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Surveillance on. Servile Hands, Man your goodies! Mother no more.

The Mother, Amma is no more. In a move widely speculated upon, Amma’s replacement as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is chosen. Her Man Friday, O Pannerselvam or OPS as he is known. OPS is no stranger to replacing Amma as CM. He had done it earlier when Amma had been arrested and/or constitutionally barred from being CM.  The glaring change this time is that he will not act on behalf of Amma. Bereft of her presence and guidance, it is not business or OPS as usual.

Not Ops as usual

Amma had also been the AIADMK party General Secretary and Supremo. Managing the state even on proxy, would have been or should be, in itself tough for OPS. Managing the party functionaries and the functioning of the party is obviously a different game. The game that strongly influences and decides the pecking order within AIADMK. And in no small measure, who rules TN and  how. OPS and many others in the AIADMK top rung currently don’t seem keen or able to take this up. Sasikala Natarajan looks the most well placed  to call the shots. The insider Chinnamma, not the traditional AIADMK party member, seems to be the outlier.

Sasikala Natarajan, Chinnamma (little mother), showed amply in the run-up to Amma’s funeral. Even as Amma’s body lay ‘in state’, Chinamma made it clear that Jayalalithaa’s legacy was not intestate. Atleast from the perspective of ownership of power within AIADMK. She and her family completely occupied the space around Amma’s body at Rajaji Hall. Also, while the final rituals were being done at the funeral at Marina, it was Chinnamma again. Amma’s nephew was no doubt there too. But his presence seemed more ceremonial. Only for elevating Chinamma’s status in the ‘hier’-archy. Some may even question the thought behind avoiding the traditional cremation. Sub-terranean burials could be a subterfuge; but then, we are digressing here.

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Actress Jayalalithaa: A Sketch by Shivatmika

Cool Chilli’s Comments

Even if Chinnamma’s head doesn’t actually bear the TN crown, she holds the keys to the future political landscape. Reports in the media state that Chinnamma’s choices fill many of the key executive and legislative positions in Tamil Nadu. She may wish to leverage this and ensure that ‘she does an Amma’ in the sense of taking over the mantle of AIADMK leadership.

Amma took over from MGR under tougher circumstances. Chinamma has it far easier. The AIADMK leaders on their part are fully aware that they cannot move much, let along stretch or reach out, without Chinnamma’s knowledge. Also there are not many among them who come close to wielding her influence. Chinamma looks, the ‘Solitary Reaper’, harvesting Jayalalithaa’s company, even post the latter’s progress into the here-after. Some investors, strangely, seem to benefit more when the Asset Under Management cease to be.

In conclusion, Amma may have known, but is no more now. The manner in which the goodies of privilege have been planned for sharing is shrouded in mystery. Beyond easy understanding of lay mortals far removed from the scene. The perils that lurk in the corridors of power, when we through caution to the winds, are obvious. We owe it to ourselves to heed early warnings of our health in all aspects. Physical, Mental and Spiritual. A wake-up call if ignored, may be fatal. Else a small shove by unfriendly Fate is enough to push us beyond all repair.

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