Kerala's growing clout in New Delhi .. ( From Telegraph newspaper )
Kerala, which even otherwise wields huge influence in Delhi 's power
circles, is savouring its own rare moment of prominence — it has never
had it so good.
Six ministers means Kerala matches the united might of Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar and Uttarakhand. And they may all have a native son to thank —
CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, none else.
But Kerala's run on Delhi is not solely dependent on the vicissitudes
of politics. The overweening sweep Malayalees — often referred to by
the unkind as "Malloo Mafia" — enjoy over non-political instruments of
state is remarkable for a state that only counts for roughly 3 per
cent of the nation's population.
Run an eye across the power corridors and you will probably have a
sense of just how formidable that teeny strip of land wedged between
Tamil Nadu and the Arabian Sea has made itself — Chief Justice of
India K.G. Balakrishnan, cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar,
national security adviser M.K. Narayanan, secretary to the President
of India Christy Fernandes, principal secretary to the Prime Minister
T.K.A. Nair, joint secretary in the PMO R. Gopalakrishnan, foreign
secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, commerce secretary G.K. Pillai,
agriculture secretary Nanda Kumar, law secretary T.K. Vishwanathan,
civil aviation secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar, food processing
secretary P.I. Suvadhan, space secretary G. Madhavan Nair,
parliamentary affairs secretary P.J. Thomas, overseas Indians affairs
secretary Mohan Das, secretary general of the Lok Sabha P.D.T. Achary,
National Intelligence Agency boss Radha Vinod Raju. Phew!!
But don't tell a Malloo that — he'll begin adding to that list sooner
than you've finished counting.
How about Nirupama Rao, sir? She may become the next foreign secretary
and was actually born a Menon, or is it Nair? Anyhow, a true-blue
Malloo all the same!