Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pioneer editorial

The following is an editorial that appeared in the Daily Pioneer. At last, some sane analysis in a newspaper though a Delhi-based one. Wish more read it down south too.

Plot against mutt
The Pioneer Edit Desk (January 12, 2005)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has never been known for restraint. Even so, she had one redeeming feature: She normally ensured she could not be tripped for her draconian actions on technical, if not moral, grounds. But her Government's anti-Kanchi mutt rampage has no such mitigating factor. On Monday, the Supreme Court granted bail to Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, passing a scathing stricture on the prosecution's failure to furnish even a shred of evidence on why his two-month-long detention should not be terminated.

Within hours of the order releasing the pontiff, junior Shankaracharya Vijayendra Saraswati was dragged into custody on charges of 'conspiracy' in the Sankararaman murder case. The timing of the arrest leaves no room for doubt that the mutt's authorities are targets of a premeditated witchhunt. It only reinforces the widely-held belief that a state-sponsored takeover of the highly influential religious body, deliberately rendered headless, is at hand. That the mutt has considerable resources may not be the sole reason driving Ms Jayalalithaa's reprehensible politics of vendetta.

A larger, more insidious, agenda seems at play: The majority community's sentiments are being attacked via the brazen assault on a revered symbol of the Hindu faith. Desecration of the Kanchi religious seat, where rituals and prayers have been disrupted, seems part of the pre-written script. Worse, no-holds-barred meddling in a sensitive case smacks of political obstructionism with regard to the law taking its own course.

In fact, it is perhaps no accident that the Jayalalithaa regime's anti-Shankaracharya virulence has burgeoned in direct proportion to mounting evidence that the seer has been sinned against: His counsel ripped apart the prosecution's case so successfully that the apex court described the stated grounds linking him to the Sankararaman murder as unconvincing. That the pontiff's judicial reprieve was followed by an immediate backlash against another mutt representative merely gave the conspiratorial game away.

Since the cause of justice seems open to sabotage, the Centre cannot play mute spectator. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did write to Ms Jayalalithaa, with cautioning advice. But, as her action against the junior seer makes plain, his counsel fell on deaf ears. The UPA should realise the explosive potential of the events running riot in Tamil Nadu-it can have a very nasty social fallout, since Hindus are unlikely to take steamrolling insults to their faith lying down. It should think twice about adopting a hands-off approach for another reason as well: The judiciary is being mocked, and it is the Centre's duty to rein in the offender.

Ms Jayalalithaa has been exposed as using state machinery to conduct a pogrom against the mutt-police ham-handedness is only one proof. The Prime Minister is right in saying the law should take its own course. But he should be equally anxious to prevent a travesty of the law and its provisions. Only recently, the Chief Minister told the State Assembly that "shocking evidence" existed against the seer. If that were indeed the case, her bid to conduct a 'trial by media' would hardly have fallen flat. It has been thought that the AIADMK leader is after the 'secular' constituency of her rivals. Hence her new anti-Hindu avatar. She should know that riding roughshod over religious sensibilities is akin to playing with fire. Ideological cynicism can boomerang, since the targeted social groups are rarely the dupes politicians think they are. Post-Shah Bano, Rajiv Gandhi learnt this the hard way when he played the Ayodhya card. A similar lesson seems in store for Ms Jayalalithaa.


Blogger Pradeep said...

This case seems to be going on a tangent. Whatever be the outcome of the case, the blot on the mutt and the seers will take a long time to be erased.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

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12:19 AM  
Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

The TN media networks are governed by anti-Brahministic sentiments that run these. The Kanchi case has provided a very convenient vent to their biased feelings forgetting that historical grudges are not reason to defy law.
The institution of Kanchi has been stained without any substantial evidence of the allegation so far. Some supporters of the Mutt have put together a website to tell their side of the story and feedback. That seems to be the only pro-Kanchi forum so far.
The TN media has its own definition for Freedom of Speech and Expression, just like how the law seems to be a little bit different there too!

4:02 AM  
Blogger Hari Hara Ganesh said...

Taken from
P*gs like Jayalalitha and Sasikala, Maestro's like Illayaraja, Rahman, billionaires like Bill Gates, and all of us would be dead and sleeping in our graves in just another millennium from now! We will all be forgotten and even our own progeny would not know
us! When that be the likely practical eventuality, then why conceit? 65 million years ago, in the Jurassic age, the dinosaurs ruled the earth! Where are they now? 65 million years from now, the homo-sapiens species might be extinct, and even llayaraja's microgram worth of dust might not be found in that world! Then, why conceit? In the inconceivably
large space-time co-ordinates of Mother Nature, the infinitesimally small human being fails to realize his mortality during his life time. He dances proudly for "HIS" achievement, fails to acknowledge other's talents, yells at his competitor with contempt and conceit! Oh, the director of all such conceited activity - THE MIND! You are a conundrum!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

Let's take a moment to see what's happening now rather a million years from now. This is a multi-dimensional political massacre of a cultural symbol called The Kanchi Mutt. People with brains should give a thought to:
a) What are the assets of the Mutt that the government (and, of course, Ms. Jayalalitha) will control in the event of a takeover?
b) Why DMK, which was taking up the issue of arrest of the Shankaracharya, is now turning the tables on AIADMK?
c) How will the potential votebank for the AIADMK increase if Ms. Jayalalitha succeeds in capturning the anti-Brahmin vote and the non-Hindu vote? Let's be practical; this is a huge number. And, why does she need this so desperately? This votebank can increase regardless of the right or wrong in the Kanchi case.
d) Why is the MDMK which is known openly for its anti-Brahmin voice now watching the show and not committing its view on this?
e) Why is the Centre watching the show? What are the stakes in the Congress-I's table if it interferes?
And, above all.....
f) Why are the thick-skinned, senseless, disillusioned, worthless, irresponsible, graduates and professionals (the so-called "elite") of the state of Tamilnadu not voting in elections? What is the use of education if they cannot weigh the importance of their vote against a half-a-day's work? Idiots of the first order and the shame of our democracy!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:14 AM  

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