Published on August 21st, 2008
Participation of TN CM in the Bandh: Last October 1 2007, Karunandhi, the CM of Tamilnadu participated in a “band” organized by the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA). Evidently, he forgotten the Supreme Court’s instructions about the band, particularly sponsored by the political parties.
Realising the implication, he hurriedly left the premises. He asserted on Monday (01-10-2007) that there was no breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the State. When journalists asked him at the Secretariat if there was such a breakdown, he retorted: “May be, for you [there is]. Not for us.” He tried to justify that the government followed the order of the Supreme Court — restraining the DMK and its allies from going ahead with a bandh — in letter and in spirit. Normal life remained unaffected in the State. The Democratic Progressive Alliance, he said, did not violate the order. There was no case against the observance of a fast by him and other DPA leaders.
Inaugurating the fast in the morning, he said that if the Supreme Court had ordered that the fast should not be held at anytime of the day [on Monday], he was willing to prevail upon the leaders of the alliance to call it off. He told the people who had come to observe the hunger strike that he was not fasting in deference to the “orders” of the leaders in the DPA. (Mr. Karunanidhi was unaware of the observations of the Supreme Court made in the morning even as he concluded his speech.). Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy told The Hindu that all assurances given by the government to the court were adhered to.
However the fact had been different: The AIADMK filed a petition in the Supreme court that the orders of Supreme court was not followed during the band organized by the ruling alliance – DPA. In its special sitting on Sunday, a Bench of Justice Agrawal and Justice P.P. Naolekar, acting on a special leave petition filed by the AIADMK, restrained the DMK, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the CPI and the Pattali Makkal Katchi from proceeding with the call for the bandh and enforcing it. The All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) counsel Guru Krishna Kumar alleged before Justice Agrawal (sitting with Justice Sathasivam) that a situation had arisen in Tamil Nadu where transport buses were not plying and shops and establishments were closed. He alleged: “Your orders are not being implemented in letter and spirit.”
Justice Agrawal orally observed: “If what you say is true, then there is complete breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the State. We will recommend to the President to dismiss the DMK government in Tamil Nadu.” Counsel submitted that the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was on a fast. Justice Agrawal commented: “Let him go on fast. First let them implement our orders. You file a contempt; we will see. If you make out a case for contempt, we will not hesitate to call the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to this court.”
V.G. Pragasam, counsel for the State, told the Bench that some unions were on strike but the government was trying to run the bus services. Justice Agrawal retorted: “What is the government doing? Don’t put the blame on the unions. They will try to perpetuate the bandh to make it a success. We have not issued any direction to the unions. We gave directions only to you [State].” Justice Agrawal observed further: “Is this the Tamil Nadu government? DMK is a strong ally of the UPA government at the Centre. If this is the attitude of the DMK government, then it [Centre] should not feel shy to dismiss the State government.”
When Mr. Krishnakumar submitted to the court that he would move a proper contempt application, the Bench said “do it.” The strong observations by Justice Agrawal were based on the contentions and allegations of the AIADMK counsel and there was no written order. The AIADMK is filing the contempt application on Wednesday, according to its lawyers.
Judge’s outburst against DMK government : A Supreme Court Judge on Monday (02-10-2007) orally observed that if it was found that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in Tamil Nadu had not implemented the September 30 orders to stop Monday’s bandh, the court would “recommend” its dismissal to the President of India. Justice B.N. Agrawal made this observation after the counsel for the AIADMK contended before the court that by not running the transport services on Monday and by keeping the shops shut, the government had failed to obey the directions issued on Sunday. Oral observations made from the bench during the course of hearings have no relevance in law.
The Central government supports the State government: When the implication pointed out, the central government firmly ruled out any action against the DMK government in Tamil Nadu. “We will do nothing to hurt the Tamil Nadu government. We are committed. They [the DMK] are part of our UPA government. We will not disturb the State government remotely, directly or explicitly,” Information and Broadcasting Minister P. R. Dasmunsi said at Delhi to the press-people. He was replying to questions on the Supreme Court’s observations that the Centre should not feel shy of dismissing the DMK government if it was found that it had not complied with the apex court order on bandh. He maintained that the issue did not figure in the Union Cabinet meeting and described Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi as “one of the stalwarts” not just of the DMK but of the whole country. Justifying Karunanidhi’s action, he said the Chief Minister planned to go on a fast as it was not violation of the court order.
“This is a non-violent response, showing respect to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals a day ahead of his birth anniversary ,” he added that Karunanidhi had set an example through his support and concern for the poorest of the poor, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the minorities and the downtrodden. The Union Home Ministry said it was in touch with the State government. “We have been in touch with the government for the past several days in an effort to ensure that peace is maintained. If required, we will continue to be in touch,” Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said.
