Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Thank You and Good Bye, Sri Mathew T. Thomas, Our Dear Transport Minister
He belongs to that endangered species among politicians called Statesmen.
He is clean.
He is a performer. He had begun to turn things around for the KSRTC.
He is creative, imaginative and resourceful. He had earnestly set about reviving the ailing KSRTC with innovative moves.
But Mathew T. Thomas, the Transport Minister of Kerala had to go. He had to submit himself to party discipline. But he was stoic about it. Cool as a cucumber, and cheerful. “The minister’s post is not my birthright”, the man said! The most quotable quote from a sphere dominated by Pinarayis and Mayavathis and Lalus and others of that ilk.
I hope they are listening.
And the people of Kerala love him. People love honest and performing ministers. To have committed, competent and upright politicians at the helm of affairs redeems our faith in the democratic system.
On a personal note, his wife is my student. She shifted residence to Trivandrum when her husband became the Transport Minister in the LDF government, and commutes to a town in mid-Travancore where she works as a lecturer. She traveled in the ordinary class for more than a year. The ordeals of commuting in the ordinary class can be appreciated only by those who have done it. A few months back, she took first class season ticket when she realized that the time spent in the train can be fruitfully utilized for preparation and paper evaluation.
Recently, I happened to travel in the same train that she commutes in. She came to hear that I was traveling in the next compartment, from a common friend who had run into me in the station. She came over to see me. I must confess that I was flattered that the minister’s wife had come to see me. But what struck me was that she was the same old respectful pleasant and unassuming student who attended my lectures some twenty odd years ago. A very unassuming, self-effacing person who simply did not think of taking advantage of her husband's position.
Not only Caesar, but his wife also is above blame.
May their tribe increase.