Articles About ANNA

ANNA, THE CREATIVE GENIUS                                         Back to Article Titles
– Dr.V.C.Kulandaiswamy, Ex-Vice-Chancellor, Anna University.

Anna is one of the few persons, the dimensions of whose greatness have not been fully comprehended even by his followers and admirers; whose contributions have not been understood even by the liberals among his opponents; the levels of whose refinement and sophistication in politics and in opposition.

He is a creative genius of world order. Born to become a Shelly or a Sha, but drawn into a life of revolt against social injustices, rejection of outworn traditions, and negation of many faiths and beliefs. In whatever he did, however, the creator in him dominated, and consequently in every area of his interest, he left behind a new order, a new system and an indelible mark of his natural predilections and potential for creative contribution.

To the politics of Tamil Nadu, he gave a new sense of sophistication and refinement; to the Tamil stage and film, a new theme and style; to journalism, a new language and method of expression; to the party system, a message of development and encouragement of leadership; to the art of speaking a new style; and above all to the Tamil language a new form, new life and new vigour.

The world of art and literature that he left behind was vastly different, infinitely richer than the one he inherited. The Tamil that we here from our political platforms, literary forums and discussion groups is the Tamil of his making. The style we see in the contributions of our scholars, writers and reporters is the style that bears an indelible mark, of his moulding and shaping. In short, the Tamil that we write and the Tamil that we hear from platforms, stages and screens is the Tamil that bears very distinguishably the mark of Anna. Even those who rejected his political policies and social philosophies have accepted this method of writing and speaking and manner of conducting himself.

Anna was a artist of global dimensions, and a creator of caliber that makes enduring contributions to humanity as a class. He had the sails to move in the wide seas and the wings to fly in the vast skies. But the mission that drew him and the goal he set for himself, chained him to the earth. A genius born for the wide world, confined its contribution to the boundaries of its land of birth – a loss to humanity in general, but a gain, a great gain to the Tamil language and Tamil race.

It was Valluvar who said that the greatness of a person must be judged by what he or she leaves behind. In the case of a leader, political, social or religious, his/her greatness must also be judged by the kind of the first and second line of leadership that is developed and left behind. In this regard, Anna comes next only to Gandhi in the manner in which he moulded and shaped everyone according to one’s talent and potential. The party he belonged to, the philosophy he advocated and the reforms he sought to bring about did not, in the early stages of his career, attract the traditional class of intellectuals. The followers were drawn from the masses and from among the radicals and the less affluent of the students. From the modest potential that was available, he by his magnanimous encouragement, liberal appreciation and discriminating guidance, developed leaders, who to-day dominate the scene in every political party in Tamil Nadu.

Anna stood sure at the base, and soaring high at the top. He never feared a threat to his leadership, or a challenge to his eminence, for he was always prepared to transfer both of them to the deserving among his disciples, very willingly and gladly. On every occasion, he invited them to ease his burdens either by sharing them as equals or by taking over the mantle. He encouraged liberally the emerging talent; acknowledged unreservedly the established ones; introduced to the world voluntarily many names that remained unknown, many faces that were unseen, but deserved recognition, and brought them into the glare of recognition and reputation. The political party they belonged to, the convictions they worked for, and the controversies of the day-to-day struggle, did not very much influence his decision and judgment in this regard. The fragrance of a blossoming flower in whichever compound, and in whatever clime, found in him a spontaneous bard to sing its glory.
All through his life, he campaigned against certain vested interests; fought for certain new order; increasingly and incessantly he strove to bring down or break to pieces many a citadel of privileges and patronages and succeeded in them; but all without leaving a trail of bitterness or trace of enmity. He introduced into the world of politics a new culture; into the platform of controversy a new order and into public life in general a new dimension of understanding and where possible appreciating the ‘other view’, even if it be an ‘opposite view’.

He was among the writers, a patron, among the politicians a saint, among his party men the brother, and to his countrymen and women in general the ‘Anna’.


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