Foun­da­tions of jus­tice

S. Narayan

FrontLine - - COVER STORY -

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.

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