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CUT - OUTS, CASTE AND CINE STARS: The World of Tamil Politics

CUT - OUTS, CASTE AND CINE STARS: The World of Tamil Politics
Item Code: IDF758
Author: Vaasanthi
Publisher: Penguin Groups
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 0670999008
Pages: 268
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.6" X 5.7"
From the Jacket:

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 World of Tamil Politics tells a unique and gripping political story 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 electrol 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 ha 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.

About the Author:

Vaasanthi was educated at Mysore University and also attended summer school in Oslo. Her writing reflects a concern for human rights, gender issues and communal harmony. Among her better-known works is Mounappuyal, translated into English as The Silent Storm, which was awarded the Punjab Sahitya Academy Award in 1991. She was the editor of India Today's Tamil edition for nine years and is presently a consultant with the magazine. She lives and works as a freelance journalist and writer in Bangalore.

Acknowledgements vii
Introduction xi
1 Prophet of the New Age 1
2 The Anti-Hindi agitation 24
3 The Medium is the Message 35
4 The coming of Age and the Dramatic Ascent 42
5 Karunanidhi's Ascendance and the Big Split 50
6 MGR: The Myth and the Mystique 60
7 Death and Resurrection 76
8 The Fury of Panchali 84
9 Kannaki and Tamil Honour 91
10 Personality Cult 102
11 Birthday Dash 107
12 The Tiger Man 116
13 Eight World Tamil Conference 127
14 G. K. Moopanar's Tamil Nadu congress Rebels 137
15 Intolerance of Dissent 149
16 Mother of all weddings 158
17 The Iron Butterfly Behind Iron Bars 164
18 The Damning of Karunanidhi 172
19 Ideology Takes a Back Seat 179
20 Cast Politics in Periyar's Tamil Country 189
21 Puthiya Thamizhagam Krishnaswamy 197
22 All in the Name of Caste 213
23 Election Melodrama 220
24 The Predawn Knock 232
25 Karunandhi: Forever the Scriptwriter Kalaignar 243
Bibliography 255
Index 258

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