MH370 – The Never-Ending Mystery!

Malaysian jet MH 370 that “disappeared” some 3 years ago is said to have been sunk by the aircraft’s – captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah thus allegedly committing mass murder of 239 persons on board.

The aircraft – of the Boeing 777ER class is roughly the size of the playing area of a football ground.

One should take such reports with much more than the proverbial pinch of salt.

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The somewhat left-leaning Guardian posed a difficult question:

Australia’s multi-million-dollar search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight ‘tested the limits of human endeavour’ – and failed. Where did it go wrong?

Reproduced below are excerpts from a report published in The Daily Mirror – a UK newspaper dated March 1 2017:

An air expert has claimed missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 was a mass murder by the pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, three years after the plane disappeared.

The Boeing 777 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, sparking a two-and-a-half year search that focused on the Indian Ocean.

Authorities from Malaysia, Australia and China initially expected to finish searching a 120,000 sq km (46,000 sq mile) target area by the end of 2016 but bad weather delayed the probe by another two months back in January, and brought it to an end.

One of the plane’s wings was found in Reunion Island 3000 miles away from the search area, “in an extended position that only a pilot could’ve done”, meaning the plane was brought down intentionally.

Air expert Larry Vance confessed he believes the pilot is a culprit of mass murder.

He added: “There’s no other explanation for it. Did the pilot commit suicide or survive? We don’t know!”

The following paragraphs seek to explain that the latest tidings about MH370 could be another smokescreen to hide a huge sinister conspiracy.

For 3 years, this writer has been consistently saying that the ‘mystery’ may never be solved. [1]

Now, yet another theory has been propounded.

In these columns, pinpointed queries had been raised on the premise that obviously, China has second guessed the truth.

Question one:

Would China use its good offices to help Russia trigger World War III to hide its misadventures in Ukraine and Crimea – the chicken neck of the Middle-East gas supply to the West?

Parts of the answers have been provided by EU!

Many countries in central and southeast Europe are dependent on a single supplier for most or all of their natural gas.

To help these countries diversify their supplies, the Southern Gas Corridor aims to expand infrastructure that can bring gas to the EU from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin.

Initially, approximately 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas will flow along this route when it opens in 2019-2020. Given the potential supplies from the Caspian Region, the Middle East and the East Mediterranean, however, the EU aims to increase this to 80 to 100 bcm of gas per year in the future.

EU actions for expanding the Southern Gas Corridor include:

Keeping the infrastructure projects needed for the Corridor on the EU’s list of Projects of Common Interest. These are projects which can benefit from streamlined permitting process, receive preferential regulatory treatment, and are eligible to apply for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility

Cooperating closely with gas suppliers in the region including Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkmenistan

Cooperating closely with transit countries including Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey

Negotiating with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on a Trans-Caspian pipeline to transport gas across the Caspian Sea.

Russians themselves have provided startling answers:

Facing sanctions from the West after the annexation of Crimea, Russia has reoriented its economy toward China. In making the pivot, it sought to break its diplomatic isolation, secure a market for its energy resources, and gain greater access to Chinese credit and technology. The results of the shift are mixed, but if trends continue, Moscow is likely to drift further into Beijing’s embrace. An asymmetrical interdependence is emerging, with global implications.

In trying to reorient its economy quickly, Moscow has eased informal barriers to Chinese investment.

Chinese financial institutions are reluctant to ignore Western sanctions, but Moscow and Beijing are developing parallel financial infrastructure that will be immune to sanctions.

Question two:

Would the Taliban assets in the Arab world contribute their might to trigger World War III?

The answer comes mainly from the Christian world:

The Third World War has begun, in spite of the fact that few people recognize it. The conflict isn’t between communist and free, as we long expected, but instead between Muslim and the rest of the world. Although militant Muslims in Iraq and Syria have stolen the headlines, it is not long before we see them around the world, making a play for power.

Question three:

Has Iran agreed to cooperate with the West over its nuke plans and is the thawing with Teheran in return for helping NATO hedge its Saudi-dominated bets in the Middle East?

Answers have been provided by The Atlantic:

In recent days, news of Saudi Arabia’s execution of the Shia leader Nimr al-Nimr, and the diplomatic clashes with Iran that followed, has often been accompanied by an explanation that, in simplified form, goes something like this: The schism between Sunni and Shia Islam is an ancient one, expressed today in part through the rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Those two countries are intractable enemies—“fire and dynamite,” as one Saudi journalist memorably described them. Their proxy battles and jockeying for leadership of the Muslim world have ravaged the Middle East and, as has been vividly illustrated this week, could yet ravage it further.

Frederic Wehrey doesn’t buy that narrative. A scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who researches identity politics in the Persian Gulf, Wehrey believes the execution of Nimr, rather than being the latest salvo in the Saudi-Iran shadow war, was primarily motivated by domestic politics in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, the Saudi royal family wanted to appease powerful Sunni clerics angered by the kingdom’s cooperation with the United States in the fight against ISIS, a Sunni jihadist group.

Operative excerpts from the Wikipedia dossier:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines, last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 MYT, 8 March (17:19 UTC, 7 March) when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff.

The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens at 01:22 MYT. Malaysian military radar continued to track the aircraft as it deviated westwards from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. It left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km) north-west of Penang in north-western Malaysia. The aircraft was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations.

The multinational search effort for the aircraft is the largest and most expensive in aviation history.

The search began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, where the aircraft’s signal was last detected on secondary surveillance radar, and was soon extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Analysis of satellite communications between the aircraft and Inmarsat‘s satellite communications network concluded that the flight continued until at least 08:19 and flew south into the southern Indian Ocean, although the precise location cannot be determined.

Australia took charge of the search on 17 March when the search moved to the southern Indian Ocean. On 24 March, the Malaysian government noted that the final location determined by the satellite communication is far from any possible landing sites, and concluded that “Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

From October 2014 through January 2017, a comprehensive survey of 120,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) of sea floor about 1,800 km (1,100 mi) south-west of Perth, Western Australia, yielded no evidence of the aircraft. Several pieces of marine debris found on the coast of Africa and on Indian Ocean islands off the coast of Africa, the first discovered on 29 July 2015 on Réunion, have been confirmed as pieces of Flight 370. However, the bulk of the aircraft has still not been located, prompting many theories about its disappearance.

Malaysia established the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the incident, working with foreign aviation authorities and experts. Neither the crew nor the aircraft’s communication systems relayed a distress signal, indications of bad weather, or technical problems before the aircraft vanished. Two passengers travelling on stolen passports were investigated, but eliminated as suspects. Malaysian police have identified the captain as the prime suspect if human intervention was the cause of the disappearance, after clearing all others on the flight of suspicious motives. Power was lost to the aircraft’s satellite data unit (SDU) at some point between 01:07 and 02:03; the SDU logged onto Inmarsat’s satellite communication network at 02:25—three minutes after the aircraft left the range of radar. Based on analysis of the satellite communications, the aircraft turned south after passing north of Sumatra and the flight continued for five hours with little deviation in its track, ending when its fuel was exhausted.

With the presumed loss of all on board, Flight 370 is the second deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the second deadliest incident in Malaysia Airlines’ history second only to Flight 17.

Flight 370’s disappearance brought to public attention the limits of aircraft tracking and flight recorders, including several issues raised four years earlier—but never mandated—following the loss of Air France Flight 447.

In response to Flight 370’s disappearance, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted new standards for aircraft position reporting over open ocean, extended recording time for cockpit voice recorders, and, from 2020, will require new aircraft designs to have a means to recover the flight recorders, or the information they contain, before the recorders sink below water.

[1]

Operative excerpts from TSV Hari’s writings dated April 12 2014:

I had predicted that the “missing” Malaysian Airlines’ System [MAS] owned Boeing 777 ER now globally notorious as MH370 will never be found. It is still missing.

I had received a report attributed to Pyare Shivpuri, a linguist formerly of the World Service of BBC.

His analysis quoted generously from a website that seeks to provide clarifications on the missing MH 370. Its link:

http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/singaporeseen/this-urban-jungle/amazing-video-shows-what-its-like-to-brave-choppy-waves-in-mh370-search-operation

The language in the report found in the above link is full of several syntax errors. Pyare was cryptic in his reaction about his contribution and embellishment of the report .

“If you think the report – based on what had been published on the net and reportedly repaired by me is worth publishing in your site, do so by all means. But, please avoid seeking clarifications from me on this account. I have better things to do in life,” Pyare, a personal friend, said.

Pyare had authored a world famous book – The Russian Threat.

He had been imprisoned during the emergency, despite being related to Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

Pyare’s rendition:

The Americans are withdrawing from Afghanistan one of their command and control system (used for controlling the pilotless drones) was hijacked by Taliban fighters when the American transport convoy was moving down from one of the hill top bases.

The Taliban terrorists ambushed the convoy and killed 2 American Seal personnel seized the equipment/weapons, including the command and control system which weighed about 20 tons and packed into 6 crates. This happened in Feb 2014.

Like everyone else on earth, the Taliban wanted and continue to want money.

They tried selling the system to the Russians and/or the Chinese.

The Russians hate the Taliban because these Muslim Afghan fighters were the ones who humbled the mighty Red Army and chased it back into the borders of what had been the Soviet Union. That act had finally led to the collapse of that form of Government under Mikhail Gorbachev.

But, being very clever, the Russians cited their busy schedule in Ukraine and opted out of the drone deal.

Perhaps, that was the window dressing.

The Chinese and the Russians have nice little cooperative venture going.

China is a bit scared of the Western danger – since it has gone well beyond the threshold limit of withstanding the deferring of monies due to its state-owned manufacturing machine-like performing sweat-shops.

A single open defiance by one Western regime and China could arguably pull the plug of world finance to bankrupt more than 70% of the world.

But that would mean that China could never be able to get back its money for the exported easy credit, cheap, but high quality goods.

So, they needed to throw another scare.

A two-pronged game was played in response to what the West began doing sometime last year.

Western Europe is dependent on the cheap Russian gas to run its industries.

But, mad Vlad Putin began showing signs of belligerence and up popped the possibility of his closing the gas taps deep inside Russia. So, a deal was done with the Arabs … to get a natural gas pipeline laid all the way from the Middle-East, snaking through Syria to Western Europe to hedge the Western bets.

Putin realised the threat and began actively supporting the Syrian regime which wanted more than its proper pound of flesh.

So, Syria’s boss Assad suddenly became a global villain just as Saddam morphed into one in the early 90’s.

Russia did not blink one little bit began hailing the virtues of Assad, even vetoed action against Syria when something to the effect was proposed by the West in the UN.

Meanwhile, perhaps China found the offer from the Taliban very interesting as they could duplicate and master the technology to render all American drones ineffective on the one hand, usable by enemy hands on the other and rendered useless whenever and wherever applicable.

The Taliban then committed one stupid mistake.

Knowing that some of the parts of the rogue atomic weapons developed by AQ Khan had come from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur became the place to exchange the goods for the cash.

Chinese had agreed to the deal, sent 8 of its top defence scientists to check the system and to effect the transfer.

There is of course one fully foxing question whose one bit remains unanswered.

Afghanistan shares a border with China – and hence it could have been sent across the common border.

That is the problem of the mindset of terrorists whose left hand would not trust its right hand.

