Let’s hope culture of ‘upright’ politicians is here to stay

A new political culture is emerging in Tamil Nadu politics, which is a healthy one. Politicians across party lines are changing their age- old behaviour of falling at the feet of their political leaders.
Dr Bernard D’Sami
Dr Bernard D’Sami

Chennai

The statement from Stalin, the working President of the DMK, has stated in clear terms that no cadre of the party should resort to the practice of falling at his feet. A vanakkam with the folded hands or a handshake is enough to wish a leader. 
In fact, the practice of falling at the feet of the politicians was more visible and common in the AIADMK when the late J Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister and when she was out of power as the General Secretary of the party. In order to maintain a distance from the male cadre, she perhaps would have followed this strategy. After the death of former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran, her political mentor introduced her to the party and to the Assembly, she had a harrowing experience. Media houses then reported of her being physically assaulted in the Assembly. This incident, according to some analysts, was the starting point for her to change her attire (sari with an overcoat). 
This incident had also possibly forced her to distance herself from any physical contact with the opposite sex. As she physically distanced herself from the party cadre, both the ministers and party cadre started falling at her feet, which she did not condemn publicly. Now that the Chief Minister is no more, the practice of falling at the feet of the new leaders should also stop. 
Another feature which was discontinued after the AIADMK was returned to power in 2016 was the end to huge cut-outs. Earlier, each and every discussion, passing of any Bill or any function of the party was known by the display of huge posters/banners of the political leader of the party. What was discontinued after coming to power should not be resumed either, as the culture of displaying cut-outs and huge banners are once again seen in the city now. 
As every human being is endowed with human dignity, one should not fall at the feet of another. 
Our politicians should remember that respectfulness is more seen in the heart of a person, rather than displaying acts such as falling at the feet.
The writer is a political analyst

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