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They say it’s lonely at the top, I know now why.

December 10, 2016

Dharmathin vaazhvu thannai soodhu kavvum… Dharmam meendum vellum! – Subramanya Bharathi in ‘Panchali Sabatham’

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-strikes-down-Section-66A-of-IT-Act-which-allowed-arrests-for-objectionable-content-online/articleshow/46672244.cms

Supreme Court says citizens of India reserve their rights to post their opinions/comments in social media. As citizen of socialist, secular, democratic India, I have freedom of expression to my speech, writing and opinion and NONE can dictate things to me with a view to deprive me of my fundamental birth rights under the constitution of India.

One can gag us from expressing our thoughts in social media and in print and electronic media, but can you stop a social group from communicating with each other? From believing our natural instincts? From REFUSING TO BELIEVE WHAT ANYONE MAY WANT US TO BELIEVE?

I  have lost all hope and trust in humanity. If this can happen to the most courageous woman I adored on earth, who am I? Why are the newspapers in Chennai keeping quiet? Are they bought over too or are they scared?

I am totally disillusioned with my country, with my government both central and state. I DO NOT TRUST ANYONE.

I may most probably stop blogging, commenting on articles. I don’t know whether i will succeed. For how long I can resist I do not know. I would like this to be my last blog post. If at all I return to blogging after a gap, I may stick to mere recipes and other non-controversial issues.

I don’t remember how much I wept for my own biological mother. I wa s pretty young then. But since I was young, I also forgot my mother soon. I could move on with life, even though until today my mother haunts me in my dreams and catches me off guard at most unexpected moments… I cannot pass through my mother’s school until today without breaking into silent sobs into my hankie even if I could be using public transport…. That is how I found out how my mother will never leave me in my lifetime.

I did not shed too much tears for Jayalalitha. Before the tears rushed in, the emotion I thought I was incapable of for a public figure, weighed me down. Its like on and off that I find tears rolling down my eyes involuntarily. Sudden short bursts of tears refusing to go away.

Listening to my heart: 5 days today after she is gone, my heart still feels heavy and refuses to heal. Heart cannot lie.

There is a lump in my throat that I cannot swallow. Merely thinking about JJ I am stumbling, unable to resume my normal routine life.

Have I seen our CM in person ever? No. Okay once from my car, that’s all. I have been her adorer from distance, also critic at the same time. I am a plain ordinary citizen, a tiny minute speck in the ocean of humanity that’s it. So why should I feel this way about my chief minister? Like there is loss in the family?

Its not just me, each and everyone of us in Tamil Nadu and the Tamil diaspora around the world – some 100 million Tamils feel like we have lost our mother.  May be not quite the mother she was revered to be, but someone who made us feel secure. Someone who made us feel proud. We will never forgive whoever is responsible for her untimely demise. Tamils are not fools. You may wage a 1000 wars with us – you may never win our hearts. You will never become our heroes. Hijacking Jayalalitha’s mandate: cashing in on her death… I find the idea revolting…. It is not just, it is not fair… Tamils voted for Jayalalitha, not even for her party. SHE WAS THE PARTY. I remember that’s what Jayalalitha fiercely despised: the state taken over by patriarchy. Other than that, there have been almost no occasion when she expressed any feminist ideal. Others wore their feminist leanings on their sleeve and talked too much but Jayalalitha Jayaram lived and showed them what it is to be a woman on your own right.

I could have come to terms with her death had she been assassinated by Pakistan terrorists or the LTTE or even the DMK baddies…. It is the way she went that did me in…

It takes someone like Jayalalitha again to win our hearts. And she did not have to try hard for that. The formula to win someone’s love and respect and trust is simple: BE KIND. BE GENEROUS. That’s all what she did. 

I am leaving blogging, or intend leaving blogging because, as I said, I have lost basic trust in humanity, I do not trust Indian government, Tamil Nadu state government, I do not trust our hospitals, I do not trust our media, I do not trust our judiciary, I do not trust ANYONE.

