Articles About ANNA

Anna – a gentleman CM -T.R.RAMANUJAM,Dy. Commissioner of Police(Retd)
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‘Perrarignar Ana’ as he is still known and revered throughout Tamilnadu, late C.N.Annadurai formed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) and nursed it ‘adnculabis’ to become a viable alternate political power, capable of taking over the governance of the State. In this he had the unstinted support and assistance of a select band of young articulates.

The DMK while still a nascent party jumped into the electoral fray in in 1957; and it dealt a ‘coup degrace’ in 1967 to the then ruling Congress romping home with a convincing margin. As its acknowledged leader, Anna assumed the mantle of Chef Ministership. I was then an Inspector in CID(Spl. Branch) after my brief Minister M.Bhaktavatsalam. To my pleasant surprise I was chosen to be the Personal Security Officer of Anna. I had the opportunity of seeing him functioning as Chief Minister from close quarters.

The first step Anna took on assuming the high office was to endear himself to the army of bureaucrats who were to work with him and soon won their hearts to his annate affability, co-operation and genial understanding. The officials, in turn, found on him a Chief Minister who was willing to out his ‘oars’ to the sail along with them, and that there were no ‘flies’ on him. In the meantime Anna evolved in manner and form a distinct way of his own in his treatment towards officials so as not to offend them in the least even when they went wrong. He took especial care not to leave an impression of ‘bossism’ on them. An example of this could be seen in the amiable manner with which he dealt with a ticklish situation concerning his Police Chief of the City.

Almost incensed with unjustified criticisms in the party circles over his ‘hesitancy’ in opening fire when a tense situation arose, the City Police Chief sent in his pay cheque to the CM with a request to be relieved of his post. In his own characteristic poise Anna counseled: “While I retain the cheque not for encashing but as a momento I would advise you not to take a hasty decision in a disturbed state of mind”. And it must be said to the credit of both that they got on excellently well thereafter.

Anna’s personal life was characterized by total honesty and high sense of probity. He was particular that in all his personal dealings there was no room, even remotely for any sort of reproach. This approach was extended even to Government furniture. He wanted them all to be kept downstairs so that when he relinquished his office they could be easily removed and taken back to Government stores.

While he was away in U.S.A. at the invitations of Yale University in April 1968, an ex M.P. who was a little close to him made some alterations and additions to his apartment in the terrace of his house costing around Rs.18,000. On his return Anna was heard saying that he did not know where the ex-MP got the money from and on his next trip to Delhi he drew the money from the Bank he had saved as MP and closed the accounts. He gave the amount to the ex-MP asking him to pay it off to whomsoever it may due. When admission for Medical Colleges came up, a number of slips containing names of candidates were received by him for recommendations. But Anna quietly kept them back without a whisper to anyone. He never interfered with the administration. He was a firm believer in the principle that interference in administrative matters and transfer of officials at the whim of politicians cannot but be detrimental to efficient governance. He always kept himself abreast of the developments in the State and elsewhere and had his own sources of information. He valued the police intelligence reports(DSR) which he would run through while sipping morning coffee.

To a friend who sent him a raffle ticket along with a greeting card wishing him good luck and fortune, he replied “bel espirit” I had not known before that a raffle ticket can be put to such a laudable purpose. While keeping back the greeting caed I am returning the raffle ticket for I cannot accept it. I am now the CM”. At the time of his death I had occasion to come across his bank account. The balance at his credit was whopping sum of Rs.2000.

I should be said to the credit of Anna that he scrupulously avoided any sort of witch hunting during his brief tenure of office. He retained the entire personal staff of his predecessor. Even where the Assistance Commissioner (Intelligence) seemed to have said that he was looking for Anna to arrest him during anti-Hindi agitation (1965). Anna had the large-heartedness to retain him in the same post when he became the Chef Minister. In my case too F.V. Arul the the IG, asked Anna if he would prefer to have me as his PSO as I was previously with Bhaktavatsalam. This is what Anna appears to have told the IG. “If you think he is reliable you may post him as my PSO”. Thank you Anna, I not only remained his personal security officer but won his implicity confidence until the cruel hand of fate snatched him away from our midst.
It is expected of all those who swear by the name of Anna to stand by him and emulate his principles rather than barter in his name.

In his death Tamilnadu really lost a Chief Minister ‘par excellence’ and a fine gentleman. NEWS TODAY – Friday 13th September 1991.

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