Saturday, March 8, 2014

Moopanars for Modi?

Journalism by talking to a taxi driver...nevertheless it is interesting that BJP support has crossed 10% in Tamil Nadu. I would imagine people who used to vote for Congress would not mind switching over to the BJP. The situation is similar to Kerala where the BJP can only win if the dominance of the Left declines and if  the powerful Nair Service Society (NSS) and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) join hands to keep the hindu vote united.  

One interesting thing to keep a check on- as recounted in the anecdote below-  people may choose to vote differently depending on whether it is a national or a state election. If Congress implodes and BJP becomes the default national party then it can even win the votes of minorities. 

Thanjavur district is the home of the Cauvery delta region and is the rice-bowl of Tamil Nadu. The river and the fertile fields nourished Carnatic music, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the celebrated trinity of Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847) and his contemporaries, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri, held sway.
Those were the days when civilization was river-based. Things have changed since, and, today, Chennai is the Mecca of Carnatic music. The district, more particularly, Tiruvaiyaru, 15 kms from Thanjavur city, still reverberates with the sounds of Carnatic music for five days in a year, when it hosts the internationally-famous Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana, to commemorate the death anniversary of Saint Thyagaraja.
The Saint passed away 167 years ago, on Pushya Bahula Panchami. Pushya is the name of the month in the lunar calendar. Bahula is the dark or the second fortnight, while Panchami is the fifth day of the waning moon, according to the Hindu almanac. Translated into the Gregorian calendar, which we follow now, the Aradhana date varies from year to year, though not the month.
I was in Tiruvaiyaru for the Aradhana—as I have been doing for the last decade or so—this time from 17th to 22nd January. I mostly attend the evening concerts, which leaves me free time in the mornings. Thanjavur district is also famous for its temples, with Kumbakonam being the hub for most of the famous Shaiva and Vaishnava shrines, besides those dedicated to the Navagrahas, the nine planets. I, therefore, took the opportunity on one of the days to visit a few temples.
The region is also the strong-hold of the Moopanars, the land-owning caste. The late G.K. Moopanar was the most famous among them. Traditionally Congress, the Moopanars are proud of Mr. Moopanar and equally so about his son, Mr. G.K. Vasan, a union minister now. In fact, the family is well-known for its public service and is the main patron of Sri Thiyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha, the body that organizes Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana. Mr. Moopanar was its president until his death, and the post is now held by his brother, Mr. G.R. Moopanar.
Our cab driver too was a Moopanar, without much land, though. “My grandfather squandered the 32 acres that we once owned,” he confessed. Our driver was a talkative man: so am I.  Would he vote for the Congress, I asked. “No way. Modi,” he replied. It was his opinion, I opined. It is the opinion of most people here, he countered. “Jayalalithaa wants her partymen to ensure that the AIADMK won all the 39 seats to the Lok Sabha,” I reminded him. “This is not an assembly election,” he responded. “It is for the prime minister and we want Modi as pm. Did you see the crowds at Modi’s Tiruchi rally? My car couldn’t enter the city that day.”  He could be right. An opinion poll conducted by Junior Vikatan, a political journal belonging to the Vikatan group, published a survey which showed that about forty per cent of those interviewed said they would vote for Modi.
According to the survey, the AIADMK could get thirty percent, the DMK and the others the remaining thirty per cent. Another poll has put the BJP vote at a modest 17 per cent. The BJP is trying to woo the DMDK of Vijayakant to cobble together a non-AIADMK, non-DMK third front. The DMDK is being wooed by the DMK too, but the party’s vote has shrunk badly and only three per cent are inclined to vote for it, according to pollsters.
Back in my hotel, I asked the room boy whom he would vote for. DMK, he replied. But wasn’t this an election for parliament, I asked him. “Yes, but my family always votes for the DMK,” he replied. As his reply shows, the traditional DMK base is intact.
- See more at: http://www.theindianrepublic.com/tbp/modi-favourite-tamil-rural-heartland-100024490.html/99#sthash.Kd6UM2P7.dpuf
Thanjavur district is the home of the Cauvery delta region and is the rice-bowl of Tamil Nadu. The river and the fertile fields nourished Carnatic music, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, when the celebrated trinity of Saint Thyagaraja (1767-1847) and his contemporaries, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri, held sway....The district, more particularly, Tiruvaiyaru, 15 kms from Thanjavur city, still reverberates with the sounds of Carnatic music for five days in a year, when it hosts the internationally-famous Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana, to commemorate the death anniversary of Saint Thyagaraja.

I was in Tiruvaiyaru for the Aradhana—as I have been doing for the last decade or so—this time from 17th to 22nd January. I mostly attend the evening concerts, which leaves me free time in the mornings. Thanjavur district is also famous for its temples, with Kumbakonam being the hub for most of the famous Shaiva and Vaishnava shrines, besides those dedicated to the Navagrahas, the nine planets. I, therefore, took the opportunity on one of the days to visit a few temples.


The region is also the strong-hold of the Moopanars, the land-owning caste. The late G.K. Moopanar was the most famous among them. Traditionally Congress, the Moopanars are proud of Mr. Moopanar and equally so about his son, Mr. G.K. Vasan, a union minister now. In fact, the family is well-known for its public service and is the main patron of Sri Thiyagabrahma Mahotsava Sabha, the body that organizes Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana. Mr. Moopanar was its president until his death, and the post is now held by his brother, Mr. G.R. Moopanar.


Our cab driver too was a Moopanar, without much land, though. “My grandfather squandered the 32 acres that we once owned,” he confessed. Our driver was a talkative man: so am I.  Would he vote for the Congress, I asked. “No way. Modi,” he replied. It was his opinion, I opined. It is the opinion of most people here, he countered. 

“Jayalalithaa wants her partymen to ensure that the AIADMK won all the 39 seats to the Lok Sabha,” I reminded him. “This is not an assembly election,” he responded. “It is for the prime minister and we want Modi as pm. Did you see the crowds at Modi’s Tiruchi rally? My car couldn’t enter the city that day.”  

He could be right. An opinion poll conducted by Junior Vikatan, a political journal belonging to the Vikatan group, published a survey which showed that about forty per cent of those interviewed said they would vote for Modi.

regards