Under the guise of monitoring Afghan elections, Western powers had the sewn up the Afghan-Sino border all through a chicken-neck area called the Wakhan Corridor. On the southern side is Pakistan occupied Kashmir and on the northern edge is Tajikistan. The final edge of Afghanistan’s common border with China involves a 17 km trek through treacherous terrain and carrying 6 heavy crates on mules is out.

Taliban did not know as to whom to trust in its bases in Tajikistan.

So its fighters decided to do the time tested relationship within the rogue elements of Inter–Services-Intelligence in Islamabad.

The AQ Khan times’ relationship came in handy.

The unanswered parts of the query:

  1. Why did someone not change the 6 crates into 30 crates and render it easier to transport?
  2. If the crates reached KL –what mode of transport was used to achieve that?
  3. If that was the done deal, why not fly directly to Beijing?

Sometime in early March 2014, 8 Chinese scientists reached Malaysia and waited as the six heavy crates made their way to Kuala Lumpur.

The checks were done under diplomatic protection in Kuala Lumpur by the Chinese weapons’ experts.

It was then China’s turn to make a stupid mistake.

Beijing calculated that its agents could transport the cargo unnoticed through civilian aircraft.

The direct flight from KL to Beijing was to take only 4 and half hours. Americans were not expected to hijack or harm a civilian aircraft which had nearly 150 normal Chinese citizens.

So MH370 became the perfect carrier.

As usual, Israel sussed this out.

Determined to recapture the stuff, agents the United States of America and from Tel Aviv [the two so-called Iranians with stolen passports, perhaps were part of this team] quietly got themselves booked into the flight.

Reports say that in all there were 5 agents in the employ of the Americans including the two from Mossad who masqueraded as Iranian agents to lead the world on a wild goose chase.

The American team had persons who were experts in dealing with Boeing aircraft.

When MH370 was about to leave the Malaysian air space and meant to report to Vietnamese air control, an American AWAC jammed its signal, disabled the pilot control system and switched over to remote control mode. That was when the plane suddenly lost altitude momentarily.

After 9/11 incident, all Boeing aircraft and Airbus aircraft have inbuilt systems that would allow a hostile takeover of controls by an AWAC. The ‘sudden’ problems in Boeing aircraft leading to several of them getting grounded – especially in the Far East besides the delay in the delivery of Airbus’s latest fleet to client airlines was the manifestation of this issue.

Armed with virtually undetectable gizmos to take-over the plane controls from the inside and beyond through the AWACs, the 5 agents overpowered the hapless Malaysian pilots, crew, switched off the transponder and other communication systems, changed course and flew in a southwest direction.

Malaysian, Thai and Indian military radars actually detected what their systems termed a ‘rogue’ aircraft, but kept quiet – presumably under US orders.

The plane flew over North Sumatra, Anambas, towards southern India’s military airspace, landed quietly in a specially built airstrip at the Maldives – there are reports of some villagers having seen the aircraft – refuelled and finally landed at the Diego Garcia atoll which is an American Air Base in the middle of Indian Ocean.

The cargo and the black box were removed.

None exactly knows as to what happened to the passengers.

There is of course the golden rule in spying parlance.

The dead tell no tales.

Surely, Google knows this adage only too well.

Google.com killed all my blogs. The lost ones include the following:

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/missing-malaysian-flight-mh-370-one.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-white-elephants-flight-and-wwiii.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/missing-malaysian-airlines-final.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-239-on-board-missing-malaysian.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-missing-malaysian-plane-mystery.html

Jaya murder cover-up defecation aided by Dr Swamy hits the fan?

By Lazy Fly

Are foreign hands helping the cover-up of Jaya murder and guiding the political drama in Tamil Nadu with far more far-reaching consequences than the ruckus in the state legislative assembly?

Whose money is funding and fuelling the vain game of Sasikala Natarajan who seems to be operating with impunity from Parapana Agrahara Prison in Bangalore?

Should one read more into the allegations against Dr Subramanian Swamy? What caused him to suddenly jettison his charges against Sasikala? What has caused his new found admiration of Sasikala as a “God fearing person” comparing favourably when juxtaposed to the equally bad DMK?

Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at the imbroglio.

I spotted MG, the inimitable political fixer in the verandah of Delhi’s Gymkhana Club – that abuts the Prime Minister’s residence in Lutyens’ Delhi, a.k.a India’s national capital region [NCR].

Either he had hired the cottage as a member of some other club or was using the place through the good offices of a contact, I reckoned.

A BMW i8 with Haryana number plates drove in. It disgorged a male Caucasian dressed in a Giorgio Armani suit. Its chauffeur parked a little away.

His facial features indicated a Slav extraction.

I was waiting for a contact to show up in the vicinity. The blighter had perhaps stood me up.

Privjet,” the fixer greeted his visitor.

The stone-faced Russian with chiselled features simply nodded.

Sensing a story, I decided to butt in.

The ‘fixer’ is a spitting image of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s flunkey, Makhan Lal Fotedar.

The political lobbyist is known as MG which is an acronym of Maha Guru and/or Minimum Guarantee.

“The longer form of MG changes depending on the time, occasion, location and significance of each of my operations,” the man loves to tell those foolish enough to listen.

“One thing is always certain. MG does not stand for Mahatma Gandhi because I love my liquor and flaunt my cocktails,” is a constant line muttered occasionally during his con—corny-conversations.

“You insufferable journos have the habit of butting into each of my important meetings. However, Lazar Hrebeljanović Spiridon Umarov is a friend. Many call him SU – which actually stands for Soviet Union. There is a reason. His connections run the length and breadth of what had been a magnificent conglomerate of socialist republics. His relatives can be found in Kyrgyz, Kazakhstan, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Siberia. But, I refer to him as Laser. He is as sharp as the optically amplified light beam that has virtually innumerable uses in modern science,” MG said as an opening gambit. I plonked my backside on one of the cane chairs.

Often, found citing own aphorisms terming and them as the Holy Minds’ Voices, he is also referred to with the sobriquet – HMV.

MG’s predictions are of the Nostradamus variety. They are puzzling and can be indicated as prophesies of any eventuality.

Thanks to his somewhat archaic language, he also is derisively called Long Playing Old Record [LPOR], cassette tape [CT] video-cassette-disc [VCD]. His actions have earned him other epithets. Some of them are political predicament predictor [PPP], fixer-of the deadly instigation [FDI], Doddering Lying Fixer [DLF] and first-class rascally abomination [FCRA].

“What is the Soviet Union doing in Delhi, at the beginning of spring? And more importantly, what are you doing here? I thought you would be in Chennai. After all, getting a totally unpopular government to succeed in winning the vote of confidence in Tamil Nadu’s legislative assembly amidst pandemonium couldn’t have happened sans your fixing. Reports said it was meant to cover up the alleged murder of Jayalalithaa,” I said.

“Chennai is full of foolish politicians and dunderhead media-hacks who pompously call themselves journalists. They are either on the take or cannot see beyond their blistered, blasted, blasphemous, bulbous, bilious, bloated, buffoonish snouts,” FCRA observed.

“You are talking about my profession and I must protest,” I wailed.

“You are a lump of clay, like that chap O Panneerselvam or OPS who ought to be referred to as an apposite of the song oops. He thinks that DMK’s hare-brained heir apparent and Leader of Opposition MK Stalin will help him become Chief Minister again through a no-confidence motion against Speaker Dhanapal,” PPP spat.

“Now you are talking rubbish. By possibly getting Dhanapal thrown out, Stalin can get OPS in and then expose the entire AIADMK as a dud, go for elections and then win hands down. Isn’t that obvious to you?” I thought I had scored the bull’s eye.

“OPS will never win anozer elixon. But, he can zpoil efreyzink for zat fat man pusillanimous,” the Russian interpolated.

“You mean E Palanisamy [EPS], the current CM,” I reacted.

“Iz zee zame zink. Zis man iz zee taking orderz from zat woman in Bangalore prison …sassy zee cola. Zat iz waat I kaal pusillanimous,” the Russian interjected.

“This is triple Greek and Double-Dutch to me. Can you explain, MG?”

LPOR cackled as he began.

“All OPS has to do to challenge EPS is to get all the MLAs with him to resign en masse and claim to go to the people. In the ensuing by-elections to 11 seats, perhaps, some of them may win, but none from the EPS faction will even manage to retain their deposit. That will trigger a lot of MLAs on EPS side to switch sides. Stalin will have to support OPS for the time being – in case he is short of a majority or perhaps abstain from voting. Whatever Stalin does, in the longer run, OPS would turn the tables on EPS. The earnings per share of whatever political capital EPS possesses will be in negative figures. That way, he could even retain the AIADMK identity! Instead of playing this simple trick and turning the tables on EPS and DMK, the political gigolo that OPS is, is playing parlour games in the assembly expecting the CM’s post to land on his table on a platter! That is why I call him a lump of clay,” FDI opined.

“I understand this, but, what did the Russian exactly mean?” I asked the question with a sound pregnant with confusion.

“Pusillanimous stands for a man who lacks courage and/or resoluteness. Sassy stands for a woman possessing an ungodly amount of cool. And Cola… that is what takes the cake. Cola stands for carbonated sweet beverages with phosphoric acid that cause various illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, and kidney stones. That is what Sasikala Natarajan actually has turned out to be for the AIADMK and the memory of Jayalalithaa! That, little boyo Lazy, is basic English!” CT guffawed.

The nickel dropped.

Meanwhile, the Russian took out a hip flask and handed it over to DLF.

“Iz chilled, Guru! I put zee ize inzide when I leafe zee hotel”. The Russian said it with a broad smile.

HMV poured into a whiskey glass. It had a light blue colour.

“This is my favourite pepper-vodka cocktail – brand-named Electric Light. It mainly comprises Svedka Blue Raspberry lightened with coconut water, a special blue sports drink that is yet to be discovered by the drug examiners who are invigilators in chess Olympiads, a dash of silver tequila, peach schnapps, blue Curacao and some sour mix. The ingredients – jointly augment thinking power.”

“So what is the Russian connection to what goes on in Tamil Nadu – as your Slav friend seems to know quite a bit about the south Indian state,” I asked.

“The answer will give you a shock. Many in India now know that Sonia Gandhi began life as an agent of the KGB and Pakistan’s ISI. Jayalalithaa hated Sonia and made no bones about it. Today, the person appearing for Sasikala Natarajan is senior Supreme Court advocate KTS Tulsi. Trusted by Sonia, he has defended Robert Vadra, Punjab terrorist DPS Bhullar and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha during the United Progressive Alliance rule. Obviously, Sonia wants to get even with Jayalalithaa posthumously. By getting the former TN CM convicted after death, Sonia has won this round against Jaya. Through the machinations of Sasikala, the AIADMK is almost destroyed. On her part, Sasikala used to be moll of none other than Karunanidhi. And very successfully, a systematic canard is being spread that Sasikala has Modi’s blessings. During the Jallikkattu agitation, pro LTTE slogans were shouted – obviously due to the machinations of the Rasputin called Natarajan who is in constant touch with the banned Tiger terrorists. The new friendship between Putin and China has led to FSB – the new avatar of KGB to poke its nose into the immediate southern neighbourhood of India through the Lankan port of Hambantota and a lot worse. And then there is another Congress mainstay – P Chidambaram who has repeatedly lied about the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. Dr Swamy tweeted last year that Sasikala was holding Jaya prisoner– the same way Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was – by Aurangzeb. Now, he has changed his tune completely and hails the same Sasikala. You see, Swamy also has a score to settle with Jayalalithaa. After all, she had systematically destroyed all chances the man had to develop a political base in Tamil Nadu. For the time being he is a Rajya Sabha member. Once something happens to the post or the ex-Harvard professor rubs Modi too badly on the wrong shoulder, he would be in a unique political position called limbo. Perhaps, realising the position he is in, suddenly, the man has attacked Karti Chidambaram’s stash abroad to divert attention from one basic fact that Swami, Apollo promoter Pratap Reddy, fake God-man Chandraswami and Karti’s wife Srinidhi Chidambaram are on the same page! Even Dr Swamy’s attack on the Maran Brothers is a feint as Apollo Hospitals are part of the Aircel-Maxis scandal. In a nutshell, boyo, every dirty finger is in this pie. And all the fingers have one symbolic hand source … Sonia Gandhi.”

