Only people can restore democracy: Advani

via HARAN.B.R published on November 13, 2008

  Launch of Tamil version of Advani’s “My Country, My Life” in Chennai.

Former Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy releases the first copy of the Tamil version of BJP leader L K Advani’s autobiography ‘My Country, My Life’ with the blessings of Swami DayanandaSaraswathi at a function in Chennaion Wednesday. Advani and journalist ‘Cho’ Ramaswamy are also present.





United States of America witnessed a change with the election of Barack Obama, the first black American, as the President. Similarly, India will also witness a change in the forthcoming general elections. Apart from being a black American, Obama also has a Muslim father and in a country used to White Americans as presidents, Obama’s election is extraordinary. But, India, a predominantly Hindu country, has elected the first Muslim President way back in 1967 itslef and since then we have seen three Muslim Presidents, which was not seen as an extraordinary thing. That is because of our national ethos, which goes beyond religions and that is what we call as cultural nationalism‘ said Opposition leader and BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani. He was speaking at a function marking the release of the Tamil translation (En Desam, En Vaazhkai) of his autobiography ‘My Country, My Life’.


Talking of his acquaintance with Tamilnadu, he remembered his ‘Swarna Jayanthi Rathyatra’ of 1997, during which time he visited the palace of Veerapandiya Kattabomman, ancestral residence of Kamaraj and Barathiyar’s home in order to pay homage to those great freedom fighters. He said, ‘Veerapandiya Kattabomman was the only Tamil film I have seen and when Shivaji was a member of Rajya Saba, I appreciated him, as I could not have known Kattabomman otherwise. When Vajpayeeji became the Prime Minister in 1998, he mentioned about the famous poem ‘My Mother’ written by Barathiyar in his maiden speech as PM and the same poem was also cited by the Supreme Court recently while talking about the unity & integrity of the country. At Barathiyar’s home, I have seen a letter dated June 1945 written in Tamil by Gandhiji to Barathi’.


Then delving more on Tamilnadu, he said, ‘Tamilnadu has both the ‘regional pride’ and ‘national unity’ and it has been making shining contributions to national progress. I am happy that when the first English edition of my book was released, two Tamilians Dr.Abdul Kalam and Cho Ramaswamy graced the function. Again my Kannada edition was released by another Tamilian, Infosys’ former Chairman Narayanamurthy. Even the release of my Hindi edition saw a mammoth crowd, but this function here in Chennai has seen the best atmosphere, speeches and enthusiasm’.


Talking about his passion for the word ‘release’ Advani jocularly remembered his days in prison during emergency and said, ‘the most fascinating and eagerly awaited word at that time was ‘release’ and every time when a prisoner was released we used to feel happy and that is why I always used to accept invitations for book ‘release’ functions.


Advani said he was indebted to two families, one the ‘ideological’ family being his association with RSS and the other ‘personal’ family being his wife, son, daughter-in-law and daughter, which have made him what he is today. He said the long seventy years of association with these two families, which have made his life full of happiness and meaning, only enabled him to write this autobiography. He completed the speech by saying, ‘restoration of democracy is in people’s hands and If only I get an opportunity to lead this nation, I will enable the people to rise up to their potential to build a strong and progressive nation’.   


Senior journalist and political analyst Cho Ramaswamy enthralled the audience with his ‘satiric’ punches. Referring to the word ‘if’ used by N Ram the Editor of The Hindu in addressing Advani as the future Prime Minister, he said, ‘I & f denote ‘Indians’ & ‘firm’ and Indians are firm in voting Advani as the Prime Minister, as he will not be remote controlled by somebody and he need not listen to somebody else’s voice and he will not be a Prime Minister, who will be pitied’. Reminding the audience on Advani’s immediate resignation from the Lok Saba in the aftermath of the ‘Hawala’ scam and his exoneration from the High Court and Supreme Court, he said, ‘Advani’s resignation was a ‘true’ resignation and he had no ‘father’ to submit his resignation letter. He is a man of confidence and determination and more than everything, he is a democrat. He has the courage even to differ sometimes with the RSS, the organization, which groomed him, that too openly!’


Talking of Advani’s book, Cho said, ‘He has aptly titled his book ‘My Country, My Life’, because both nation & life have been like a ‘rail track’ for him, as he has been a true nationalist. No other leader in this country has traveled in such a rail track. For most of our leaders it is ‘My Life, My Family’ unlike Advani. His book is full of information on his successes, failure, delicate situations, which he faced, etc, and he has written on his seventy years of public life not only as a participant, but also as an observer.’ Comparing BJP and Congress, Cho said, ‘Advani has never asked for ‘Hindu’ votes and it is the Congress party, which identifies ‘terrorism’ with Islam for the sake of Muslim votes. The BJP has never done that and it always addresses terrorism as against humanity and the nation. In that way, Congress is a rank ‘communal’ party and BJP is the most ‘secular’ party in the country. The earlier the minorities understand this, the better for them’.


Refering to the Left front’s critical innuendoes on Advani, he said, ‘Left will oppose anything, which is good for the nation. If the Left has a future in India, then India has no future left’. After praising Advani’s qualities of firmness, courage and conviction, he compared Jayalalitha and Karunandhi and said that Jayalalitha is the leader second only to Advani in exhibiting such qualities. He drew a parallel to the stands of both Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi on issues like terrorism and LTTE and said, ‘even Congress doesn’t take such a courageous stand against LTTE as Jayalaitha. It would be better for Congress if it follows Jayalalitha instead of Karunanidhi’. Cho didn’t hide his intentions, when he openly made suggestions for the alliance between AIADMK and BJP in the forthcoming general elections.


He also said that Advani is the only leader, who has the courage to groom young leaders like Narendra Modi without fearing for his place in the political arena. Referring to the audience’s electrifying response to Super Star Rajinikanth’s presence in the function, he said that the audience in the jam-packed hall was not Rajini’s fans and their accolades show Rajin as the leader of masses and hence he should not wait for God’s order and straight away plunge into politics. He concluded his speech by saying, ‘The country needs Advani’s stewardship and as and when he becomes PM, nation will reach greater heights’.


Air Chief Marshall Krishnaswamy talked of his association with Advani as the Home Minister, when he was the Chief Air Force and was full of praise for Advani’s qualities of toughness, courage and decision-making. He felt that at present the nation is under crisis and needs a leader like Advani to handle it. Earlier, Air Chief Marshall Krishnaswamy released the book under the blessings of Pujya Swamiji Dayananda Saraswathi, who accepted the first copy. Swamiji said that Advani is a ‘leader’ in the true sense of it and he is identified with the nation and its culture. He differentiated between leader, opportunist and idealist and said that opportunist and idealist are dangerous to the nation and only leader can take the nation to great heights. He concluded by saying, ‘Advani is honest and committed and he is a ‘sreshta’ (leader) being respected for what he is whether in power or not and the country has no other option than him’.


The book has been excellently translated by journalist Vasanthan Perumal associated with Cho’s ‘Thuglak’ magazine and the translation of the foreword and epilogue were done by senior journalist Sudangan and was published by Alliance Publishers, the century old Tamil publications. Superstar Rajinikanth, Actor Manorama, Cricketer Srikanth, The Hindu Editor N Ram, Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty and other dignitaries were honoured and presented a copy of the book. Alliance Srinivasan welcomed the gathering and Baratha Natyam Danseuse Padma Subramanyam also spoke. Advani’s daughter Prathiba Advani gave the vote of thanks with flair and fluent speech full of emotions and the love and affection between the daughter and the parents was there on the stage for all to see.

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