Title Cut-Outs, Caste and Cine-Stars: The World of Tamil Politics
Book Condition New
Edition First Edition
Size 13 Cms x 20 Cms
Publisher New Delhi, India Penguin 2008
014306312X / 9780143063124
Seller ID 023204
Tamil Nadu is a state very different from the rest of India, both culturally and historically. It has retained a fundamentally separate identity for itself in language and caste structure, and this is most evident in its politics. Cut-outs, Caste and Cine Stars: The Word of Tamil Politics tells a political story that has all the elements of a blockbuster film, where ironies and larger-than-life characters abound: Periyar, a Kannada-speaker, who introduced the notions of Tamil self-respect and regional pride, yet dismissed Tamil as ‘a barbaric language’; the matinee idol MGR, a Malayalee born in Sri Lanka, who became Tamil Nadu’s most popular mass leader; the Dravidian movement which, by its own ideology, should have helped the Dalits but has instead supported only the upwardly mobile middle groups; and parties that rose to power by propagating anti-Hindi and anti-Brahmin sentiments but have now allied themselves with the BJP. It is fitting that this reel-like scenario is presently dominated by the electoral politics of Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa, one a scriptwriter and the other a former actress. Through all this, the author discusses the successes and pitfalls of politics in the state, from the free-meal scheme for students and the elevation of leaders to a divine status to the anti-conversion law and the rising importance of the Dravidian parties in national politics. Well-known writer and journalist Vaasanthi has observed the dramatis personae in this epic drama at close quarters for a decade, and Cut-outs, Caste and Cine Stars offers an objective and insightful view of a political world that is both fascinating and perplexing. Printed Pages: 296.