I was fidgeting madly as the Minimum Guarantee made his long speech – all of which was and is controversial. However, I tried one last shot.

“So apart from the old hat tale about Sonia’s connections with the KGB dating back to 60’s, where is the Russian link now?”

It was the Russian’s turn to get in again.

“Does my name Umarov mean anyzink to you?”

“No.”

“One of my distant relatife haz zee name Omarova … she iz zee wife of cricket game match fixer and washed up actor Vindu Dara Zingh. Zingh linked to N Zrinivasan zon-in-law Gurunath, who iz cloze to Maran Broz. Zingh and wife Omarova holiday rekularlee in Siberia! Zee case against Singh is kaput and jingalala for long time. Zee ban against Chennai Zuper Kink iz remofing zis year. Cricket auction action now goink on in Bangalore. Sassy Cola also is Bangalore prison. You understand full link out now!”

My head reeled from the info.

At that time, my contact showed up in the horizon. Muttering an excuse, primarily to escape the controversies, I beat a hasty retreat.

Has Sasikala incriminated herself irretrievably?

Has Sasikala Natarajan, in a mad haste to grab power, painted herself into a tricky political corner?

Has she invited trouble upon herself by being declared ‘unanimously elected’ as the leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislature party?

“Veda Nilayam [the late Jayalalithaa’s residence in the heart of Chennai] was the residence of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister. To continue staying there, I have now become the future CM!”

In a nutshell, that is the latent meaning behind the declaration of her being elected Legislature Party leader of the AIADMK.

But, that raises more questions. Replies to a few of them could render Sasikala’s life, as the future CM of Tamil Nadu, a complete misery.

“Outgoing CM O Panneerselvam [OPS] himself proposed the name of “Chinnammaa’ thereby showing the party is solidly behind the future CM. Since the days of [late] MG Ramachandran, who founded the AIADMK, that has been the practice and so it continues,” the roly-poly former drama actress and current spokesperson Saraswati told news channels.

That exactly is where the troubles of Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala and her husband Natarajan could begin.

The operative portion of the resignation letter penned by O Panneerselvam [OPS now nicknamed Oops] reads thus: Due to my personal reasons, I am tendering my resignation from the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Kindly accept my resignation and relieve the council of ministers appointed by me on 6.12.2016. 

AIADMK apologists could hastily say that is the exact format for tendering an acceptable resignation. While that is true, “personal reasons” can be interpreted in myriad ways. In a crunch situation of the future, OPS can say, such “personal reasons” include [1] pressure from the Sasikala Group, [2] suspicion of the Mannargudi Mafia’s hand in Jaya’s mysterious death, [3] a wish to retire from public life in peace as those close to him [reportedly like Sekar Reddy, Ram Mohan Rao etc] are being persistently targeted by Sasikala group, etc. etc.

OPS could opt out of joining Sasikala’s future cabinet citing “personal reasons”. If that possibility sounds ominous, the converse – his agreeing to joining the cabinet – the announcement is yet to be made by the Mannargudi marauder gang – could prove to be worse for Sasikala. In the case of a crunch situation, a legally constituted cabinet of ministers are to be held responsible for all decisions – jointly and severally. All OPS has to do is slip in a minor glitch in the statement over the formation of his ministry on 6-12-2016 and the defecation would hit the fan. 

Quoting Sasikala, the Times of India said thus in its report:

Sasikala had a special word of praise for Panneerselvam, stating “whenever the party faced tough times and whenever there were difficulties in Amma becoming the chief minister, it was our dear brother Panneerselvam who has been loyal.”

“It was Panneerselvam who had first persuaded me to become the Chief Minister and General Secretary as well when Jayalalithaa passed away,” Sasikala told party legislators in her acceptance speech.

Was OPS being really loyal?

Is he merely appearing to be loyal and cleverly removing himself from all dangerous positions of the future?

Has he succeeded in painting the picture of self-effacing-sacrificing person – simultaneously to use it tellingly in future?

One of the senior journalists outside the Lloyd’s Road party headquarters of the AIADMK is said to have muttered thus immediately after Sasikala’s election as legislature party leader: “It would be interesting to see whether OPS decides to be the number 2 and also the FM as doubtlessly Sasikala would retain the Home portfolio and thus control the police. That is a rather piquant situation as – the Madras High Court is seized of the matter concerning the mysterious sudden death of Jayalalithaa. Stories indicating foul play during the run up to Jaya’s arrival at the Apollo Hospitals have appeared since December 15 2016. Demands for an explanation from the state government have begun growing. None can predict what the court ends up saying in its final denouement. Significantly, Sasikala’s challenger and the late Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa has been keeping the heat on Sasikala relentlessly. Chairman of the medical facility – Pratap Reddy is rattled. If Reddy pushes the ball into Sasikala’s court as press reports saying the hospital doctors couldn’t do much during the last 2 days as reports had suggested [1], the onus of proving absence of any wrongdoing on the part of Sasikala and those around her will fall squarely on Sasikala when she is sworn in the CM. If the courts do not believe a clean chit given to herself [as can be guessed by anyone at this point time] by Sasikala in the matter of Jaya’s death, the courts could do some more questioning. As Sasikala’s actions prevented virtually all VVIPs meeting Jaya in her hospital ward, her statement would be under extreme and tough legal scrutiny if Reddy washes his hands off. What could emerge from it all is anybody’s guess. But, something wrong could be one of the outcomes. Sasikala seems to have closed the option of wriggling out of such a piquant position by getting elected as the legislature party head to become the CM rather prematurely. Surely, she would be holding the home portfolio. The cases – if any over Jaya’s sudden and mysterious end – would have to be inevitably handled in the beginning by the TN police. That is where the whole going becomes tricky. If the courts think that the state cops are doing a wishy-washy job, the matter would move into the hands of the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI]. If and when that happens, one would have to look at the centre’s attitude towards the Mannargudi Mafia. Already 3 old cases against Sasikala and co have been resurrected. If such a thing comes to past, the exhumation of Jaya’s mysterious death could cause a major stink,” the legally knowledgeable senior journalist said.

There are other trickier issues. On September 27 2016, officials – including currently disgraced ex-Chief Secretary Ram Mohan Rao, secretaries to the late CM Venkataramanan and Ramalingam – believed to be close to Panneerselvam – had met Jaya, claimed an official press release. The matter was reported by one of Chennai’s young, bright journalists – Julie Mariappan of the Times of India. The two secretaries and their senior Sheela Balakrishnan were said to have been forced to leave their posts on the eve of Sasikala being elected as legislature party leader. Suppose…a few of the bureaucrats contradict Julie’s September 27 2016 report and ipso facto the wordings of the official press release, that single event could cast a vain shadow on the very meeting they were supposed to have held with the late CM. Wild conspiracy theories could emerge from the slightest “if” or or “but” in the hypothetical possibility of the officials hinting at their not having met the CM. The resultant heat from its legal repercussions in court would prove extremely unbearable for Sasikala. What one can also read between the lines is that OPS has cleverly wriggled out of the situation and lobbed a live grenade sans its safety pin into Sasikala’s court instead of the proverbial ball in a sports game. Pun-fun intended,” the journalist added.

Sasikala may find her future path thorny, reported the Hindustan Times. [2]

Other reports suggest that Sasikala is under the centre’s microscope.

An unconfirmed story doing its round links Jayalalithaa, her yet to be publicised will and the entry of highly respected journalist Cho S Ramaswamy into the ICU where Jaya was undergoing treatment for intensive treatment in the last few hours before Jaya’s death. “It was handed over to Cho for safekeeping as both were close friends. None knows where the will is, but, it could surface,” goes the story.

Regardless of whether such a will exists or not, an interesting dimension has been added to the tale. Cho Ramaswamy was wheeled into the ICU around 2-45 p.m. on December 5 2016. If the statement put out by Apollo Hospitals is true on the issue of the death of Jayalalithaa, the two old friends – viz. Cho and Jaya were in the same room within the ICU. Alongside Cho were doctors attending on him. If someone raises a query about the time of Jaya’s death to Cho’s doctors, what would the answer be? Regardless of anyone hinting at foul play, if the time of Jaya’s death differs from the official version and the one said by Cho’s medical team, the going would be hugely tricky for Sasikala, for, Cho was not only Jaya’s friend, but also a close friend of Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi! 

In 1996, it was Cho who brought the DMK and the late Congress veteran Moopanar together to upset Jaya’s apple-cart. In 2011, it was Cho again whose advice resulted in actor-turned-politician Vijaykant agreeing to form an alliance with Jaya’s AIADMK that sent the DMK packing. If something emerges from the current imbroglio, one can safely say that Cho changed the TN regime for the third time! And this time, if it happens, the deed would be posthumous!

[1]

Sources close to Apollo boss Pratap C Reddy revealed that he is mulling the institution’s washing its hands off the imbroglio in his written deposition to the court.

Jayalalithaa’s health was on the mend as is evident from our health bulletins. She could have left whenever she wanted to. Following this development, doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences [AIIMS] and Dr Beale returned to Delhi and London respectively. What exactly took place during the last 2 days due to the activities of those who controlled the access to the CM is unknown. Police officials had kept all visitors – including the Governor and central ministers at bay earlier. Towards the end, even most of the doctors’ entry was delayed under some pretext or other. The alarm bells were pressed only when it was too late. The confusion over the time of death of the late CM, the leak of info, its denial and late-night confirmation of her passing are all indicative of the above aspects. Hence, accusing the hospital of foul play is out of the question.

[2]

Operative sentences: Sasikala was getting uneasy with Mr Panneerselvam, popularly called OPS, continuing in the post of the CM. The way ahead for Sasikala could be thorny. While she enjoys the support of the MLAs, many reports suggest that the cadre are not on her side. There have been protests against her in some places, especially from RK Nagar, the assembly constituency Jayalalithaa represented. Then, there are court cases against Ms Sasikala, which hangs like a political sword of Damocles over her head.

By becoming AIADMK boss, has Sasikala bitten more than she can chew?

Sasikala Natarajan has been “elected” as the General Secretary of Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. That she is on probation till a proper election takes place in April 2017 is a little aside … which may turn out to be important later!

Will Jayalalithaa’s ex-aide ape Congress President Sonia Gandhi claim to ‘sacrifice the trappings of power’ and yet wield it till she is allowed to do so?

The next natural move will be to make her the state’s Chief Minister.

Will the combination of all these events prove to be the nemesis of Dravidian brand of politics in TN?

The indications are ominous.

By Lazy Fly

Following the so-called election of Sasikala as the ruling AIADMK General Secretary giving her virtual control over the party, the state’s political conundrum has become murkier. One of India’s greatest self-professed political fixers – provided some surprising answers. 

