February 04, 2012

Track your MLA

Politics, cinema and sport can be a potent mixture.

Especially when you consume much of each back to back.

You have to be up early to catch the Australian Open tennis matches, which are certainly are a better option to the India series in Australia.

News always gets my attention and oftentimes a debate with Subramaniam Swamy and Soli Sorabjee on the side can be thought-provoking or mere drama for that night.

And now, it is Oscars time.

The awards show is not all that important. But some of the movies are must-see flicks. This is the season when channels vie with each other to screen award winning films.

It was good to watch The Pianist on Thursday and there are some specials to catch up this weekend.

I also make it a point to watch excerpts of the business in Parliament and in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly.

Hot air, sonorous speeches and loud drama dominate much of the proceedings but between the banal and the boring, you can zero in on some interesting ideas and debates.

On Thursday, I chose to watch the proceedings at Fort St. George. Now that Jayalalithaa is in power, Jaya TV devotes time to Assembly reportage.

There had been lots of drama in the House that day featuring the Leader of the Opposition, actor Vijaykant who heads the DMDK party and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Before the drama could spill over, the Speaker managed to get the DMDK team moved out of the House.

A short session on Jayalalithaa's effort to set up a fitness studio for women MLAs in the MLAs Hostel cooled the tempers. Even the Chief Minister smiled more than once.

I had not tuned in to get amused before The Pianist came on on another channel.

I was keen to pick up threads on some issues and projects that we have been following locally and in the region.

But on Thursday night, most statements by MLAs and replies by ministers were snappy.

We are still in the dark on what our local MLAs are doing in the Assembly. They never make an effort to share with our newspapers on what they may have said or extracted when the Assembly is on.

Nor do we get to know if they have been lobbying with ministers for projects or talking to state departments for funds.

Communication seems limited to speaking at local events and responding to SOS calls from the constituency.

How can we engage our MLAs be it in Mylapore or Velachery or Virugambakkam?

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