed in the Tansi land scam. The 63-year-old leader was also the leader of opposition when the AIADMK was voted out in 2006.
Now, swapping the characters of the mythological story, Panneerselvam looks like having forcefully stepped in as CM in Jayalalithaa's absence the same way Bharat stepped in and governed the kingdom till Ram returned.
But for the story ending, only time will tell whether Jayalalithaa will get the power back once her 'sentence' is served.