K. Annamalai: New star in the Indian political firmament

By Sridhar Subramaniam

Five States are going to polls in India and it is only a matter of time before the results are out. West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are all going to the hustings.

In West Bengal it a Battle Royale between the TMC led by Mamata Banerjee and the BJP, which is leaving no stone unturned to dethrone Mamata and emerge the victor in a state that has not seen development for decades now. In Kerala it is to be seen whether it is again going to be the UDF-LDF binary or if a new force will emerge. In Assam it is between the BJP and the Congress. In Puducherry it is predicted that a new alignment will come to power. In TN, also like in Kerala, it is the Dravidian parties which have been ruling the roost for decades now. BJP is trying to ride piggy back on AIADMK and is working hard to wrest power in TN for the coalition led by its alliance partner the AIADMK. BJP is contesting in 20 seats in that state, as per the sheet sharing arrangement.

Of the several constituencies all over, there is one constituency, however, that has come into the spotlight and the national reckoning and that constituency is Aravakurichi in Karur in Western TN. Aravakuruchi is the Second largest constituency in TN. Batting for the BJP is Annamalai, an Ex Karnataka Cadre IPS Officer. Annamalai has excellent credentials and has a great attitude. This young man is an Engineer by qualification and also graduated out of IIM Lucknow. He also qualified for the All India Services and joined the Indian Police Service (IPS). Served with distinction for a decade as Superintendent of Police in Udupi and Chikmagalur districts of Karnataka and later got elevated as DCP South for Bangalore. His empathy, service oriented nature, geniality, accessibility to the general public, deft and compassionate handling of tricky situations, which otherwise could have snowballed and erupted into a perilous law and order problems have earned him the sobriquet—Singham Annamalai; Singham is a Lion in Tamil!

The story of Annamalai is like a “Reel” Life Story becoming Real!

Annamalai is everyman’s idea of the quintessential super cop. He has become a legend in his own right and his exploits are part of folklore in Karnataka. He has a huge fan following there, all owing to his good Karma. But after his meteoric rise in the cadre, rising to a DCP, this young man decided to call it quits to answer to a higher calling—to join politics, serve the people of his state and make a difference. A very difficult decision for anyone, especially when the going was so good!

He says the decision to serve the people was an epiphany that came to him after a trip to Mount Kailash. Annamalai finds Narendra Modi a truly inspiring leader, who can catapult India to great heights! He feels that Modi, is a leader ‘non-pareil’ and that has prompted him to join the BJP. BJP being a cadre based organization, keeping nation above all else, where anyone can rise and occupy positions of power (unlike in dynasties!) is a big draw for him

Annamalai is level-headed. All this early success has not gone to his head. His head is where his heart is! His outlook and world view is remarkably progressive. He takes pride in his humble origin. He is not hankering for power. He epitomises “Servant Leadership” and connects with people with remarkable ease.

His entry into politics is a harbinger of hope! Will inspire many young people, educated and imbued with the idealism of the youth to join politics and serve the people. Politics has become a cesspool and with the advent of people like Annamalai, it will hopefully alter and raise public discourse, enabling the cleansing of the body politic. Idealism and the Service motto is lacking in public life in India today. We can attribute all the ills plaguing the body politic to the lack of idealism, patriotism, love for the country and to woeful lack of servant leadership and Nishkamya Karma!

I wish people like him get elected in droves to serve the people. This ilk believes that virtue, is its own reward.

He has worked hard and untiringly in this constituency, even braving the pandemic. He has sounded a clarion call to his political rivals and has dared them to put up a values-based contest.

From the looks of it, the people of Aravakurichi have been won over by this endearingly simple man, who is also a Son of the Soil, in every sense and want him as their man in the Assembly. Their cynicism has now been replaced by hope.

He is the new star in the Indian Political firmament, who is sure to blaze a new trail in the years to come.

The nation waits with bated breath for the 2 May to usher in Annamalai’s Victory and herald a new beginning!

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