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Friday, September 17, 2021

Congress needs to regain ideological clarity in Tamil Nadu: Sasikanth Senthil

Former IAS officer Sasikanth Senthil, who is now the coordinator for the social media wing of TNCC, says building the organisation by connecting to people and their issues will be his priority.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: July 30, 2021 8:11:08 pm
In 2019, Senthil quit as an IAS officer alleging that ‘fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised’. (File Photo)

Former IAS officer Sasikanth Senthil, who has now been appointed as the coordinator for the social media wing and other frontline teams of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), said that he wants to strengthen the party at the ground level ahead of the upcoming local body elections.

In 2019, Senthil quit as an IAS officer alleging that ‘fundamental building blocks of democracy are being compromised’. He tweeted back then that he had decided to leave the civil service in search of a method to stem the totalitarian attack on the country he “dearly loves”. Sasikanth was formally inducted into TNCC in November 2020.

Sasikanth is now the coordinator for the party’s various units like Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, Fishermen Congress. State president KS Alagiri said that Sasikanth would also train the party cadres on social media usage.

The former IAS officer said social media is secondary while the work remains on the front end where the cadres need to be trained on the party’s ideology.

“I define politics as standing with people’s issues. Putting something on social media, retorting to some statements is not the way politics has to be done by Congress. Congress has to identify people’s issues and stand by them, that’s my definition of politics. It’s not like we don’t know the importance of social media, but I think the real work starts with building the organisation,” he said.

Sasikanth’s team was behind the activities of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent tour to Tamil Nadu which created a buzz on social media. The slogans, the lively interactions he had with the people, his meeting with a popular Tamil Youtube channel crew were all designed by them.

“We know how to do it but I think once an organisation is rightly set up, social media will catch on. The buzz will be created when more people are inside the party. So that social network is important for social media. To gain more of that social network we need to build the organisation. The upcoming local body elections are one good opportunity for us. If the party responds well to the aspirations of the right people, it will be beneficial. In Tamil Nadu, Congress needs to regain ideological clarity, For the past 50 years, we have been in alliance. Congress now has to reinvent its ideology and need to teach people about why it is relevant now.” he said.

Sasikanth said every party wants to stand on their own feet but right now the situation demands them to stay together to fight a bigger enemy. ”I am not looking at what is above me, I am looking at what is below me and trying to develop that. Coalition and other things will take place but on the ground, things need to be taken care of and that’s where I come into play,” he said.

When asked about the constant comparison between him and current BJP president K Annamalai, a former IPS officer, Sasikanth said, ”BJP, Modi, Shah and RSS…. It can do anything… throw people out, appoint someone. For me, BJP in Tamil Nadu is a drama company. They just keep changing the actors. At the end of the day, their ideology is vicious and it doesn’t get on well with Tamils. It doesn’t matter if you are in a higher position and involved in spreading that, it doesn’t do any good to our society,” he said.


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