Sporting a half-sleeved long silk Kurta and pyjamas – attire that look better on Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the  political manipulator par excellence known as MG was spotted at the Chennai Press Club. A spitting image of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s flunkey, Makhan Lal Fotedar the political lobbyist calls himself MG. “It stands for Maha Guru and also sits comfortably as Minimum Guarantee, he informs those who are foolish enough to listen to him. Often, he cites own aphorisms and terms them as the Holy Minds’ Voices, earning him the sobriquet – HMV. His predictions are of the Nostradamus variety … puzzling … yet can be cited as indicative of any eventuality. So, he is referred to as the now outdated Long Playing Old Record [LPOR], cassette tape [CT] video-cassette-disc [VCD], political predicament predictor [PPP], fixer-of the deadly instigation [FDI] and first-class rascally abomination [FCRA].

“We meet after a long time, boyo,” PPP said, sipping a liquid from a whiskey glass that seemed thicker than usual. The drink had a slight yellow tinge. Bedecked with a lot of powdered ice it had a sort of tiara comprising a piece of lemon-peel and brandied cherries.

The backyard of the joint [it has no bar licence and hence consumption of hard liquor in that place is technically illegal] abuts a smaller hall whose frontage has a cement-concrete quadrangle overlooking a webbed shuttlecock court. Chennai’s mild winter evening was yet to really set in. Hence, bites of mosquitoes emanating from the gutter called Buckingham Canal located virtually next door were yet to begin their torture. Despite all this, it is a prestigious address. It stands cheek by jowl alongside the State Guest House and legislators’ quarters within a government estate named after a late CM – Omandur Ramaswamy Reddiyar.

“Someone close to Natarajan, husband of Tamil Nadu’s most powerful political stepmother – Sasikala – wanted to pick my brains. I will be advising him as to how Natarajan should guide his wife to stay afloat in the political swamp of TN,” FDI quipped as his opening gambit.

Chennai’s walls are full of posters hailing the recently dead Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with a suggestive image of Sasikala as her heir. The latter, called Chinnammaa [or maternal aunt – whose other meaning is step mother], has a bigger mug visible on the posters.  Undoubtedly, the ex-female paramedic and former seller of video cassettes has the support of almost all the 137 legislators of the party. All of them have now “elected” her as the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s [AIADMK] General Secretary “unanimously”. The next step will be her being made the CM. The inevitable contest from the Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency where by-elections will have to be held following the death of Jayalalithaa will be the extension of the current political development. Rather strangely, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam [OPS] said that the resolution moved in a marriage hall located some 18 km northwest of the Poes Garden residence of the late Jaya where Sasikala is presumed to be a squatter – was accepted by Sasikala, “unanimously”.

But, the face of Sasikala is uniformly defaced or torn in almost all the wall -posters leading one to think that the party faithful hate Sasikala. This means, while the legislators could be on the side of Sasikala, AIADMK cadres and the people at large in TN are opposed to this move.

“Are you going to suggest that Natarajan should get his wife to be the party’s CM after her election as the outfit’s GS?”

I asked the obvious question.

During Jayalalithaa’s funeral, Sasikala stood by the side of the body, rode the cortege and performed a lead role in burying her long-time boss. Prime Minister Modi was seen blessing her. Such was the power generated by Sasikala’s presence that all the ministers including the current CM [now nicknamed Oops] looked like props from a flop movie. Virtually, everyone who is somebody in the AIADMK is begging her to take up the important assignments and thus save Tamil Nadu. As Jaya was dead, it was a real funeral. The other one will be a political funeral implying the death of the AIADMK,” VCD observed.

“The husband of another person also named Sasikala was beaten black and blue, in the AIADMK office premises simply because the man wanted to file a nomination to the post – he could have never won. Are these straws in an evil wind?” I asked in a crestfallen tone.

“Isn’t the whole thing obvious to you?”

The Maha Guru infuriatingly beat around the bush.

“Consider me a little slow and tell me the verdict,” I snapped.

“Look at the scenario, before hearing the verdict. Virtually everyone eats out of Sasikala’s hand and grovels before her. Till the other day, a huge contingent of cops – numbering around 250 – guarded the Poes Garden residence – of the earlier CM Jaya – where Sasikala seems to be ensconced for good. Doesn’t that convey the clear message?”

The LPOR came up with another query that led to nowhere.

“Well, the DMK crown prince MK Stalin pointed out the gaffe – of the cops and the police force has been replaced by a private army. It seems she has beaten a hasty retreat at least on that front,” I said.

“Just suppose she was conveying a message to all and sundry that she was ‘democratically minded’ and that she ordered the withdrawal of the cops in uniform the moment an objection surfaced. Without saying in so many words, tacitly, Sasikala has indicated that she is in possession of a will or some document that renders her stay in the residence of the late CM “officially sanctioned.” Now that she has been elected the party’s all powerful GS, isn’t the indication obvious to you?” The FCRA asked a pointed query.

I was confused.

“So, will she be the queen of Tamil Nadu in Jaya’s place and be the CM?”

I rephrased my earlier question with trepidation.

“Why should she take the plunge? She seems to be controlling the state as an unconstitutional power and seems to be more powerful than OPS who cannot win his seat again from any constituency in TN! For that matter, Sasikala too has zero charisma and can’t win from any constituency on her own, unless the elections are rigged. Can’t you see that she is playing the same game as Sonia Gandhi did during the 2 United Progressive Alliance [UPA] regimes? [See: https://haritsv.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/sonia-gandhi-indias-lady-macbeth/] Natarajan is a street smart man! Sasikala stands to gain the people’s sympathy and don the mantle of a sacrificing person by refusing an official position – and yet be the real power-wielder from behind the throne. It is the best of both the worlds. If Sasikala does decide to take the plunge, sooner or later the regime will would fall as the decisions of Jaya’s former aide will be seen as the AIDS affecting the AIADMK by many. This could lead to some legislators during a no-confidence motion – if it is ever moved on the issue of the mysteries surrounding Jaya’s death. That would bring the edifice down because a Division Bench of the Madras High Court has demanded some serious answers surrounding the earlier CM’s “sudden death”. If Sasikala is forced to cede to such a request, more skeletons will tumble out. If she doesn’t, the court could order exhumation of the body. Suppose something serious is found missing in it? It would be a terrible scandal! Those who have pinned their hopes on making more money through Sasikala and/or her flunkey Oops being at the helm of affairs will lose faith, which could also spell doom for the AIADMK government. It is a lose-lose proposition all the way with little leeway to yell oops,” the ‘minimum guarantee’ spat the words out.

“You mean to say she will refuse the trappings of power, pretend to have made sacrifices and yet hold the trappings of power in the inside of her palms by continuing with OPS?” I asked the question in a voice that dripped with incredulity.

“You journalists can’t see beyond your silly noses. If earlier reports are to be believed, Karunanidhi – actually controls her. Other reports said that the DMK has a list of 42 legislators who were and probably are willing to cross the floor in case a no-confidence motion is set in motion. The DMK has enough numbers on its own – nearly 90 – and more than 37 – the magic figure of a third of the AIADMK floor strength to register a split. When Karunanidhi has the strength to be CM himself, why would he allow his moll to be CM?”

“Are you saying that the DMK will topple the government to stop Sasikala?”

I asked in sheer disbelief.

“Why should Karunanidhi do that, for God’s sake? He controls Sasikala, in turn Sasikala controls OPS, and OPS would want to enjoy the trappings of power just as Dr Manmohan Singh did during UPA I & II. It is a comfortable arrangement that suits all the three. That is just the beginning. The situation would suit the Bharatiya Janata Party at the centre as it could get things done in TN without having anyone in the state or cadre strength worth the name. Since Karunanidhi could be exercising control, the set-up would suit the Congress too. Karunanidhi can keep everyone in the party guessing about the anointment of Stalin as his heir and/or future working President and thus retain control of the party on the one hand and avoid antagonising his other children – like Alagiri and Kanimozhi. In the background, Sasikala’s husband Natarajan too would enjoy power without any authority whatsoever! It reeks of comfort to everyone. But, Sasikala cannot remain in that position of what Sonia did in Delhi for too long. Sonia is the widow of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and Sasikala is married to someone whose arrest had been ordered by Jayalalithaa’s cops. Simply put, if a tossed coin lands on heads, Sasikala loses big. If it shows tails, she loses bigger. If it stands on its rim, the suspense in the state will trigger a chaos and cause a mid-term poll and Sasikala will lose the biggest. But, in such a scenario, neither the AIADMK not the DMK can hope to cobble majorities on their own as Karunanidhi cannot do much electioneering. The present status quo ante only suits the speechless wonder OPS for whom dumbness is the comfortable, snug, smug motto,” the FCRA guffawed.

This averment had a wee bit of logic. However, I was not ready to give up.

“The BJP shot itself in the mouth by getting the income tax department to raid former Chief Secretary Ram Mohan Rao. The entire opposition in TN seems to be supporting the man alleged of huge corruption. Rao himself told the press that he fears for his life at the hands of agent provocateurs from the centre. Besides, other opposition parties allege a constitutional crisis seconding the quotes of Rao,” I said in an injured tone to register my protest.

“Look at the scenario. To throw a scare into OPS, Sasikala could have passed on the details of Rao’s secret treasurer – Sekar Reddy – to the IT authorities. The raid unearthed links with Rao and in turn exposed one Parasmal Lodha in Calcutta. After the raid on Reddy, OPS fell in line and beseeched Sasikala to don the important mantles. But, since then, Rao said that the raid could not have happened had Jaya been alive. That is a direct threat issued to Sasikala and OPS! But, there is one minor unanswered question. What about the dozens of crores of rupees seized from the residence of Rao and those of his near and dear? He has not denied the seizure or has alleged that the money was planted. Simply put, he has compounded his blunder. Suppose Sasikala and/or OPS decide to make Rao the fall guy, and he exposes more names, the defecation will hit the fan and the stink will be nauseating,” the Guru laughed at his own joke.

“This is fantastic. But, such a scenario would suit none – not the ruling AIADMK, not the opposition DMK and certainly not the BJP whose presence in TN is close to zilch,” I said rather weakly.

“That is what everyone would want. Sasikala and Natarajan would want to keep the Damocles Sword hanging over every head to squeeze as much as they can. Whenever the regime is toppled, Sasikala and Natarajan who have no children of their own – can go abroad for some treatment of some feigned illness and never return – thus retaining all the riches – acquired during Jaya’s hospitalisation as suspected, by hook or by crook. Sasikala too knows that she cannot win any election anywhere in TN. So would be the case with OPS and others. During the mid-term polls the DMK would be placed somewhat better and win more seats. As she is Karunanidhi’s moll, one would expect her to ingratiate herself with her former boss. But, Karunanidhi may want to be the interim CM during the suspenseful interregnum by pulling down Sasikala’s regime if she becomes CM. That would give the DMK an edge. Better still, Karunanidhi may advise the governor to dissolve the assembly and seek a fresh mandate. But, no party would win a majority … and it would have to be a coalition regime. In such a scenario, the BJP will dictate terms. To avoid embarrassment, Karunanidhi will go slow on the corruption charges to keep his own flock intact – some of whom may be those who desert Sasikala! The likes of Rao could then prove to be flies in many ointments. BJP may think of other raids in case political enemies in TN decide to cancel each other out in a game of mutually assured destruction. In the end, the Augean Stables of TN will continue to remain eternally dirty. This much can be discerned from the comfy fates of Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and for that matter the joker called Zakir Naik – all of whom are having a ball abroad! For all that threats against Robert Vadra by the BJP, has any realistic action been taken against Sonia’s son-in-law? The television channels were full of stories about the villainy of former Air Force boss – who was arrested and then released make the Central Bureau of Investigation look like a bunch of ninnies in the Agusta Westland affair. Promises of action will kept eternally as promises – and never fulfilled. Whenever someone raises a question, very conveniently, just as the BJP blames UPA for everything – perhaps with some justification – the realigned parties in TN could term the whole thing as a sly game of the “communal BJP” to destroy the so-called Dravidian culture! In the end, everyone would lose!”

