TN Drama – End was an ugly comedy on corruption

Even as she headed to jail, "Chinnamma" has ensured that her hold on AIADMK is complete

Against all odds
Against all odds "Chinnamma" appears to have the upper hand

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] large number of the commonly-believed intelligent Tamilians must be chronically affected by the Oedipus complex. And a large section of the women counterparts must be besotted with their own alter ego.

How really can one explain that unimaginable obeisance to the two females who were convicted the other day by the two-bench Supreme Court of “sinister” design to “launder ill-gotten wealth” to the tune of Rs.53.6 crores.

How else can one explain those people’s obeisance to “Amma” first and then to “Chinnamma”? Remember, here, that “Amma” was first judicially convicted of having a huge amount of assets far in excess of her known income in September 2016 in a case that traveled a long time along the legal labyrinth from mid-1990s. And “Chinnamma”, one of the other three accused got away.

What can explain their ludicrous ease in prostrating on the ground to Jayalalithaa from the mid-nineties and to V K Sasikala after the former’s demise? Was that unimaginable slavish servility aided, in some Freudian way, by buxom bodies?

How really can one explain that unimaginable obeisance to the two females who were convicted the other day by the two-bench Supreme Court of “sinister” design to “launder ill-gotten wealth” to the tune of Rs.53.6 crores.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Tamil Nadu drama ended with an anti-climax: even as “Chinnamma” was in a jail in Bengaluru, starting to serve her four-year prison, “Amma’s” loyalists became hers and have been permitted to form a new government of the AIADMK political party. Criminal conviction and a jail term made no difference at all to the ‘bhakts’ of those two godmothers. What’s more repugnant, a memorial at Marine Beach is likely to be converted into a full-fledged one at Poes Garden, the original home of Jayalalithaa for years and years. It will be a memorial to a massive corruption of Rs.53.6 crores. Good lord, what’s happened to Indian democracy of “We the People” entrenched in the Constitution of India?

The charge against her was that her assets were around Rs.3 crores in 1991 and had grown to around Rs.66 crores between 1991-1996.

Will, if at all, this morally repulsive memorial ever be demolished?

Meanwhile, at least the memories of Amma may well have begun to wither, and those Chinamma seems to be given birth to. Yes, unbelievably, slogans hailing Sasikala burst out at the closure of the swearing-in ceremony of the new government under the prerogative and privilege of “Chinamma” making candles in her prison.

According to a FirstPost website article, the story began “in the mid-90s, Jayalalithaa was booked for amassing wealth to the tune of Rs. 66 crores which was disproportionate to her known sources of income-following a complaint by a DMK worker. Jayalalithaa is the accused number one in the case followed by Sasikala Natarajan, Sudhakaran, foster son of Jayalalitha, and Illavarasi, a relative of Sasikala.

The charge against her was that her assets were around Rs.3 crores in 1991 and had grown to around Rs.66 crores between 1991-1996. The AIADMK was voted out in 1996 as it was perceived to be corrupt.

“On June 14, 1996, Subramanian Swamy, then Janata Party leader, filed a complaint before the Principal Sessions Judge in Chennai alleging that Jayalalithaa had assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. Swamy, was then the President of the the Janata Party, which has since merged with BJP.”

Just how much was Jayalalithaa’s wealth? As per Jayalalithaa’s own confession, she owned legal movable assets worth Rs. 42 crores.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] raid at her Poes Garden residence in Chennai in 1997 the wake of corruption charges being pressed against her reportedly led tax authorities to a massive haul of 28 kg gold, 800kg of silver, 91 watches, 750 pairs of shoes and 10,500 sarees stashed in her home. A more recent glimpse into her net worth in 2016 showed that she owned 1,250 kg of silver worth Rs. 3,12,50,000.

But the Jayalalithaa case has produced a hero who deserves at least a Padma Shri award if not much more.

A major villain of the Tamil Nadu drama has been the unbelievable delay in coming to the conclusion of the Supreme Court itself recorded in its decision of February 15, 2017 as, to repeat, a “sinister” design to “launder ill-gotten wealth to the tune of Rs. 53.6 crores” Wasn’t she filthy rich?

The case against her went on from Tamil Nadu to Bengaluru to Delhi’s Supreme Court and back, for this legal reason or that. from one judge to another till the Supreme Court came out with its conclusion on February 14, 2017— some 21 years after the DMK worker first complained about the massive of illicit wealth. This case has been one more black spot on our judiciary which simply refuses to introduce reforms such as a massive fine for what is known as “frivolous litigation”, strict restriction adjournments asked by lawyers, reduction of the legal ladder — from trial court to various appeal to the top court itself — refusal of bail on big cases —- conversion of bail to “community “service” period, especially in disproportionate assets cases like those of Lalu Yadav and Jayalalithaa. It’s time now for a Judicial Reforms Commission under a judge like former chief justice of India, H L Dattu who had, three years ago bemoaned the harm being caused by judicial delays.

But the Jayalalithaa case has produced a hero who deserves at least a Padma Shri award if not much more.

He is John Michael D’Cunha, who is now an additional judge in the Karnataka High Court. Appointed in October 2013 as Special Judge in the Jayalalithaa case, he took little time to assert that he was a no-nonsense judge. In March 2014, he made his intentions clear by imposing a fine of Rs. 60,000 on Special Public Prosecutor in the the J case, G Bhavani Singh. The reason? For “repeatedly seeking adjournments since January 27, 2014, without justifiable cause.” And it took him less than a year to deliver his 1136-page verdict in the case, holding Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and others guilty of holding disproportionate assets upwards of Rs. 66 crores —upheld now by the apex court. We need more, many more like him.

Meanwhile, we can just agonise in the Tamil Nadu political drama than has produced an unacceptable memorial, an unacceptable gang of political turncoats and a gross insult to our people’s democracy.

Note:
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."

7 COMMENTS

  1. While Sasikala was imprisoned for 56 Crores, I wonder how many crores are changing hands to keep the 100 odd MLAs together. Hope someone is tracking the transactions of these so called MLAs.

  2. Very well put. Really shows how Tamilians have stooped so low in their esteem. Where is the intellegentia gone of the Tamilians. How is that there has been no reactions from the well read, well groomed, well educated people of Tamilnadu. Why are they silent spectators of what is happening in their own state.

  3. Pgurus,
    Not everyone in TN are behind snake sasikala..it those spine less 100 odd MLA,s who are behind that traitorous lady.Let the honorable president dissolve TN government and conduct fresh elections .. then the country will know know power o f tamil nadu people..AIDMK will be history by the next election.

    Those selfish and sorry MLAs (as per your words)just wanna earn money illegally in the remaining period as they are pretty sure that they wont will next elections.

    PS: cover the corruption of ministers from other states of India..as a favor from my side you can write in detail abt the following clean and unrighteous netas of Inida

    1.Mamta Baneerjee
    2.Padma Vibhushan Sarad Pawar
    3.Yadav Parivar of UP

    • Splendid,Sir I would simply adore to read it and also circulate it as widely as possible. I only wish i was 20 years younger and more active than I am to day. Thanks for the strong letter. Now what about some action on PC,Maran Bros, the Gandhi family before the Iron gets cold . Let us press for recognition to judge D’Cunha.

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