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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Jayalalitha, Tamil nadu and English media

Just some points after reading multiple articles on Jayalalitha's death in English media.
1. Jayalalitha was super corrupt in 1991-1996. An meglomaniac. 100 car trail, an ugly and most expensive wedding. But her subsequent tenures have definitely not been blatantly corrupt. More importantly she implemented schemes that actually had a good impact on  normal lives.

Jayalitha was tempestous, petty and had a colassal ego. None of that takes away the good

2. No they werent all populist measures. Infact one of her strict and the right move - terminating teachers who were repeatedly going on strike ended up costing her election. She made rain water harvesting compulsory -  Believe it or not it actually had an impact. It should be made a pre-requiste across India - Karnataka should do it before fighting for cauvery water. 
She went to court for cauvery dispute - Karunanidhi never did this instead he only purely made politics out of it. Going to the court has been the best for tamil nadu since the agreements have been favorable to tamil nadu. In terms of law and order, she had always been good. LTTE were routed out during 91-96 tenure itself and sandal veerappan was caught when she was in power too. 
These are to name just a few.   

Sure populist schemes would have got her the vote bank but DMK does too. One cursory look, would reveal the popularity she enjoys among the middle class and upper middle class.They didnt vote for her for a mere promise of a bad tv.
I guess #1 made news and #2 doesnt. Because negative news travels faster.
There is a reason why she was re-elected this year.

3. That brings us to Sasikala. No tamil newspaper would talk of sasikala after Jayalalita as automatic ascension. Every single English media outlet has. As of now, every one in TN hates her and have always hated her. If you are talking about MLAS - no one voted for any MLA - most people voted only for Jayalalitha. People associate every corruption of Jayalalitha with her. Period. She might have got the right caste equations in politics but so does every political party. Sasikala is well versed in politics and she doesnt have to worry for another 5 yrs but as of today, she has negative public opinion.

English media has not even acknowledged sasikala's absolute lack of popularity( either they didnt understand or they were trying to curry up a good rapport). No tamil news paper/magazine would write about her in glowing terms. 

All of these makes me wonder what quality of news am I getting about other states? I really wish every national newspaper has journalist who are also familiar with vernacular languages.