Good start raises hopes, says Cho Ramaswamy

Good start raises hopes, says Cho Ramaswamy


Sharing his perceptions at his modest office on the post-poll scenario in Tamil Nadu, since AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalitha’s splendid election victory and becoming Chief Minister for a third time on May 16, Cho, as he is popularly known, in a conversation with M R Venkatesh of Deccan Herald was as candid as ever. He opined that Jayalalitha has “started well”, and refuted views of big policy reversals in her very first month at Fort St George. Excerpts:

“Well, one month is too short a time to judge a Government. But one thing is obvious. Jayalalitha has applied herself totally to the responsibility she has undertaken. She is going ahead with implementing her poll promises (like free rice scheme etc). She had brain-storming sessions with her party MLAs, the Ministers particularly, as many of them are new. She is trying to initiate them into their responsibilities with all seriousness. She has tried to enlist the maximum possible cooperation from the Centre and at the same time has not hesitated to point out the responsibilities of the Centre vis-à-vis the Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil Nadu fishermen. She has thus, started well.

No major reversals of DMK’s policies and schemes...

You say the free colour television scheme has been withdrawn by the present AIADMK Government? No, it was not the ‘Free TV Scheme’. It was the ‘Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV)’ – (owned by the Kalanidhi Maran-headed ‘SUN TV Network), - promotion scheme, actually. It was because the scheme helped SCV to make lot of money through (monopolisation of) cable connections to households. And it is not as if Jayalalitha had changed course after she came back to power. She had been saying this during the election campaign also, that if she was elected to power, she would scrap it because it was only enabling a private company that spawned from the family members of the former chief minister (DMK leader M Karunanidhi). And it (SCV) made lot of money. So, I don’t see anything objectionable in it, because Jayalalitha is only implementing what she mentioned in her campaign.

But why defer ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ scheme?

As far as the ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ (Uniform School Education System-USES) is concerned, it is only leveling down of standards. It is a very bad thing for the future of the student community in the State. While I am glad this (AIADMK) Government is trying to modify that, ideally, I feel there should be no uniformity in all this (having just one School Board with common curricula). Students must have the option to pursue various courses under different Boards, like Matriculation and so on. Even if the State is going to bring uniformity, it must be of a higher standard than what is existing at the lowest level. The previous (DMK) Government brought everything down to a particular level and called it ‘Samacheer Kalvi’. I call it ‘Sama Thaazhvu Kalvi (a flat dumb-down)!

In other welfare schemes like health insurance, wherever there is difficulty, changes have to be done. So I don’t think there has been any major reversal of policy or programmes by the Jayalalitha Government so far. In inter-State issues like Cauvery water sharing, she is adopting the right attitude.

DMK’s track in post-poll TN?

Well, the DMK leader (M Karunanidhi) seems to be more worried about the fortunes of his family than the party. Nowadays he is more worried about the family (in the backdrop of his daughter Kanimozhi arrested in the 2G spectrum scam case) and less concerned about the party!


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