Prison dairies and hospital reflections say more about a politician’s belief systems than they outwardly tend to profess. Even more so if a political VVIP is facing a crucial national election like the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.
Recovering from a medically termed “high-risk spinal surgery” to ease his acute back pain, the 84-year-old DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi who is still the main crowd-puller for his party and the alliance that he leads, is now back to measured mobility, injecting a great sense of relief to his party cadres and allies.
After having gone through a major health ordeal for over 40 days, both at home and in a private hospital in Chennai, Karunanidhi has just completed a six-part series, a hospital dairy which he poetically titles as ‘Nalivum, Naanum’ (My encounter with frail health).
While it amazingly details in racy style every little thing that happened since he was admitted to the hospital early on Jan 26, missing the Republic Day parade, till March 1 when he was allowed to go home after a successful complex spinal surgery by a 14-member doctors team led by the famous orthopedic surgeon from AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr. Arvind Jaiswal, his chronicle for his ‘udanpirappe’ (party cadres) ends with an interesting twist.
A professed rationalist and atheist in his nearly seven-decade old public life so far, Karunanidhi in a mood of cautious optimism, ascribes his health turnaround to a “rebirth”. “I have again started working, thanks to this machine taking a rebirth,” the DMK chief poetically concludes.
This tacit change in belief is a far-cry from Karunanidhi’s long-held skepticism and agnosticism, for the rationalist veteran fully knows that “rebirth” in the human context pre-supposes the notion of the ‘self’ or ‘soul’, sources told HT today.
“He is just punning on the word ‘machine’ to keep the ambiguity for the Dravidian ideologues going, as his health recovery before the elections has been a near-miracle,” sources added.