The Man from Madras Musings has nothing but sympathy for the head that wears the er… crown (now what did you think MMM meant?) in our state. We all know he had to wait long to be entrusted with the responsibility. Some had even written this as an impossibility. Parallels were drawn with a man in a similar situation in far away England who too has been waiting long. But all has ended well for our prince, though the other one, in water-girt isle has heaven knows how long to wait.
But to get back to our man, he must have all along imagined life to have been one of speeches, meetings, cutting ribbons, laying foundation stones, receiving and sending off visiting dignitaries and then travelling around. Instead, what he has gotten on to is a pandemic-ridden territory, with none of the above exciting things happening. And each weekend he has this momentous decision to take on what is to be done with the lockdown. To open or not to open that is his question, a dilemma which if zyou remember kept the Prince of Denmark awake several nights.
Mind you, the head that wears the crown has MMM’s sympathies. There seems to be no one answer to this question. Our state has so many diverse groups, each having an opinion and though there seem to be only two answers (open or remain locked down), there are fifty shades of grey in what can be allowed in between. Our head must be turning quite grey in whatever is left beneath that crown (once again if you thought of something else that is entirely your imagination).
Take for instance the question of allowing vehicles. MMM is reliably informed that there is a group of owners of high-end German cars in the city that wants the lockdown to end immediately because rats have taken to gnawing the wires in their idle vehicles, this apparently being a problem these cars are particularly prone to. And so, we have these influential men wanting the lockdown to lift at once. Not so enthusiastic are their chauffeurs who have thus far had a paid holiday and want it to continue.
That then is just one conflict of interest. Now take this forward – you have the temperance league people vs the regular TASMAC goers, the parents vs children group, the teachers vs students groups, the small-shop owners vs the mall shop owners, the OTT content providers vs the theatre owners, the society for the continuance of the virtual meets vs those who want to meet in person and so on. And then there is that huge group of home delivery people – the Swiggy and Dunzo men of this city. MMM is not sure if they would like the lockdown to continue. While they have done a magnificent job rushing products from place to place, MMM thinks they are overworked and would not mind some easing of the pressure.
There is a conflict everywhere. But MMM is sure that no matter what, everyone would want the lockdown to end and more importantly, the pandemic to go. It is still early days and the next few weeks will really show us how we fare. And let us not forget, this is just a partial opening up. There are going to be plenty more decisions for the top man and MMM is quite sure he will be often lifting his crown, scratching his head, and pondering over whether life in the opposition was not easier. But then, the way he has been begun MMM is quite sure he will do well in this tenure. All the best to him.
Is there a hint of something more than empathy for the wearer of the crown in the state ? Something more favourable than what has been expressed to the one wearing it for the country or that lowly “ondriya arasu” ? Good wishes are fine but Historians should not forget history – of the person, of the family, party and its supposedly just origins or its present in incarcerating persons for speaking against the father and son. Is that a great beginning when a pandemic is raging ?
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