DMK lost the sense of direction
The last eight months have been a hilarious time in Tamil Nadu after the DMK party won the Assembly election and started governing the state.
There has been a heavy focus by the Tamil Nadu government during the last eight months on issues, which appear to be really non-issues from the point of view of the welfare and progress of the state. Such focus on non-issues has resulted in a huge debate in the print and visual media when politicians and the so-called activists have a field day to reveal their “ analytical and debating ability”.
Highly qualified Finance Minister!
The Tamil Nadu government appointed a finance minister who started his innings, claiming his “extraordinary” qualification in the field of finance management and experience in working in several multinational companies and banks abroad. Such a claim really caused surprise and amusement amongst people, since there are many highly qualified experts in Tamil Nadu with considerable expertise in the field of finance.
The finance minister further secured considerable media space by not attending the GST council meeting organized by the Central government and offering some amusing reasons such as direct flight connection not being available and having to attend some private function.
Further, the finance minister shocked all the people in the state by stating that there is a debt burden of more than Rs.2 lakhs on every citizen in Tamil Nadu, confusing people as to how the debt of the state can be interpreted as the debt on the individual citizen.
The real serious issue in Tamil Nadu today is the severe financial crisis with the total debt burden of the state exceeding around Rs.7 lakh crore. So far, no tangible proposals have been announced by the finance minister or the chief minister to solve this debt burden problem in a time-bound manner.
Economic experts for finance consultation:
The Tamil Nadu chief minister constituted a council of well-known economic experts including the former economic advisors of the Government of India and a Nobel laureate. So far, it is not known whether this council has met even once and deliberated on the economic issues confronting the state and offered any tangible solutions for the economic mess that the state is facing. It is also not known as to what is the remuneration paid to these economic experts for their advisory services.
What amused many people in Tamil Nadu is that while the reasons for the financial crisis are well known which include corruption amongst the politicians and official machinery leading to a low collection of tax revenues, heavy financial loss in state-owned undertakings, wasteful expenditure, extensive freebie schemes, some of which are really not necessary.
The solution for these problems is also well known, which calls for greater commitment by the government to financial discipline and greater efficiency in the administration and management of state undertakings.
People wonder as to what would be the advice of economic experts, more than the remedial measures that are already known to people.
The problems for the present DMK government started from day one since, during the pre-election campaign, it has made many un-implementable promises such as monthly grant of Rs.1000/- to every woman in the state, closure of Tasmac shops, gold loan waiver scheme, etc.
As the people are now questioning as to why such promises are not being implemented, the government made some hasty moves like waiving the bus fare for women travelling in government buses. The state transport corporations are already running on heavy loss and waiving of the bus fare for women is further driving the transport corporations deep into the red.
Even as the state is having a severe financial crisis, the Tamil Nadu government is throwing money on projects which would not give any economic return, such as the construction of a memorial for the former chief minister of the state, construction of the huge memorial library in Madurai, setting Pennicuick statue in London, etc.
People are surprised at the priorities of the government and think that such projects should have been delayed until the financial conditions of the state would improve but the ruling party appears to have other ideas.
Why focus on non-issues?
While the state is confronted with a serious financial crisis and widespread corruption in the state, the government seems to be running out of ideas.
Obviously, the government has decided to keep the public “in good humour” by taking up non-issues and diverting people’s attention from the grim issues faced by the state.
Now, the biggest issue provoked by the government and discussed extensively in the state is the NEET examination and the so-called Social Justice Equality and Brotherhood Movement, and rejection of the Republic Day tableau sent by the Tamil Nadu government for Republic Day Parade at Delhi.
The NEET issue has already been well settled in the state and detailed statistics indicate that students have enthusiastically participated in the NEET exam and students belonging to poor families including those studying in government schools and in rural areas have been benefited. Deliberately, the Tamil Nadu government is blowing the issue out of proportion and creating a climate of confrontation with the state Governor, who returned the NEET Bill passed by the Assembly due to several valid reasons.
A large section of the population in Tamil Nadu is convinced that the discussion on the NEET issue is a waste of time and energy, but the government is highlighting the matter, probably thinking that more serious issues which the government cannot solve will not catch the attention of the people.
The so-called Social Justice Equality and Brotherhood Movement, on which the chief minister has written to many opposition political leaders in the country, probably indicate his efforts to get a national image, so that people will not judge him by the performance of his government during the last eight months in Tamil Nadu.
This subject has been under discussion for several decades in India from the days of Mahatma Gandhi and even earlier. Many significant and meaningful reforms have been initiated in India and impressive achievements in ensuring social justice are clearly seen over the years. Such reform measures will continue in any case.
