Foundations of justice
ANNADURAI PASSED AWAY IN 1969, AND M. Karunanidhi, the winner of a party election for leadership, became Chief Minister in 1969. The Cabinet consisted of ideologues of the erstwhile anti-hindi, anti-delhi movements as well as young, educated, and articulated persons keen to show that the government could do as well, if not better, than earlier governments for development. The policies that followed between 1969 and 1976 are a mix of these ideas.
There was strategic use of state patronage, and the use of local party cadres in administration. As a young officer, I witnessed representations from the public spearheaded by local party functionaries. This was a change. Earlier, I used to meet Panchayat Union Chairmen, accompanied by their officers, on matters pertaining to development. Now, there were district and local party functionaries, bringing representations on the availability of irrigation water, food grains, or the functioning of schools. Suddenly, we had to deal with representations from the party, rather than from the hierarchy.
FEBRUARY 10, 1969 : At the Raj Bhavan in Madras, M. Karunanidhi, the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, with Governor Sardar Ujjal Singh (second from right), the Governor’s wife, and Cabinet colleagues (sitting, left) K.A. Mathialagan, (standing, from left) S. Madhavan, S.J. Sadiq Pasha, A. Govindasamy, Sathyavani Muthu and M. Muthuswamy.