The seditious songs of Tamil Nadu: a commentary and English translation of lyrics

Kotravan

Kotravan is a political enthusiast from Tamil Nadu working in IT Sector.

TASMAC [Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC)] was established in 1983 by then Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) [the founder of ADMK] for wholesale vending of alcohol in Tamil Nadu

Retail liquor vending in Tamil Nadu was taken over by TASMAC from the financial year 2002-2003 during the rule of ADMK under Miss.Jayalalitha.TASMAC that is owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu, which has a monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcoholic beverages Tamil Nadu.

Ever since TASMAC took over retail vending of liquor in Tamil Nadu, alcoholism is seeking a sharp rise in Tamil Nadu.Alcholism has risen among youngsters, middle aged persons across genders, marital status and has reached even school children.

The reason for the rise can be attributed to 2 points.

1. The government has gone on an endless spree of expanding the TASMAC shops.Currently there are more 6800+ TASMAC shops & more than 4500 bars in Tamil Nadu while the no. run schools are far lesser.

2. Drinking had been traditionally seen as a immoral practice in Tamil Nadu and the ones who engaged in drinking were looked down. But the act of government selling liquor seem as an authorization for the habit of drinking by a large number of people and it encouraged them to drink

The Tamil Nadu Government, no matter who ran it, is accused of running TASMAC like a corporate company by fixing annual sales targets that higher every year compared to the previous here.

Though it was ADMK government that expanded TASMAC’s operation from whole liquor vending to retail liquor the DMK never bothered to revert it while in power.It’s alleged that both DMK and ADMK party men or their relatives own alcohol companies & they get monetary benefits from TASMAC.

Recently DMK joined the chorus of various small organisations that demands complete prohibition of liquor in Tamil Nadu after the death of a Gandhian named Sasi Perumal.The was a 1000-day long public protest against the Tasmac shop at Unnamalaikadai town panchayat in Kanniyakumari district.But the district administration remained indifferent in implementing the court order. Sasi Perumal came into the picture last July to join the protest. He had also threatened to launch a ‘fast unto death’ and officials had assured him that liquor shop would be removed from Unnamalaikadai. As the administration failed to keep up its promise to the public, Sasi Perumal resorted to a dangerous manner of protest that claimed his life.

Sasi Perumal who had been anti-liquor protester since the days of Former Chief Minister Kamaraj, climbed a 150 feet cell phone tower seeking immediate removal of the shop. According to police, he threatened self-immolation.When the assurance to remove the shop came 5 hours later and when Sasi Perumal was brought down by Fire services personnel, there was a rope around his chest and he was vomiting blood and he was declared dead when admitted at the hospital.

DMK has promised prohibition of liquor in the state if it’s voted to power. However political observers express the view that complete ban on liquor would be practically impossible to implement and are also skeptical about DMK’s implementation of prohibition if voted to power because it’s widely alleged that both DMK and ADMK obtain monetary benefits from liquor through benamis.

Recently Kovan, from Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam (People’s Art and Literary Association) an organization better by the abbreviation Maka Eeka was arrested by Tamil Nadu police for his songs against TASMAC.He had penned two songs against TASMAC, namely “Moodu Tasmacka Moodu[Shutdown Tasmac]”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZLrn1dKOF8) & Ooruku oor Sarayam [Liquor in each and every town] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH4oihCsZ3s). Kovan has been charged under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different social groups and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505/1 (criminal intimidation, insult and annoyance) of the IPC. A senior officer who arrested him confirmed the charges. Abuse of power to intimidate critics and dissenter is nothing new to Tamil Nadu’s politicians across party lines.

Kovan who indirectly takes on ADMK and Jaya in Moodu Tasmacka Moodu song hits deliberately at Jayal and ADMK in Oorukku Oor Sarayam.Rough translation of Kovan’s songs are as follows & the contexts are highlighted in Italics.

“Moodu Tasmacka Moodu[Shutdown Tasmac] Enough of begging with the government that spoils the lives of families.Let’s set an ultimatum to the government to shut down the TASMAC shops by 31st August

Shutdown! You shutdown the TASMAC!
It’s harm to wait that you can vote and get it closed
Shutdown! Shutdown the TASMAC!
Shutdown! You shutdown the TASMAC!

Still how many children have to die by drinking? How many women have to lose their thaalis[nuptial threads]?
Still how many parties have to loot? How many elections have to pass?
Even after knowing it well that this [alcoholism] is wrong shut down TASMAN immediately. Why are you hesitating?
Shutdown! Shutdown the TASMAC!
Shutdown! Shutdown the TASMAC!

Liquor is used to gather crowd, to get votes, to make chant slogans.
Just by the liquor scam the party flourishes. The polls are conducted just to use you as pickle [Pickle is used as side dish for liquor while drinking].
Why do you need votes to shutdown the shop? Just use a heavy Thindukkal [a city in Tamil Nadu famous for locks] lock.
Shutdown! Shutdown the TASMAC!
Shutdown! Shutdown the TASMAC!


Tamil Nadu is feeling dizzy with liquor in every place [village, town and city]!

The virtuous lady who pours liquor into glass and provides  it, rejoices at Poes  [Poes Garden is the residence of Jayalalitha]

Itily costs one rupee, [usage of] toilet costs five rupees.
Rice meal costs 5 rupees, the cost of pulses it 100 rupees

Itily costs one rupee, [usage of] toilet costs five rupees.
Rice meal costs 5 rupees, the cost of pulses it 100 rupees
Bottle water costs 5 rupees! , the fees for education is lakh rupees!
If you don’t cry, “You are the god who made me live [prosperously]” then she will kill you.

Tamil Nadu is feeling dizzy with liquor in every place [village, town and city]!
The virtuous lady who pours liquor into glass and provides  it, rejoices at Poes  .
Without letting to study, she shuts the school !
She opens wine shop near temple for drinking !
She pours kerosene for just for a day in the month!
But she closes this evil shop just at midnight!

They started the shop in the locality that normal
They made all men ,women to drink!

The Amma’s regime that generously gave Lambs,fan, mixie has snatched by starting the shop on every street!

The regime that gives without [people]demanding has snatched even the  hip’s vaetti [White South Indian attire worn by men] & gone!

Tamil Nadu is feeling dizzy with liquor in every place [village, town and city]!
The virtuous lady who pours liquor into glass and provides  it, rejoices at Poes
The Thalaikaviri [Thalaikaviri is the source of Kaveri river] of bars in Tamil Nadu is Midas [a liquor company allegedly owned by Jaya’s friends Sasikala,Ilavarasi].
If the citizen becomes flat [due to liquor] the collector gets congratulations!
The Thalaikaviri of bars in Tamil Nadu is Midas
If the citizen becomes flat [due to liquor] the collector gets congratulations.
Bars are full of ADMK goons.
The all time security for this police.

Tamil Nadu is feeling dizzy with liquor in every place [village, town and city]!
The virtuous lady who pours liquor into glass and provides  it, rejoices at Poes

Salary for army of IAS, IPS
Qualis, police. The expense items are lot.
The expense of AMMA’s visit itself is terrible!
If it’s stupidly demanded to shutdown then what will happen to their future!