Reporter's diary: Junior rising or mere pep talk?
CHENNAI: Communication is an art in politics. A leader must know when to pack or pull a punch in public. The bygone days of Dravidian stalwarts like Arignar Anna, Kalaiagnar Karunanidhi and Nedunchezhian, who helped parties capture power through the flourish of their rhetoric, might be a relic of the distant political past, as the current bigwigs in the ruling party have got mumchance even by their old standards.
However, Chepauk MLA and DMK youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin has the gift of the gab. Despite lacking the classical Tamil oratory his party leaders are famous for, he has managed to effortlessly communicate his desire and trigger the ambitions of politicians in his youth brigade equally.
Speaking at a party youth wing meeting in a southern district, a buoyant Udhayanidhi drew a veiled parallel between his CM father and himself and was heard saying: “Thalaivar was the head of the youth wing. Now, you know where he is. So, work hard. The benefits will reach you.”
Though most listeners at the meeting missed the woods for the trees, a few shrewd folks in the party’s upper echelons read the underlying political message in the statement. The second rung leadership privately murmured that the youth wing secretary was perhaps expressing his desire to more than build the confidence among youths of the party.
They did not fail to acknowledge the remarkable improvement in the public speaking skills of the ‘junior’ in recent years.