The Guru smiled mischievously.

“All this is speculation. You keep forgetting something. There is this wonderful man called Subramanian Swamy who hopes to be CM of TN, if not the PM of India. He would stop at nothing!”

I thought I had scored the bull’s eye.

It resulted in CT’s derision.

“Little pen-pusher Pinocchio, you are wet behind your ears. Sasikala was introduced to Jaya by former IAS officer Chandralekha, one of the mainstays in the party founded by Swamy and his alter ego in TN! The go between was Natarajan! You should read other material to understand the maze called TN! Besides, Dr Swamy is a close friend of Dr Pratap Reddy of Apollo hospital where Jaya spent her last 75 days. Reddy’s daughter has links snaking into the biz empire of Karunanidhi’s grandnephews – the Maran siblings – facing prosecution in the Aircel-Maxis case and also the illegal telephone exchange. Apollo offices were raided by the CBI in the past when UPA was in power! Swamy took Jaya to court in the disproportionate assets case in 1996, which was later ‘adopted’ by the DMK. Jaya is dead, but Sasikala is yet to be exonerated in that. The DMK has its own cup of woe held by Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi in the matter concerning 2G Spectrum auctions. The Congress led UPA took action that send A Raja, the minister and Kanimozhi to prison. But the same Congress voted to send Kanimozhi to the Rajya Sabha! In politics, everyone has fingers in every dirty pie. You media hacks will never understand these these concentric rings and their ringleaders,” the fixer said and took a long gulp from his drink.

It was time to change the subject, as the whole thing had become too controversial.

“Before I forget, tell me about your exotic cocktail – that looks rather strange,” I said.

“This has a strange significance to the situation in TN. The drink is called Perfect Amaretto Sour. Its ingredients are: 1.50 ounces of the almond flavoured Italian liqueur that comes from Saronno, Italy. It has a dash of nice bourbon produced in Bardstown, Kentucky, USA called Noah’s Mill. TN politics like the Ark who was created and floated by the Biblical character Noah, has every type of political creature of the modern era in its leaky boat. The drink also contains .50 ounce of beaten egg white and an ounce of lemon juice that lends the light yellow hue. Before you ask the next question, I will give you two details that will trigger a hue and cry. Amaretto, in Italian means “a little bitter”. And Saronno is a town located a bit northwest of the Italian town of Vicenza – the original home of Congress boss Sonia Gandhi!”

Before I could yell ‘Egad’, the Guru’s phone glowed and showed an SMS.. It was obviously important. He left the Press Club and the glass behind without a word for his meeting.

I gingerly took a drop of the cocktail to discern its taste. It was indeed very sour.

 

Jayalalithaa’s Demise Creates A Political Conundrum in Tamil Nadu?

Undoubtedly, the passing of J Jayalalithaa has created a political vacuum in the south Indian state – Tamil Nadu.

The southern metropolis came to a standstill from 6 p.m, when news about the demise first surfaced. It is yet to return to normalcy.

How many political questions would the death of the AIADMK leader raise?

What would the answers be?

Some indications:

The demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa became ‘official’ at 2330 hours December 5 2016, courtesy – a terse press statement issued by Apollo Hospitals.

Denizens of Chennai had suspected that the CM would soon kick the bucket ever since Apollo Hospitals had put out the news that she had suffered a heart attack a day before.

On the fateful day, passing through Alwarpet intersection alongside Cauvery Hospital [it is very close to Poes Gardens, Jaya’s residence and that of Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha MP] where former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was undergoing treatment, one could clearly see that the contrast was noticeably stark.

The vicinity of Apollo Hospital where Jaya was undergoing treatment, one had seen earlier, was a beehive of activity.

Outside Cauvery Hospital, except for a few lounging cops nearby, chattering on mobile phones and sipping tea there was hardly any activity worth writing home about. A Central Reserve Police Force ambulance stood close-by for whatever reason.

Around 3-o-clock in the evening, senior journalist Cho S Ramaswamy – also unwell and an in-patient at Apollo – was being shifted to the ICCU – as he too had become critical, or so the grapevine said.

One wondered as to how another person would be shifted into the ICCU when it was out of bounds for everyone as Jayalalithaa was in it. Whenever, she occupied that room, it was out of bounds for the rest of humanity.

A little bit of thinking, led to the raising of eyebrows.

“Has something bad happened to Jaya?”

Before long, news channels broke the story that Jaya was no more.

It was retracted a few minutes later by a press statement from Apollo.

The little grey cells in the brain yelled: “It is a ruse by the hospital and the state’s police machinery to disperse the crowds, fearing harm to the hospital.

“Soon, close to midnight, the announcement that she is no more would come,” one muttered under the breath.

It did.

O Panneerselvam [OPS] has been sworn in as the state’s CM.

Will there be a political turmoil in Tamil Nadu as Jaya has no political heirs?

OPS has no base – political or whatever.

The majority of AIADMK MLAs owe allegiance to Jaya’s personal aide Sasikala Natarajan. Top police sources said that roughly 90 of the 137 AIADMK legislators were “owned” by Sasikala.

Mischievous minds would remember that when MGR had died and his body had lain in state at the Rajaji Memorial Hall [where people are paying the final homage to Jaya in huge numbers at the time of writing] Jayalalithaa had positioned herself virtually next to the fez cap of the thespian’s mortal remains. Her political opponents had physically assaulted her. That gave her political career the fillip it needed. In the elections that followed, she was Leader of Opposition. During the next elections, in 1991, Jaya was in Fort St George as CM!

Will Sasikala succeed in TN politics by trying to emulate that performance, with all her important relatives in tow? Only time will tell.

The die has been cast. The “elected” Chief Minister O Panneerselvam was reduced to a stage prop by Sasikala and her relatives during the funeral. Natarajan was persona non grata at Jaya’s residence when the state’s iron lady was alive. But, upon her passing, the bespectacled man rubbed shoulders with the VVIPs during the funeral. He was one of the last few persons to place a wreath on Jaya’s coffin. Wags interpreted the deed as the hammering of nails on the career of Tamil Nadu’s late CM – who had rendered Natarajan’s life a misery during her autumn months.

Sasikala’s relatives are bound to dismiss this chronology of events as “mere coincidences”.

But, a day later, it is now apparent that a section of the ruling AIADMK is on the warpath against Sasikala – protesting against a domineering style of functioning as an extra constitutional authority.

What one can say at this point in time is that Jaya had a power of presence. She would instantly be noticed in any gathering, no matter how big the crowd. Sasikala, virtually in the perception of anyone and everyone whose  opinion matters in Tamil Nadu’s political circles, is far away from that league. There is worse.

Sasikala is believed to be Karunanidhi’s mole in Jaya’s home.[1]

Soon after Jaya’s admission to the hospital 75 days ago, rumours had been attributed to one Tamilachchi from France saying Jaya was dead. It had reportedly led to 42 legislators establishing contact with Karunanidhi and offered ‘support’ in the likelihood of ‘extreme circumstances.’

It seemed like an attractive proposition for the DMK to topple her, but, that plan would have backfired badly if Jaya came back healthy.

Sure enough, acting Governor Vidyasagar Rao declared Jaya to be healthy.

But, the nagging doubt resurfaced when OPS was given all the portfolios being handled by Jaya. It was a clear indication that all wasn’t well. Now, finally, the die has been cast.

At this point in time, it appears that the status quo ante would continue on paper – as arguably, Karunanidhi can get virtually anything and everything done through Sasikala and she would, in turn, get OPS to do her bidding. The moment OPS tries to assert himself, he would be sent packing. The earlier eternal number 2 – Nedunchezhiyan – was a good orator – at least once upon a time. I am yet to read about any noteworthy speech made by OPS.

That probably explains why Sasikala didn’t have to get ‘elected’ as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. The whole thing adds up. Anyway, there is little to choose between the ruling AIADMK and the DMK in terms of policy differences, methods of governance and so on. AIADMK belonged to Jaya and the DMK belongs to Karunanidhi and if possible pieces of it would belong to his family after his passing. On the wrong side of 90, he isn’t getting any younger.

The rhetorical questions:

Why should Karunanidhi complicate matters within the DMK when his heir apparent Stalin is snapping at his heels? As it is, there are huge ego clashes between his elder son Alagiri and Stalin. To make matters worse, there is a section in Chennai’s intelligentsia that feels that poetess Kanimozhi alone would be a worthy successor to her litterateur father, Kalaignar. 

Wouldn’t it suit Karunanidhi to jockey himself into a position of strength and force the AIADMK to do things that would destroy the legacy of MGR and Jaya put together – so that he could have another crack at the CM’s post later?

Would this finally lead to the end of “Dravidian brand” of politics in Tamil Nadu – as Karunanidhi’s close relatives are involved in the yet to be decided telecom scam matter in the courts?

To save whatever is left for his family, would Karunanidhi opt to pitch his tent within the NDA fold and begin praising PM Narendra Modi as he had done during the tenure of AB Vajpayee? In Tamil Nadu, anything is possible.

The brouhaha witnessed in the immediate vicinity of Apollo Hospital as Jaya battled for life, was almost the same as was the case when her mentor MGR did in 1984.

Memoirs of ‘other’ days

As the south India correspondent of a Calcutta paper, I had covered the hospitalisation, triumphant return and finally the demise of the first All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam CM – Marudur Gopalamenon Ramachandran – or MGR.

October 1984 was a tumultuous month for Tamil Nadu. MGR got off his light-green car with the number 4777 under the portico of Apollo Hospitals, walked to the reception panting for breath and got admitted.

The relentless vigil began at the hospital which later announced the thespian CM had a blood clot in the brain that had induced a paralytic stroke.

Even as he had battled for life, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited him on October 16, 1984.

“MGR is like a brother to me and a dear friend. The Government will do everything to help him recover. I hope to see him after he becomes Chief Minister again after the elections [scheduled a few months away] as he is a great fighter. He always wins,” Indira had told journalists.

Air India had kept a 19-year-old Boeing 707 named Lhotse in readiness at Chennai’s Meenambakkam air terminal’s tarmac. A 6-member team of cabin attendants, 2 pilots and an engineer began a long wait for doctors attending on MGR to declare him fit fly from Madras – all the way to New York to the Brooklyn Hospital.

Then the delays began.

Dr Eli Friedman examined MGR and declared him unfit to travel on October 19 after the CM developed a tennis ball sized clot in the brain.

A Japanese neurosurgeon Dr Kanno flew all the way from Japan. His trip had its anxious moments, with flights delayed, missed, money shortage and so on. Finally a Boeing 747 was chartered at the cost of roughly Rs.10 lakhs to ferry Dr Kanno and his aide Dr Nakamura.

Preparations were underway and MGR began showing signs of improvement, albeit, in his coma-state.

