Before Tuesday night, O Panneerselvam was the quintessential bystander, who many thought was best suited to stand on the sidelines and eat mixture. So much so that, during the jallikattu protests, one college student mocked him by dressing in white, sporting grey hair and zooming ahead as the pillion rider on the bike, eating mixture.
Tuesday night, though changed everything. Suddenly OPS has become the man and the meme of the hour. In 13 memes, we give you OPS’s miraculous transformation, and the corresponding downslide in Sasikala’s bar graph, as popular support grows for the new “mass leader” of Tamil Nadu.
Rewind to Monday, and OPS had completed a hat-trick, stepping down from the CM’s seat for the third time after just a short stint there. No wonder all of Tamil Nadu thought he was always going to be the starter and never the “main course” in the state.
OPS never asserting himself in Jayalalithaa's presence and later Sasikala's, earned him this comparison to a UPS:
A UPS works when there’s no power, but OPS doesn’t even work when there is power, reads the meme.
And what could a temporary CM offer but for temporary solutions?
“I myself am temporary, why ask me for a permanent solution for jallikattu,” the meme says.
But then came Tuesday night, and OPS's tears flowed at the Jayalalithaa memorial on Marina Beach, and TN’s excitement rose. What came after reminded them of this scene from Viswaroopam in which a crying Kamal transforms into a saviour, beating the daylights out of the evil villains.
And then came his half-an-hour press meet at the memorial, and a new OPS was born!
Now, who better to compare the new “people’s leader” than to TN’s favourite “Thailavar” – Rajinikanth. OPS's transformation reminded many of Baasha, in which Rajinikanth plays a subdued, submissive role at the beginning but reveals his true identity later.
Sasikala clearly underestimated him.
And did not see this moment coming.
OPS has won over more than a few hearts.
And his fans were gleeful at the sudden shift that has turned TN politics into a cat and mouse game.
Of course, Sasikala often found herself at the receiving end of this meme onslaught.
Indeed, the critique against Sasikala had gone meta, Chinnamma had become the Mini-Mum.
Clearly, it doesn’t pay to underestimate the power of meditation.