Tamil politics

Sasikala clan has brought ill name to Tamil Nadu, must be sidelined before any merger: Panneerselvam

The former chief minister said he would not drop his demand for a judicial probe into the circumstances around J Jayalalithaa’s death.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday said the VK Sasikala family had brought “ill name” to the state and demanded that they be removed from important posts in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam if his faction was to merge with the parent party. His demand comes after the Delhi Police on Monday filed a First Information Report against party Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran for offering to bribe the Election Commission to get hold of the party’s frozen “two leaves” symbol.

Panneerselvam also said his supporters would not give up their demand for a judicial probe into the circumstance around former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death. “This was the fundamental of our dharmic war that we started in February,” he said at a press conference in his native place Theni. “Both MGR and Jayalalithaa abhorred family interference in politics – we will never waiver from this stand of our leaders.”

The stipulations are currently being discussed with party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran. Officials in the AIADMK said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy is keen on completing the merger before the EC’s next hearing on the dispute over the party’s “two leaves” symbol.

A senior leader in the Panneerselvam camp told Scroll.in that Dinakaran was willing to step down from his post if an assurance was given that his aunt, Sasikala, who is currently lodged in a Bengaluru jail, is allowed to continue as general secretary. Dinakaran also wants an assurance that he will continue as a member of the party and preferably find a place in the AIADMK’s high-level committee as well.

However, the Panneerselvam camp is not ready to accept this offer. They have made it clear to Palaniswamy that the entire Sasikala clan should be sidelined for the merger to take place. A senior official in the Panneerselvam camp said they have no problem with Palaniswamy continuing as chief minister. “He is a very senior leader and a loyal AIADMK man,” the leader said. “Our problem is with Sasikala and her family.”

On Monday night, all senior leaders of the Panneerselvam faction held a three-hour discussion to arrive at the demands they should place before Palaniswamy for the merger to take place. These are:

  • Sasikala and Dinakaran should resign from their posts immediately. 
  • Panneerselvam should either be inducted into the Cabinet as second-in-command or be made the party chief. 
  • E Madhusoodhanan, the faction’s candidate for the RK Nagar bye-poll, should be declared the common candidate whenever the polls are held. RK Nagar was J Jayalaltihaa’s seat before she died.
  • The Sasikala clan should be kept away from all decision-making bodies in the party. 
  • Two members of the Panneerselvam camp should be inducted into the Cabinet and Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, a staunch Sasikala loyalist who is under Income Tax investigation, should be dropped from the ministry. 

Officials close to Palaniswamy said Dinakaran was being persuaded to step down. “The party feels Sasikala remaining the chief will devastate its chances in the impending local bodies polls,” a senior leader said.

Senior ministers have also begun reaching out to MLAs considered loyal to Dinakaran. In case Dinakaran and Sasikala refuse to resign, the party might initiate action to push them out.

A 11-member team consisting of senior ministers and MPs has been formed to hold talks with Panneerselvam. The panel is likely to meet the former Chief Minister on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Dinakaran returned to Chennai from Bengaluru after prison officials refused to allow him to meet Sasikala.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content  BY 

Harvard Business School’s HBX brings the future of business education to India with online programs

HBX is not only offering courses online, but also connecting students to the power of its network.

The classic design of the physical Harvard Business School (HBS) classroom was once a big innovation – precisely designed teaching amphitheaters laid out for every student to participate from his or her seat with a “pit” in the center of the room from which professors orchestrate discussions analyzing business cases like a symphony lead. When it came to designing the online experience of HBX—the school’s digital learning initiative—HBS faculty worked tirelessly to blend these tenets of the HBS classroom pedagogy with the power of new technology. With real-world problem solving, active learning, and social learning as its foundation, HBX offers immersive and challenging self-paced learning experiences through its interactive online learning platform.

Reimagining digital education, breaking the virtual learning mold

Typically, online courses follow a one-way broadcast mode – lectures are video recorded and reading material is shared – and students learn alone and are individually tested. Moving away from the passive learning model, HBX has developed an online platform that leverages the HBS ‘case-based pedagogy’ and audio-visual and interaction tools to make learning engaging.

HBX courses are rarely taught through theory. Instead, students learn through real-world problem-solving. Students start by grappling with a business problem – with real world data and the complexity in which a business leader would have to make a decision – and learn the theory inductively. Thus even as mathematical theories are applied to business situations, students come away with a greater sense of clarity and perspective, whether it is reading a financial report, understanding why a brand’s approach to a random sample population study may or may not work, or how pricing works.

HBX Platform | Courses offered in the HBX CORe program
HBX Platform | Courses offered in the HBX CORe program

“Learning about concepts through real-life cases was my favorite part of the program. The cases really helped transform abstract concepts into observable situations one could learn from. Furthermore, it really helped me understand how to identify situations in which I could use the tools that HBX equipped me with,” says Anindita Ravikumar, a past HBX participant. India’s premier B-school IIM-Ahmedabad has borrowed the very same pedagogy from Harvard. Learning in this manner is far more engaging, relatable, and memorable.

Most lessons start with a short 2-3 minute video of a manager talking about the business problem at hand. Students are then asked to respond on how they would handle the issue. Questions can be in the form of either a poll or reflections. Everyone’s answers are then visible to the ‘classroom’. In the words of Professor Bharat Anand, Faculty Chair, HBX, “This turns out to be a really important distinction. The answers are being updated in real-time. You can see the distribution of answers, but you can also see what any other individual has answered, which means that you’re not anonymous.” Students have real profiles and get to know their ‘classmates’ and learn from each other.

HBX Interface | Students can view profiles of other students in their cohort
HBX Interface | Students can view profiles of other students in their cohort

Professor Anand also says, “We have what we call the three-minute rule. Roughly every three minutes, you are doing something different on the platform. Everyone is on the edge of their seats. Anyone could be called on to participate at any time. It’s a very lean forward mode of learning”. Students get ‘cold-called’ – a concept borrowed from the classroom – where every now and then individuals will be unexpectedly prompted to answer a question on the platform and their response will be shared with other members of the cohort. It keeps students engaged and encourages preparedness. While HBX courses are self-paced, participants are encouraged to get through a certain amount of content each week, which helps keep the cohort together and enables the social elements of the learning experience.

More than digital learning

The HBS campus experience is valued by alumni not just for the academic experience but also for the diverse network of peers they meet. HBX programs similarly encourage student interactions and opportunities for in-person networking. All HBXers who successfully complete their programs and are awarded a credential or certificate from HBX and Harvard Business School are invited to the annual on-campus HBX ConneXt event to meet peers from around the world, hear from faculty and business executives, and also experience the HBS campus near Cambridge.

HBXers at ConneXt, with Prof. Bharat Anand
HBXers at ConneXt, with Prof. Bharat Anand

Programs offered today

HBX offers a range of programs that appeal to different audiences.

To help college students and recent graduates prepare for the business world, HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness) integrates business essentials such as analytics, economics, and financial accounting. HBX CORe is also great for those interested in an MBA looking to strengthen their application and brush up their skills to be prepared for day one. For working professionals, HBX CORe and additional courses like Disruptive Strategy, Leading with Finance, and Negotiation Mastery, can help deepen understanding of essential business concepts in order to add value to their organizations and advance their careers.

Course durations range from 6 to 17 weeks depending on the program. All interested candidates must submit a free, 10-15 minute application that is reviewed by the HBX admissions team by the deadlines noted on the HBX website.

For more information, please review the HBX website.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of HBX and not by the Scroll editorial team.