In defence of a farcical fast
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
Published: 19th Aug 2012 09:57:40 AM
Tamil Nadu is known for its leaders hungry for fasts, including relay fasts between breakfast, lunch and dinner. One such controversial fast that has come back to haunt DMK supremo M Karunanidhi is his six hour fast in 2009 demanding a ceasefire in Sri Lanka when the Sri Lankan army's offensive had the LTTE on the run. At the first conference of the revived Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) that was held last week under his guidance to raise the heat on the issue and use it as an election plank, his fast was anticipated to be an embarrassment. In a conclave before the conference, Karunanidhi defended his decision to call off his indefinite fast demanding a ceasefire after six hours of starting it. In his defence he made blamed the UPA government by claiming that he called off his fast thanks to the statement made by the then External Affairs Minister, who in turn “was misguided by Sri Lanka” as it claimed that the war had stopped.
The fast has been a thorn in his flesh for a while, with opposition parties and Tamil groups frequently referring to it as a farce enacted to cheat the people. “The Sri Lankan government misguided the Government of India and indeed the whole world. I had to rely on that version,” the DMK patriarch pointed out.