On October 31, Indira Gandhi was assassinated and it necessitated Lhotse returning to Bombay to fly the then President Zail Singh to the National Capital Region. He had to swear in Indira’s son Rajiv Gandhi, who was in Calcutta at the time of his mother’s murder.

Rajiv kept the promise given by his mother.

On November 4 1984, MGR finally was flown by the same Lhotse – this time a flying hospital – all the way to New York.

There were other anxious moments.

Of the required oxygen cylinders, one had a bit of moisture. A replacement was found after a frantic search.

Finally when the flight took off at 2246 hours from Madras [the city was renamed Chennai much later], its first halt was Bombay. Someone realised that 707s were not allowed to land in New York due to their noise. Rajiv’s aides made the request through Washington and clearance was obtained. A snag in the plane’s radar, a broken rod of the tractor meant to pull the aircraft broke … all contributed to the mystique around MGR almost like the frenzied moments leading to a thriller movie’s pulsating climax.

In the plane, the medical team kept checking the vitals of the CM. A blood analysis was done in London and finally the bird crossed the Atlantic and landed in the airport of the city known as Big Apple.

Dr Sreepada Rao supervised the wheeling in of the CM into Brooklyn’s Downstate Medical Centre.

A miracle happened in 20 days.

Despite the tennis ball sized clot, MGR shook off his paralytic stroke, sat up, began taking lessons to regain his original gait. A special video was shot to reassure the electorate in Tamil Nadu and shown in cinemas. For the second time in his life, MGR won an election from a hospital bed. The first instance was in 1967.

Even as MGR was fighting for life in New York, the bitter infighting within the AIADMK came to the fore.

One person sidelined in the party was J Jayalalithaa.

At that point in time, she was the only paid subscriber of the paper I then worked for – Amrita Bazar Patrika.

She had invited me to do an interview at her residence in Poes Gardens. My searching queries irked her and she yelled. I had yelled back.

Some of the questions and her replies:

“Why are you being sidelined in your party?”

Answer: “Everyone else in the party after MGR and me are political pygmies. And some of them are conniving with Karunanidhi – hatching a plot to control the sure-to-win MGR government.”

“Could you name your enemies within the AIADMK?”

Answer: “There is that skunk flunkey of my leader [RM] Veerappan. There are others, like Chief Secretary Chokkalingam and BP Rangasamy in a very high police post – who are in cahoots with Karunanidhi.”

“Since you are from the film industry, why don’t you get MGR’s celluloid loyalists around you to counter this?”

Answer: “Most of them are snakes in the grass like Bhagyaraj. They call themselves as heirs of MGR’s film legacy and will ditch him at the first opportunity to meet selfish ends.”

“How would you describe your relationship with MGR?”

Answer: He is everything to me. I owe him my career in films and in politics.

“Isn’t there a personal angle?”

Answer: “This is supposed to be a decent press interview. Impertinent questions are not allowed!”

Jaya began shouting and I simply got up and had walked out of Veda Nilayam.

DMK President Karunanidhi knew that the double sympathy wave would electorally drown him. The remark by Jayalalithaa sent up a red light in my brain. Some cross-checking resulted in my discovering the sick, sinister conspiracy being hatched by Karunanidhi to remote-control MGR’s regime.

Karunanidhi networked many within the AIADMK like Veerappan, Nedunchezhiyan [the eternal number two in the cabinet], Chokkalingam and DGP BP Rangasamy.

Mohandas was transferred.

Chokkalingam was ready to stab MGR in the back as were Veerappan and others.

But those weapons were blunted. [2]

Despite MGR being confined to his hospital bed in faraway US, the alliance led by the AIADMK comprising the Congress and Gandhi Kamaraj Congress of Kumari Ananthan [father of current TN BJP chief Tamizhisai Soundararajan] won 195 out of 234 seats. The DMK had managed to bag 24 of the 176 seats it had contested. The AIADMK won 132 seats of the 155 it fought.

When MGR returned to Madras, he had invited me home. It is my fondest memory of the thespian. [3]

The contrast in the lives of MGR and Jayalalithaa after their stay in Apollo is starkly different. The thespian male returned alive, like a phoenix after a long detour – from Madras to New York and then back again. His female successor Jayalalithaa, records say, was imprisoned in Apollo. She was never allowed to meet anyone holding any constitutional authority. Her body finally emerged in a coffin.

[1]

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M Karunanidhi seems to be virtually remote-controlling the movements of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and working out a scorched earth policy to destroy the most visible part of southern India – Tamil Nadu.

Here is how:

  1. Jayalalithaa’s aide and confidante Sasikala Natarajan who had been ignominiously expelled from the Chief Minister’s household for allegedly administering mind-controlling drugs – is back again. Sasikala’s husband Natarajan had been known for his closeness to Karunanidhi. Police sources say that it was Sasikala who had leaked the so-called resignation letter reportedly penned by Jayalalithaa during her first reign in the 90’s through those who mattered in the opposition [read Karunanidhi].
  1. Former Chennai city police commissioner T Rajendran, who hushed up the murder of Sadiq Batcha, the aide of 2G Spectrum allocation scandal infamy – Andimuthu Raja under reported instructions of Karunanidhi and who was transferred to the prisoner department immediately after the announcement of the 2011 assembly election results, came back to head the Tamil Nadu police’s intelligence wing within 48 hours! The Sadiq Batcha murder effectively plugged several leaks that could have sunk Raja’s leaky canoe.

See:

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=252

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=390

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=327

Rajendran is close to Sasikala and headed the investigation wing of the State Human Rights Commission.

Jayalalithaa ensured that he never got promoted to DGP rank till he retired.

Sasikala’s relatives and clansmen controlled the Tamil Nadu Human Rights Commission that virtually is denied justice to a huge number of persons who have been wronged by the police [especially in the form of cruel actions against innocent protesters in Koodankulam who wanted the nuke power plant made by the former Soviets stopped from being commissioned].

  1. Rajendran had falsely claimed to have ‘solved’ the triple murder of Dr S Saravanan, the former boss of Tamil Nadu Minerals Ltd. He indirectly directed the investigations of the Granite export scandal. The Granite loot scandal is larger than the available figures put out by the Comptroller and Auditor General in the 2G Spectrum allocation stink – at Rs.24 lakh crores!

Details:

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=499

  1. Jayalalithaa’s television channel Jaya TV was under the control of one Rabi Bernard. It is still reportedly controlled by Sasikala’s relatives.

The channel’s former head Income Tax honcho had quit, unable to stomach the racketeering methods of Sasikala’s kin.

Bernard was said to have been in regular touch on phone with his former flunkey Florent Pereira, who is the de facto head of – hold your breath – Kalaignar TV!  

Pereira had been in Vijay TV earlier where Bernard had served.

Pereira, according to police sources also regularly meets relatives of Sasikala.

  1. One peeved police officer explained it all:
  • What is there for the de facto head of Jaya TV discussing matters with the de facto head of Kalaignar TV and what does the de facto head of Kalaignar TV want to discuss with relatives of Sasikala if not controlling every move of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa?
  • Did Rabi Bernard not cut his teeth in the television business in Sun TV, whose GRP ratings are 1400 plus, Vijay TV where he served is 400 plus and Jaya TV – which he controls now – has ratings below 50? None of the channels he worked for did well, and managed to survive only after he left. He is supposed to be the main face for the national media in New Delhi in his role as a member of parliament … something he hasn’t done at all. Now, which role will he do better – that of a Rajya Sabha MP or the boss of a channel?
  • Its profitability had zoomed beyond a dozen crores if its unaudited annual report is to be believed – more than double what it had been for some 6 years when the retired Income Tax officer had headed it, but had given an honest journalist KP Sunil a free hand.
  • For nearly 6 years, Jaya TV had been an also ran in most aspects.
  • Its ratings had improved after the telecast of Cho Ramaswamy’s serial on Hinduism – Engey Brahmanan.
  • Since Bernard taking over, Jayalalithaa’s personal auditor a gentleman whose name starts with the letter ‘D’ was forced to scale down the profits in the balance sheet ‘during a stringent audit!’
  • It is being done, apparently to besmirch the reputation of all those who began rooting out systematic corruption in the channel in recent times.
  • The idea, the top police officer went on to say is simple but diabolic. Jaya’s only link with the people is her television channel. Making it defunct or redundant would serve one massive purpose – cutting her off from her supporters. And then Karunanidhi can hope for the best … And to do that, the plan of action is simple. He knows very well that he cannot solve the differences between his sons Stalin and Alagiri. His daughter Kanimozhi – the most acceptable face of the party is peeved with her father because she was pitchforked into the 2G Spectrum scandal through her shares in Kalaignar TV – in which – she never had any hand. Her closeness to Raja resulted in her canvassing for his ministerial position at the behest of her father … who wanted to settle scores with Sun Network that had led to the sacking of Dayanidhi Maran. After his mysterious re-entry, the critical planting of news items that damaged Kalaignar TV began including an alleged punch up with its earlier de facto boss Sarat Kumar Reddy. To help her father, the media savvy Kanimozhi interceded with Shahid Balwa – the Mumbai real estate shyster – but the money was collected from him by her half-brother Stalin who met Balwa and others in what is now Park Sheraton. For nothing at all, except her closeness to Raja, Kanimozhi became the fall gal who rotted in prison and has now adopted a low profile. When one realises that she is the brightest of the Karunanidhi offspring … one can only breathe heavily at the irony. In more ways than one, the situation of Kanimozhi is the same as that of Jayalalithaa. Both women have been let down by one too many men, back-stabbed by those in whom they placed their complete faith and finally are being controlled by a dubious personality … who answers to the name of Muthuvelar Karunanidhi!
  1. So how does Karunanidhi benefit from it all?

The past history says it all.

In 1984, when the then Chief Minister Marudur Gopalamenon Ramachandran had suffered a paralytic stroke, Karunanidhi had made a diabolic move.

Karunanidhi purchased the loyalty of most of MGR’s men in the cabinet by promising juicy returns. Such beneficiaries included ministers like C. Ponnaiyan [now out of political reckoning], KA Krishnaswamy [since deceased] and Muthuswamy [who joined the DMK to be made the member of the party’s high power executive committee in 2010].

  • MGR’s cabinet mainstays like Nedunchezhiyan and Veerappan were roped into the act along with police officials like BP Rangaswamy, IK Govind and Dorai to name just three and the then Chief Secretary Chokkalingam.
  • The juicy returns began with the so-called ‘telex’ orders from the United States of America where MGR was undergoing treatment.
  • The telex orders financially benefited all the cabinet ministers who went on signing files in the name of telex orders from US of A.
  • The plan was to create a car with a glass dome to make MGR a figurehead and parade him before the public and run the government by proxy through his cabinet being controlled from Gopalapuram.

To effect this MGR’s closest confidante – top cop K Mohandas was side-lined into an innocuous position.

Sadly for Karunanidhi, the plan backfired as MGR learnt of the perfidy, got Mohandas back as the first thing since he returned from the US of A in early 1985.

Unfortunately, Jayalalithaa lacks such an advisor today – be it in politics or be it in officialdom.

Her detractors keep blaming journalist Cho Ramaswamy and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi who never had been her confidantes or serious advisors ever.

The indecisive Ramanujam as the Director General of Police holding the post of intelligence and an ineffective George as Commissioner whose standing with the press as well as those of his men is poor, Jayalalithaa is in an ivory prison of security, operated by none other than Karunanidhi and his moll Sasikala who controls every official through the machinations of her husband Natarajan with some planning inputs by officers like Rajendran.

