Sunday, May 30, 2010

Anna: The Life and Times of C.N. Annadurai by R. Kannan

This was the book ( published in February 2010 ) which accompanied me through the train journeys from Frankfurt - Prague – Krakow-Belgrade-Thessalonika- Athens last month.
It is the biography of Anna, who has transformed the politics and society of Tamilnadu as a politician, thinker, reformer and writer. Anna developed a brand new politics of brotherhood with his Thambis ( younger brother) and inspired a whole new crop of leaders, writers and the masses. He combined astutely politics with literature, films and newspapers and awakened the tamil society, reformed it and lead the movement to power peacefully and democratically. His leagcy continues in the form of rule of his Thambis and the irreversible changes in the Tamil society. Anna was inspired by Periyar´s call for reforms of the society and fight against injustice and superstitions. Anna went beyond Periyar, mobilised the masses, took to the path of elctoral politics and captured political power. After this, Anna realised the need for building bridges with New Delhi and saw a better future for Tamils within the framework of India, shedding his earlier calls for a separate Dravida Naadu and Tamilnadu. At the same time he resolutely fought against the imposition of Hindi and thereby saved the whole country from Hindi fanatics who had the potential to break up the country. If Tamilnadu is doing well as a state and Tamils are shining in IT and in the coalition governments at the centre, the credit for this goes to Anna who laid the foundation and set the course of progress and new mindset.

Author Kannan has put the evolution of Anna as a leader in the context of the politics and other leaders at that time. Periyar was, of course, the greatest influence on Anna as well as in Tamil society in that period. While Anna started as a loyal disciple of Periyar, it was ineveitable that Anna had to move away from his mentor and start DMK. Periyar never wanted to become chief minister or aspired to any such position of power and would not let others. He was always a kind of anarchist and activist fighting for his radical beliefs outside the government system. Periyar´s eccentricities and rigid unrealistic approach to many political issues limited Dravidar Kazhagam´s growth.

Kannan describes the situation of Congress party which was feudal and did not take Anna and his Thambis seriously. Rajaji who rose to national level politics and fame played his hands wrongly and left the field for DMK to capitalise on his mistakes.

Kannan has given an objective narration and comments on all the players and parties– brahmins, non-brahmins, actors, congresswalas, Periyar, Anna, Kamaraj and Rajaji. He has quoted the comments of all the parties and let the readers judge them. He has let the writings and quotes of Anna and his adversaries speak for themselves. This is remarkable for a Tamil author. Most of the views and comments about Anna or for that matter any of the Tamil leaders are partial, emotional and subjective. I was surprised by the caustic and rabid remarks of Jayakanthan on DMK leaders calling them as Porukkis ( loafers). I am an admirer of Jayakanthan as a innovative writer and thinker and I am surprised even he has succumbed to partiality blatantly. Kannan has successfully managed to overcome this Tamil weakness of extremes …hero worship and demonisation of opponents.

I wish more such objective and neutral books are written in English on Periyar, MGR, Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha, Kamaraj and Rajaji. This will help the world to have a proper understanding of the Tamil society. Foreigners get confused by the giant cut-outs in Mount Road, the filmi politics, the contents and hollowness of kumudam and anandavikatan and the culture of Amma, Anna and Thambis. The books need to be translated in Hindi to educate those northeners who condenscendingly call all those beyond vindhyas as Madrasis.

22 comments:

ElisaCe慈佐lestin0708 said...

your wife is very charming!............................................................

burtong said...

好文不寂寞~支持!!!!@@a 搞錯了,這不是論壇推文 XDDD........................................

志維志維志維 said...

不要把生命看得太嚴肅,反正我們不會活著離開。..................................................................

陳雅羽 said...

這個時代,不缺乏感傷,但缺乏反思~~希望能多看到值得思考.................................................................

孫陽泉 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。....................................................................

江婷 said...

上班好累哦,看看部落格轉換心情~~~先謝謝啦!!.................................................................                           

芸茂 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

育財育財 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

一個人就像一個分數,他的實際才能是分子,他對自己的評價是分母。分母越大,則分數的價值越小。..................................................

佩璇佩璇 said...

文章是心情的反應~~祝妳天天寫的都是讓人開心的好文章哦!!............................................................

楊儀卉 said...

Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.............................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

faith will move mountains. ..................................................

王美妹 said...

我們必須先有哭泣,才有歡笑;也必須先感到人生的悲哀,然後才感到人生的快樂。............................................................

琬安琬安 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................................................

RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

甘巴嗲!祝你愈來愈好!.................................................................

謝文新v謝文新 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。......................................................................

承蔡蔡芸 said...

人生有些波折,才能有些成長,所以不論順逆,凡是成長、成功的助緣,都應該心存感激。.................................................

家唐銘 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

邱思吳佳順翰 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest..................................................................

陳倩江陳倩江陳倩江 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

劉王育正劉王育正 said...

好文不寂寞~支持!!!!@@a 搞錯了,這不是論壇推文 XDDD............................................................