While Tamil Nadu’s tableau for the Republic Day celebration was rejected by the Central government and the defence minister offered reasons for the rejection, the Tamil Nadu chief minister tried to make it a political controversy and went to the extent of terming it as an insult to Tamil Nadu by the Central government.
As a matter of fact, it appears that the DMK government has made anti-Modi and anti-Central government, its core political philosophy, and seems to be all the time looking for opportunities to blame Mr. Modi and the central government. Even when Mr. Modi quoted Thiruvalluvar’s poem in one of his speeches, this was criticized by the Tamil Nadu chief minister for whatever reasons.
Why Tamil language being used for political purposes?
The Tamil Nadu government has now been stressing its deep commitment to the Tamil language as if the chief minister is the sole champion for the Tamil language. The fact is that there are thousands of Tamil scholars who have lived in Tamil Nadu and are living in Tamil Nadu and who have brought glory to the Tamil language and the Prime Minister has repeatedly recognized this.
In the name of protecting the Tamil language, the Tamil Nadu chief minister has created an impression that he is the sworn enemy of the Hindi language and in the process, he is doing enormous damage for the youth of Tamil Nadu by denying them Hindi teaching in government schools. As a result, youth in Tamil Nadu are finding it difficult to take up jobs in other states where knowledge of spoken Hindi is important.
“Reform measures” in Hindu temples
Apart from the above, the Tamil Nadu government is focusing on “reforming” the Hindu religion by making changes in the appointment of priests in temples. The temple property such as gold and land is sought to be used for other purposes. The leaders in the government are known to be atheists and non-believers and their excessive attention with regard to Hindu temples has been resented by a large section of Hindus. It is not known why the state government is focusing on this non-priority issue as far as governance is concerned.
Even while interfering in the affairs of the Hindu temples, the Tamil Nadu government is not talking about the churches, where discrimination is said to be practiced against Dalit Christians, and with regard to mosques, where discrimination is said to be practiced against women.
Has governance become a joke?
During the last eight months, the Tamil Nadu government has constituted several committees to advise on various issues, announced several awards on which one loses the count. No one seems to know as to what these several committees have done and what they have achieved so far.
People wonder why the Tamil Nadu government is focusing on non-issues and conveniently ignoring grim issues such as financial mess.
While the debt burden is unacceptably at a high level, the Tamil Nadu government has announced that it would borrow another Rs.25800 crore in January – March of FY 2021-22. Has the repaying capability of the state been taken into account while further increasing the debt burden? Have any meaningful steps been taken to reduce expenses and increase revenue?
The overall scenario in Tamil Nadu today is the state of governance where there is no real focus on genuine and serious issues with adequate strategies and forward planning and only vague announcements on projects being made.
In such circumstances, many people think that governance in Tamil Nadu has lost the sense of direction and has virtually become a joke.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 There is a debt of Rs 2.63 lakh on every family, says Tamil Nadu Finance Minister in white paper – Aug 09, 2021, Times Now
 Tamil Nadu Govt Includes Nobel Laureates In Economic Advisory Council; Read Full List Here – Jun 22, 2021, Republic World
 Stalin Promises Rs 1,000 Cash Aid for Women Family Heads in Tamil Nadu if DMK Voted to Power – Mar 07, 2021, News 18
 Tickets free, but bus rides now cost TN women their dignity – Sep 09, 2021, The New Indian Express
 TN government announces memorial for former CM Karunanidhi – Aug 24, 2021, The Hindu
 Stalin lays foundation stone for Kalaignar Memorial Library – Jan 12, 2022, The New Indian Express
 TN govt. to install Pennycuick’s statue in UK, says CM – Jan 15, 2022, The Hindu
 Periyar’s birth anniversary to be observed as Social Justice Day – Sep 21, 2021, The New Indian Express
 Tamil Nadu showcases Republic Day tableau rejected by Union govt at state celebrations – Jan 26, 2022, The News Minute
 There’s no need for PM Modi to certify patriotism of Tamil people: CM Stalin – Feb 10, 2022, The News Minute
 Tamil Nadu govt defends decision to make Tamil language mandatory for Govt jobs – Dec 04, 2021, Mint
 TN Governor hails Tamil language, also bats for TN students learning other Indian languages – Jan 26, 2022, News Careers360
 Is It Calculated Onslaught Against Hindu Religion by Tamil Nadu Government in India? – Aug 28, 2021, Sri Lanka Guardian
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