Karunanidhi is profiting from being in office without being in office.

He also hopes to help some outsider to hammer out a rainbow alliance to defeat Jaya in the future hoping that the political instability at the centre will help him forge other alliances with machinations of Karti, washed actors Vijaykant, Sarat Kumar and Kartik, roping in flotsam and jetsam like Thirumavalavan and/or Dr Krishnaswamy.

In everything else fails, Karunanidhi hopes to bank on revived secessionist and anti-national activity for which the DMK government was dismissed once in Tamil Nadu [in 1976, the dismissal was effected by Indira Gandhi on the basis of corruption and after which in 1980, the same DMK aligned with the dismissing authority – Indira Gandhi under the slogan welcome back Nehru’s daughter to give us a steady regime] and whose manifestations had brought down the United Front ministry at the centre down because his nephew and conscience keeper Murasoli Maran refused to step down from the Union Cabinet.

To achieve this, Karunanidhi is breathing life into the near defunct bawling bawdy politic called Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation under whose auspices, Stalin delivered a sheaf of papers containing letters from Tamil Nadu to someone slightly more important than the concierge at the United Nations some months ago – a deed that was celebrated as a great victory in Tamil Nadu.

According to DMK insiders, to escape from the 2G denouement, Karunanidhi has planned to get all the blame shifted to his long stand suffering wife Dayalu Ammaal and then get a medical certificate to get her declared mentally unstable.

The only state to declare secessionist tendencies in India since independence is Tamil Nadu and the party that proclaimed it – is the DMK!

[The above excerpts are from a blog penned on May 1 2013. Link: – http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=738]

[2]

Excerpts from a blog published on May 14 2014:

I had openly ticked off Chokkalingam in an open press conference in the secretariat in 1984.

TSV Hari

The power brokers at the secretariat are manufacturing so-called telex orders to line the pockets of cabinet ministers here. I understand you created one to favour your son-in-law Devadas, son of Salem based Congress leader Ramaswamy Udayar with an industrial unit worth several crores with the signature of Finance Minister VR Nedunchezhiyan under the legend – for Chief Minister by utilising a false telex order from MGR. To my knowledge, MGR had turned down the whole thing not once but thrice. Did you falsify that correspondence Mr Chokkalingam?

Chokkalingam

I will not allow this question! This press conference is only meant for explaining developmental activities of the government!

TSV Hari

Mr Chokkalingam, a press conference does not mean you will hear your own voice. Journalists will ask questions.

Chokkalingam

That is impertinence!

TSV Hari

Yeah? So what would you call your forgery of a telex order that never was, Mr Chokkalingam? By your rather pathetic response, I already have answered my question in the affirmative. Your act has completely exposed your perfidy!

Someone in the secretariat press room remarked:

This fellow comes and spoils our weekly tea and tiffin courtesy the CS acting for some shady political group which is nursing some imaginary grouse using a completely fictitious charge against a totally honourable chief secretary.

“Small correction, my friend… you should say dishonourable cheap secretary,” I had snapped then.

My exposure of Chokkalingam in the presser had uncovered the perfidy of Karunanidhi and others to use the elected AIADMK government surreptitiously through Veerappan, Chokkalingam, Nedunchezhiyan and others by making MGR a dummy because of his illness – something the wily, legendary police boss of Tamil Nadu Mohandas had uncovered.

In early February 1985, the jokers in uniform who had collaborated with Karunanidhi were almost pissing ice and shitting bricks when MGR got down from the aircraft ladder unaided, accepted the greetings of then DIG Mr AX Alexander present at the airport, another upright officer and a personal friend to this day.

Eyewitnesses told me that an officer with the rank of IG even saluted Mr Alexander.

Mr Alexander laughed the whole thing away.

 “You know how it is, Hari. We lived for the job and never for its trappings. Such things do happen in one’s line of work.”

And it was Mr Alexander who initially explained to the CM after the oath taking why and how Mr Mohandas had been shunted out of the post of Head of Intelligence.

MGR’s first order was to reinstate Mr Mohandas.

When MGR had learnt my rather small role in the whole drama from Mr Mohandas, the CM invited me home to Ramavaram Gardens, gave me a breakfast and a coffee I will never forget for their supreme good taste.

[3]

Excerpts from the blog explaining a ‘breakfast’ meeting with MGR:

I met MGR him at his residence upon his return from abroad – at his invitation.

The CM was then recovering from a near paralytic stroke – triggered by severe diabetes, coupled with total renal failure.

I told him a few things bluntly.

 “Shivaji cannot perform if there is no camera in front of him and a script to back him. You are the exact opposite. You get a bit finicky and panicky when in front of a camera – and become extra careful to ensure that others do not overshadow you,” I said in chaste Malayalam.

MGR threw back his head and laughed.

Parenthesis

During a press conference in his T’ Nagar office in the early 80’s, while asking a question, I had referred to the current CM by her name – Jayalalithaa.

MGR corrected me and said, “You should refer to her respectfully and only as the Propaganda Secretary.”

“Mr. MGR! Jayalalithaa is your party’s Propaganda Secretary. I am referring to her respectfully by name. That is it. Answer the question please,” I had snapped.

After the presser, quite a few friends who worked for papers that owed allegiance to the then main opposition [and currently on the verge of disappearing] – the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam [DMK] hugged me and said, “You are the only one amongst us who can proudly twirl your moustache!”

In the 70’s, Mu Ka Muthu, Karunanidhi’s eldest son, had been projected as the main competitor of MGR and the actor had gone nowhere, very, very fast.

Before long, Muthu totally vanished from showbiz horizons, was rumoured to have turned into a washed up lush. The story goes that he one day walked into the Ramavaram Gardens’ residence of MGR fully drunk and began abusing his father in colourful expletives. Without any warning, MGR is supposed to have caught him by his balls, squeezed and said with a voice like that of the Devil Himself, “Are you aware that your father is my friend for well over 40 years, you ungrateful wretch? Think of what all he did to prop your career and what you did in return to besmirch his name. If you think you can use me to settle your imaginary scores with your father, think again. If you have come to me for money, I will send you a tidy sum every month. But, one wrong word about your father, I will have your guts for garters. Is that understood?”

Muthu had reportedly squirmed helplessly throughout the angry expressions from MGR out of sheer pain and had complied. MGR had given him a huge suit case believed to have contained a few lakhs of rupees. The money, it is said, used to reach Muthu unerringly on the first of every month. And when Karunanidhi heard about the good deed, he had apparently, profusely thanked the actor.

The recounting was done by none other than the smartest cop to walk the Indian earth – the late DGP K Mohandas and personally to me.

If he had wanted, MGR could have destroyed Karunanidhi’s reputation using, misusing and abusing Muthu. That the actor chose not to, if Mohandas is to be believed [I do believe the tale] it only shows that MGR was a good man, who never hit below the belt.

My mentor in Tamil journalism – Mr. Cho S Ramaswamy is the source of an anecdote that concerns the political career of Jayalalithaa.

Before appointing Jayalalithaa as the propaganda secretary, Jayalalithaa had called Mr. Cho on the phone and revealed the details of the olive branch extended by MGR.

“You seem to have taken the decision already at the behest of MGR. So why ask me? Surely, MGR must be somewhere near you. Give the phone to him and I will tell him my opinion,” Mr. Cho had said.

Jayalalithaa is said to have snapped the connection.

Soon MGR had called and confirmed the tidings.

Mr. Cho had approved and said, “Jayalalithaa has an axe to grind against Karunanidhi and her attacking him verbally would do wonders for the AIADMK.” And that piece of advice is holding good to this day. Mr. Cho has never written about this anywhere.

Upon MGR’s orders, the police had broken my leg. Ill-advised about my origins and political outlook, MGR had believed that I was a left-wing extremist whose political allegiances were with Karunanidhi.

Parenthesis ends

MGR had offered me a vast sum of money … something I had turned down.

“If I accept this, I would be like the rest of the parasites who pretend to be journalists and sail with the unsavory currents. You had been given a wrong picture about me. Now, I can say that not only that I knew MGR, MGR too knew me and considers me a friend. That friendship is worth much more than the money you are offering and I am turning the offer of money down and will uphold this offer of friendship to the extent of respecting the fact that you indeed are a good human being. Let us be clear about one thing. My friendship will not deter me from criticising your political actions when I hit the street again after this meeting,” I had said.  

Despite having suffered a paralytic stroke, despite having been weakened by the kidney transplant and all, MGR had hugged me tightly that day with surprising strength, tousled my hair and muttered something intelligible. I had guessed that he was calling me a person not in tune with the changing times.

I asked him whether I had guessed correctly. He had nodded in agreement.

“Whatever little stuff I did to restore democracy which in turn helped you in a very small way – is like the deed of the fabled squirrel that helped Lord Ram in the building of the causeway to Lanka. Incidentally, your name is Ramachandran too. What would a squirrel want other than a pat on the back from someone so successful as you?”

MGR was moved.

So was I.

With surprising alacrity and speed, like an indulgent father, MGR affectionately wiped my tears.

Is India’s Supreme Court Being Manipulated by Sinister, Criminal Bankers?

Is India’s Supreme Court being manipulated to suit evil designs of criminal wrongdoers – with special emphasis on the nation’s banking woes?

“The Judiciary is at loggerheads with the political establishment in a one upmanship game. But we need transparency and accountability in both institutions, not just Parliament,” is a comment published in the Times of India in September 2016 – some two months prior to the demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Supreme Court asked the central government to reduce the inconvenience of the people of India, saying “you cannot have surgical strike” against the common public. “You (Centre) can have a surgical strike against black money but you cannot have surgical strike against the people of the country,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud said, pointing to the long queues at banks and ATMs within days of the demonetisation move by the Modi regime, a report in the website jantakareporter.com quoted the judges as saying on November 15 2016.

But, is the Apex Court doing its duty to curb the relentless acts of India’s worst criminal banker TM Bhasin – that seek to destroy India’s financial sector? The man has been left untouched since May 2016, despite a matter having been filed in July 2015.

The case of Vigilance Commissioner and India’s only criminal banker TM Bhasin is curious to say the least.

Operative excerpts from a report published in The Times of India in May 2016:

The Supreme Court issued notice to the centre over a petition challenging the appointment of former banker TM Bhasin as Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

Bhasin , who is a former chairman and managing director of Indian Bank, was appointed as Vigilance Commissioner in June last year by the Selection Committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.

According to reports, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a letter sent on in June,2015, to render Bhasin’s appointment null and void on the grounds of “moral turpitude”. Swamy had cited correspondence which revealed a previous CVC had recommended departmental action against Bhasin.

Swamy was referring to a 2011 complaint against Bhasin for allegedly “deliberately tampering” with the appraisal of a subordinate.

The earlier CVC had recommended that Regular Departmental Action should be initiated against TM Bhasin.

Since July 2015, the Supreme Court is seized of a serious matter against Bhasin.

Excerpts from averments in the public interest litigation [PIL] being heard in the Apex Court against Bhasin:

Bhasin was indicted in a detailed inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission in 2013 for forging and tampering with appraisal report of Malay Mukherjee– a former General Manager of the Indian Bank.

The Central Vigilance Commission recommended action against current CMD of Indian Bank – TM Bhasin as early as August 2013 asking the Union Finance Ministry to comply.

