Its OPS as usual
The ongoing situation at Tamil Nadu has seen some ‘change’ with OPS taking over the Chief Minister’s ministries. (wherein the Chief Minister is hospitalized and undergoing intensive treatment). The official word is out now, that basis CM Jayalalitha’s suggestion, her portfolio will be handed over to her trusted aide and Minister. Mr O. PaneerSelvam, popularly known as OPS will take charge of Jayalalitha’s departments which includes the Home Ministry, the IPS, IAS and Public Departments. He already handles the Finance and Administrative Reforms Ministries. OPS would also be Chairing the Cabinet meetings.
This development is not very surprising. OPS has been a trusted colleague for over a decade now. This would be the third time he would be handling the state in Amma’s absence. The present situation is on medical exigency. Due to legal challenges, OPS had stepped in, on the earlier two occasions. BJP Leader Mr Subramanian Swamy was quick to take brownie points for this development. He referred to his recent letter to the President of the country asking for President’s rule to be imposed in Tamil Nadu, since the CM has been hospitalized and there was no communication on who was running the government in her absence.
Cool Chilli’s Comments
Handling a state, a kingdom or a business is not easy and one of the challenges for the people in power in these domains is to think of a worthy successor. One worthy second in command who could standby for them as needed. The replacement could be permanent (death or complete disability) or temporary (injury, sickness or some other pressing engagement).
In ancient India, the hero of the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama had it easy since his younger brother Bharat was anyway a capable prince. Rama had in fact, given up the throne for Bharat as part of the pledge their father Dasharath had unwittingly made. Bharat anyway did not wish to replace Rama and only stood-by for 14 years till Rama’s period in exile concluded.
Ops efficiency is critical
Another famous case of more recent vintage is Tim Cook managing Apple during Steve Jobs’ ill-health and then going on to replace Steve as CEO. Tim’s operational efficiency and management of global supply chain made him an apt replacement.
While many progressive Indian Businesses already have or have started implementing Disaster Recovery Mechanisms and Business Continuity Planning, we need to have the same level of rigour even in Governance of the Country or its States. A State like TN which contribute $150 Billion (nominal) to the GDP is no mean economy. India is poised to be the third largest economy in the coming years. Each of its administrative divisions will need to contribute to doing that. Amma and other CMs or CEOs of their respective domains will need to ensure they groom a second line which will take over as needed.
Meanwhile let us pray for Amma’s quick recovery and early resumption of duties.