Now again another bandh!: On August 20th, 2008, there had been one more national bandh, but called by Central government employees to express and register their grievances against the improper recommendation and implementation of the Sixth pay commission report. As the Communists parties joined, the DPA now took different stand! Yes, there had been plying of busses without any problem, as compared to October 1, 2007! Of course, none asked Munshi but it at Delhi, by the press-people about the contradiction of prevailing situation and condition during the bandhs.
Why and how Karunanidhi made busses to run? The contradicting stand of Karunanidhi has been visible. Now, how he has made the busses run on the band-day?
v Because, he is afraid of Supreme Court or
v to act against the interests of Central government employees?
v Or Munshi to again eulogize him comparing him to Mahathma Gandhi?
v Or the Communists have withdrawn their support to UPA?
v Or to show his loyalty to UPA, though DPA has still the Communists in it?
A ruler has to be impartial, when the governance is involved. However, he has been behaving just like a DMK activist, many times atheist and fundamentalist also without any care for the people of Tamilnadu. Most of the time, definitely, he is enjoying with non-governance activities, just like “Nero fiddling during the burning of Rome”. For every blunder, he has sarcastic and caustic remarks, ridiculing comments and double-meaning outbursts, which are later interpreted as poetic skill of the senile litterateur.
The report of “The Hinu” this time - Strike has little impact in Tamil Nadu: The Tamil Nadu Bureau reports like this: “Strike has little impact in Tamil Nadu”, adding that “But work in Central government offices, banking, insurance sectors hit”. The nationwide general strike called by Central trade unions did not affect normal life in Tamil Nadu, though its impact was felt in Central government offices, banking and insurance sectors.
Over 60,000 workers, including women, affiliated to the Left parties and Central trade unions were taken into custody for organising picketing, rail roko and road roko. Picketing was held in 504 places and rail roko at 23 centres. One State transport corporation was damaged by agitators. CPI MPs K. Subbarayan and M. Appadurai were among those who were arrested.
In Chennai, CITU general secretary A. Soundararajan and AITUC general secretary S.S.Thiyagarajan and others were arrested. Director-General of Police (Law and Order) K.P.Jain said but for a few stray incidents of road blockade and rail roko, there was no untoward incident in the State. “Attendance in [offices of] Tamil Nadu Transport Corporation, Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and TNEB was 100 per cent,” he said. But trade unions and government employees unions maintained that various State government offices witnessed a sharp fall in attendance.
Operations in the installation of Indian Oil Corporation came to a standstill. Over 50 per cent of the workers of the BSNL Chennai Telephones kept away from work. Buses were operated, but transport workers affiliated to the CITU, AITUC and other Central unions did not report for duty. The LIC was hit hard by the strike, according to the all India LIC Employees Federation. The employees also held a demonstration in front of the head office here.
Bank Employees Federation of India secretary S.A. Rajendran said transactions in Tamil Nadu were affected with over 50,000 workers participating in the strike. In Tiruchi, banking operations in public sector banks, barring IOB and SBI, were completely hit. Convener of JAC of College Teachers-Tamil Nadu U. Sundararajan said nearly 10,000 teachers held demonstrations at the district headquarters. Teachers and students boycotted colleges in Coimbatore and Udumalapet.
However, the vernacular press has different stories .
R.K. Radhakrishnan, Court order on bandh adhered to: Karunanidhi, in “The Hindu” dated 02-010-2007
 J. Venkatesan , Judge’s outburst against DMK government, The Hindu dated 02-10-2007, for details see at: http://www.hindu.com/2007/10/02/stories/2007100258000100.htm
 For this, “The Hindu” clarified as follows: Clarification and regret: In the report “Apex Court pulls up High Court” published on October 1, the references made to the Madras High Court were, according to our Legal Correspondent, oral observations made by Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice P.P. Naolekar during the course of the three-hour hearing of the AIADMK’s petition on Sunday. These observations, which have no relevance in law, are not part of the Supreme Court’s restraint order in relation to the Tamil Nadu bandh. The failure of our Legal Correspondent in his report to make this clear, thus creating a wrong impression in the minds of readers, is regretted.
Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu:
 Thus he made Karunanidhi at par with Mahathma Gandhi!
 This time Munshi would assert that he acted before the Gandhi’s birth day!
Just for illustrative purposes:
Also read the related stories
'Strike not to affect bus services in TN'
You can't dictate terms to us, SC warns DMK