Operative excerpts:

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought action against Indian Bank CMD TM Bhasin and former ED V Ramgopal for “high-handedness, arbitrariness and manipulation” of appraisal reports of Malay Mukherjee, a general manager in the bank, with a view to deny him a promotion.

The CVC also sought action against Shreya Guha [currently Secretary to Kalyan Singh, Governor, Rajasthan], a director in the ministry, for lapses in conducting enquiry against Bhasin and Ramgopal.

Seeking regular departmental action (RDA) against the two top-raking Indian Bank executives, CVC had told the finance ministry that Mukherjee’s performance for 2009 had been reviewed by the then ED A S Bhattacharya and M S Sundarrajan, who was then the CMD of the Chennai-headquartered bank. Bhasin and Ramgopal were not required to appraise Mukherjee for 2009-10 as he had not worked with the two executives, the report adds.

Despite this, Bhasin had “managed to get elected” as the Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association in 2014!

The missive from former Union Minister and currently senior member of the ruling party Dr Subramanian Swamy was strongly worded. It had been sent to the Prime Minister on 11.06.2015. It stated that charges against Bhasin were “very serious” and that the recommendation of the selection committee to appoint Bhasin as VC must be withdrawn on two grounds:

The first: “The finding of moral turpitude by CVC of Bhasin makes him unfit to keep the position of Vigilance Commissioner.

The second: Bhasin had allegedly collaborated with the nation’s enemy Dawood Ibrahim to ruin Bank of Baroda and thus destroy the Indian financial system.

Bhasin’s target in late 2014 had been reputed banker SS Mundra, who retired as one of the deputy governors in the Reserve Bank of India [RBI] recently. Bhasin had wanted the post Mundhra was scheduled to get as Bank of Baroda was larger and the position was more prestigious.  Bhasin had reportedly managed to keep Mundra waiting for several months.

Mundra’s elevation to RBI became possible after Dr Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty – another ex-Indian Bank head quit his RBI post 3 months ahead of schedule. Having spent most of his years in BoB, Chakrabarty has an impeccable record as a banker.

Bhasin took charge as the VC on June 11 2015.

In recent times, the Supreme Court has slammed the financial sector – with special emphasis on RBI.

“RBI is supposed to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks. We have surmised that many financial institutions have resorted to such acts which are neither clean nor transparent. The RBI in association with them has been trying to cover up their acts from public scrutiny,” said a bench comprising Justices M Y Eqbal and C Nagappan.

According to official RBI communiqués, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India include a huge chunk of technically written-off accounts. The trotted out reason is: “After technical write-offs, there is no incentive for banks to pursue recovery.”

Rs. 1,14,000 crores worth ‘bad loans’ have been technically written off during the last 3 financial years (2012-13 to 2014-15). The write-offs exceed the previous nine years’ dubiously written off debts.

Of the total bad loan stock of Rs 4,43,691 crores in the banking industry, between 65-70 percent is linked to the corporate sector.

According to official RBI communiqués, the total write-offs in the 133 scheduled banks in India include a huge chunk of technically written-off accounts. The trotted out reason is: “After technical write-offs, there is no incentive for banks to pursue recovery.”

“We have to go after corrupt bank managements as well as corrupt promoters. There is no doubt that we need to do it. We do not have enough teeth. There are these promoters who have diverted funds. “Diverted fund” is a euphemism. I would say plainly that they have stolen the funds, and we cannot go after them. It takes too long,” so said Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of RBI, who is ill-disposed towards the demonetization process and is the blue-eyed boy of ace criminal lawyer P Chidambaram.

Even as all this was happening private sector foreign banks have ‘sold’ their bad debts of small borrowers to private banks in India. The buyer of such debts is a private bank – Kotak Mahindra. It has begun hounding those hurt by the financial downturn, despite its acts being in-congruent with India’s debt recovery laws.

If one takes a close look at how Satyam Computers morphed into Mahindra Satyam, one’s hackles would be raised!

Bhasin’s current protector-in-chief is Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley!

Removing Bhasin ought to be child’s play for the President of India on the basis of the above. Operative excerpts from the relevant rule book:

Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner shall be removed from his office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, has, on inquiry, reported that the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner, as the case may be, ought on such ground be removed. The President may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry, the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the President may by order remove from office the Central Vigilance Commissioner or any Vigilance Commissioner if the said Central Vigilance Commissioner or such Vigilance Commissioners is and/or are involved in offences of moral turpitude.

[Emphasis added]

Excerpts from CJI TS Thakur’s thoughts on the functioning of the Apex Court:

The Constitution tells us that what would be the works to be done by the government. It has fixed the duties and responsibilities for judiciary, executive and legislature. “The judiciary has been given the duty to keep a watch that nobody crosses that limit. Any order which is against the Constitution, judiciary can set it aside to maintain the rule of law.

The obvious scofflaw Bhasin is being simply overlooked by the judiciary – and surprisingly even by the President – Pranab Mukherjee. Both have the powers to initiate action suo motu.

Yet, it hasn’t been done. Both Bhasin and his saviour Shreya Guha have been left untouched.

It is a matter of public knowledge that Bhasin is a favourite of FM Jaitley.

Jaitley also happens to be a senior lawyer whose spheres of influence encompass many rooms in India’s Supreme Court.

Jaitley’s utterances have embarrassed the PM on the demonetisation endeavour.

Banking sector is yet to rise up to the challenge of making life of the suffering common laity simpler. The likes of Vijay Mallya, of course make merry beyond the borders of India.

So, should India’s Apex Court judges look at themselves in the mirror and ask: “are we being manipulated to suit evil designs of criminal wrongdoers – with special emphasis on the nation’s banking woes?”

India’s Demonetisation Tale’s Untold Parts

Prime Minister Modi’s sudden demonetisation trashing Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes achieved many things.

The move successfully forced around Rs.8.5 lakh crores [US$128 billion] worth stashed ill-gotten wealth back into the economy.

Among other things, the step exposed the camouflaged meadow-snakes’ poison-dripping fangs.

The trashing of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes was the second surgical strike against Pakistan. Its singular success is the binning of the only flourishing business in Pakistan – printing of counterfeit currency – for the time being.

Reports reveal that Pakistan had pumped as much as Rs.20 lakh crores into the Indian economy to fund terrorism and cripple Bharat financially using diplomatic bags and human mules through Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa and UAE, to name just a few.

According to intelligence inputs, the illegal currency funded sabotage in the Kashmir valley and encouraged Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in Muslim pockets of Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Significantly, pro-Pak street protests in Kashmir have simmered down.

It also lined the pockets of what passes for ‘sections of the secular press in India,’ reports added.

Peeved at the loss and with nothing better to do, the anti-Modi channels are yelling blue-murder on the demonetisation issue.

Significantly, a huge cache of cash was being burnt in Uttar Pradesh. Some of the smoking embers have been recovered and sent for forensic tests to find links with Pakistani sabotage. This news disappeared from headlines almost immediately after it appeared for the first time. 

One probable reason is that the Modi regime does not want to give more credit to Pakistan than what has already been done. Further, such talk could trigger a run on Indian economy.

The cobra in the grass

My tweet early Wednesday: “Did anyone bother to notice [Union Finance Minister] Arun Jaitley’s silence on the surgical strike against black money?”

Operative portions of Jaitley’s mischievous response 10 hours later that has a lot of hidden meanings: [Jaitley’s statements are in a different colour for easy identification.]

“A lot of currency operating outside system will now have to get in to banking system”.

The unsaid part:

At least 48 hours before the demonetisation, there were serious attempts to turn some Rs.25,000 crores from black to white. Premiums amounting to 25% were on offer – in Chennai. This writer has personal knowledge of it.

Simply put, the ‘system’ is rotten, per se. And Jaitley propagates the rotten system.

“It will change the course of the way people spend and keep their money”.

Read between the lines:

Jaitley implied that moneybags would rethink on bankrolling the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP].

“The new step is also of significant advantage.”

The tricky double-Dutch

The significant advantage has been introduced already. Small-time shopkeepers and/or housewives and/or other individuals can shove money into the banks in minor tranches – from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs. 40 lakhs. It would result in at least 35% of the ill-gotten stash to change colour and crawl back into the crannies of the economy.

It doesn’t nudge the economy in the direction of a cashless economy, but, significantly pushes it toward one.”

The Houdini act – to escape criticism – the reality:

There are no 100% cashless economies anywhere in the world.

There are only hopes – to achieve this utopian concept, or so said the Harvard Business Review some 4 months ago. Operative excerpts:

Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are already considering it, while the European Central Bank is considering getting rid of large-denomination bills.

Cash, according to a recent MasterCard study, accounts for nearly 85% of global consumer transactions.

Some of Sweden’s neighbours, in response to EU’s increasing regulations on restricting cash usage, are demanding a “constitutional right to pay in cashfuelled by concerns around negative interest rates and a perceived loss of privacy that comes with digital money.

Mobile payments today account for over 70% of all e-commerce transactions in China due to wallet wars among three major players – whose acronym is BAT. They comprise Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

Keeping ATMs stocked and working properly is a cost to banks. These ATM maintenance costs are disproportionately high in many parts of the developing world, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America , with myriad security and infrastructure challenges, as well as in geographically large, sparsely populated countries, such as Canada, Russia, and Australia, where the logistics challenges are high.

The absolute cost of cash to consumers, based on average transit time and cash access costs are high in some of the world’s most populous countries: Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, China, and the United States. They are high in many of the major European countries, such as Germany and France, as well as in Japan. These costs are lower in several Scandinavian countries with relatively entrenched mobile payments systems, such as Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, as well as countries with rapidly evolving mobile payment systems, such as South Korea and Kenya.

Countries in the developing world tend to have a greater tax gap and a greater degree of uncertainty about the reliability of the estimate of the gap. Developing countries have the largest tax gaps, with their shadow economies as large as 30%-44% of GDP. In India, for example, the tax gap could be as large as two-thirds of overall taxes owed.

The following countries have the greatest potential for unlocking value by policy and innovation led migration to a cashless society: U.S., Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, China and Brazil. The U.S., for example, incurs a cost of $200 billion annually to keep cash in circulation; nearly a third of all store sales are still cash based despite its long history with plastic money

The second group that could go cashless in the long run includes parts of Eastern Europe such as Poland and Russia, and countries with large populations such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, and the Philippines. Cash imposes severe costs on consumers in India and Mexico as we detail in our Cost of Cash studies

New Delhi’s 11 million inhabitants collectively spend some 72 million hours per year chasing cash.

Mexico’s small businesses suffer a 21% incidence of cash fraud — nearly twice the rate faced by larger businesses in the country.

“The government’s decision has given a sense of satisfaction among honest tax payers.”

The hidden prose:

Suddenly the middle-class with cash available on their declared returns would be in demand and make a killing – by merely circulating the ‘available balance on their cash-books to help money change colours and thus help financial villains.

“Long term advantage to the economy is significant. We appeal to the people to bear the minor inconveniences for the short period of time.

It is a big feint for a future sucker punch.

Ground is being prepared through this guarded statement on short-term inconveniences to assail the PM in the future.

Post script:

Question:

Will this end black money?

Answer: NO!  Persons with leeway in their income tax returns will make a killing by helping cash change colour from black to white and then to black again. Help could come from sources that owe allegiance to – of all people – FM Arun Jaitley!

Question:

Will Pakistan stop its misadventure?

Answer: No. The ISI goons will try to counterfeit the newer notes

Verdict

One should view the demonetisation exercise in the final analysis. The longer term reactions will be the ones to watch.