OPS (Other Person’s Shadow) Syndrome
Stepping into the shoes of a towering, historic leader is no easy task – especially if those are the shoes of a Charismatic, Legendary, Towering demigoddess who had created history in life (and death).
Yet, a person who was never perceived as an independent decision maker, always known as a trusted lieutenant, a humble loyalist, a stop gap leader – has silently played a very important role in supporting the historic student movement to preserve the cultural identity of the Tamil community.
In the current harsh, sensitive political scenario, filling the void left by a legendary leader, amidst burning cultural issues and sensitive youth ideologies, walking a tightrope balancing the Centre, State & party politics is almost like skating on thin ice or walking a minefield. One wrong move and things could spiral out of control.
Sensing the mood of the student rising, understanding emotions, meeting them the very evening, flying out to Delhi, meeting the PM, convincing the various departments, enabling the drafting of legal papers for the President and the Judiciary, getting it signed, flying back to explain the situation to the protesters, assuring them of tabling the law the next day at the assembly, doing it the next day, managing the press, and most important of all – not compromising safety when intelligence warned on infiltration of antisocial elements is surely a commendable task – given the sheer enormity of the situation.
He does have his critics for his ‘Mixture’ of late actions, subdued reactions, for his affinity for being a shadow or his fancy for women’s feet – yet, these, in my personal opinion are nemesis of anyone emerging out of persona cult based organisation, specifically in a phase of leadership transition. I do think it a Cultural Cognition Projection, where researchers look into “the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact … to values that define their cultural identities”.
Will he survive amidst the murky political fascists waiting for a chance both within and outside his own party, will he get away from the ugly tentacles of corruption charges, will he survive the power hungry coteries of caste party politics – only time will tell, but for now, Mr.Chief minister, you have done us proud and truly emerged out of the OPS syndrome.
(Caveat): I am no Political expert nor any party aficionado and hence this is a common man's view on the current scenario. But I have been at senior positions in the corporate world - especially at huge corporate groups to talk about leadership and transition.