I just disabled my Twitter account. I want to dislike all politicians and businesses in Facebook. Second time I am going to try, hopefully this time for good. And once upon a time, this blog of mine used to be private. I made it public on sheer impulse one fine day. Now going back to being private… and invisible… soon…

I want to slip into anonymity once again… I wish I could go away to Australia or Antarctica, far, far away from India…

The sense of betrayal I feel today is overwhelming.  Love, trust, kindness, respect, loyalty…. all this is anathema to this nation now. I don’t believe in India any more. I don’t trust India. I have this sinking feeling just imagining what we have turned out to be: BLOODY GREEDY MANIPULATIVE OGRES WHO WILL STOP AT NOTHING to get what we want… We have become dishonest, cunning blood-suckers, criminal masterminds. Yes, that’s what we Indians are: ruthless, heartless..

Leaving blogging may be tough…. but let me give a try. May be I can read more… Pray more… Never for my nation again… but for my own mental peace and balance…

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It is not Jayalalitha’s untimely demise that brings tears to my eyes now. It is imagining, what kind of pathetic life she probably led behind closed doors… intimated, abused, slow-poisoned, betrayed by those she held closest to her, who allegedly wanted her dead at any cost… who plotted right behind her back living out of her magnanimous charity… Who were all party to drawing Amma’s blood?

Uncrowned queen of Tamil Nadu. Who was there to get her to her station? Which family? What influence? That she was alone like a lioness is what Tamil people saw. How she was braving against a united family of opposition who had everything and everyone going for them against who she had nothing for defence except for the love, trust and respect of the people of Tamil Nadu…. She had NONE – none at the center to provide her alibis, no ally at the state. She was alone, all along…

Alas Amma wasn’t even in social media was she? Did she even carry a phone? To the Modis and Kejriwals and Gandhis of today who are so very tech-savvy, who worry about their carefully cultivated images, who double-check their every step and track their followers as well as adversaries, there can’t be a better lesson to learn than this, from Jayalalitha… She never bothered about gadgets…  She never respected the media… She knew if she was good, she wouldn’t need to appeal to the literate population of this country. To the rural masses, she adopted a direct approach. She wasn’t even in tv pretty often like these political leaders are…self-advertising themselves, singing their own praises, selling their own stories… She ruled with her policies, good administration. Her work and track record spoke for her… If you watch Jaya tv you may know, after news bulletins they would reel out CM’s dispensations to rural population if they had approached the Fort (TN Secretariat) for help. No petition was turned down or tossed into garbage can. Each and everyone was answered to and help disbursed, the details of which such as petitioner with address, kind of help etc reported in the channel. Probably there was a delegated authority just to cater to masses who came up with direct appeals to CM. I have never seen a kinder politician. Those who knocked on her doors, the poorest of the poor, never left without relief.

I have had my share of grouses against her, I have always been critical of her freebies. But I am aware, the kind of spadework she did with the poorest of the poor helped alleviate poverty and raise the quality and standard of living of this lowermost strata of our society.

Did Jayalalitha ever fish for sympathy? Have you ever heard her telling the public, how much she was alone, how she never had had a family? How much she had sacrificed for the state? Did she ever trumpet her achievements? Did she bother to check the pulse of the masses who she served? She was aware, she did not have to, because she knew them intimately.

In 2001 when I returned from Malaysia, I realized I had gotten back home at the worst possible time. There was drought in Tamil Nadu.How as our chief minister she saw to that for 2 continuous years upto 2003-04 monsoons that no Chennaitte went without water stays still fresh in our memory. She got us the Krishna river water. I have done many posts of her previously describing what she has done for the state. As some say she could have done more, but now we know why she didn’t. I am highlighting the water issue because the way she handled the severest water crisis in last two decades is admirable. Chennai population alone is an estimated 8 million.

While she was caring for Tamils every day of her life, what was really happening to JJ?

How Amma could have spent years with cruelest people torturing her physically, psychologically, threatening her, blackmailing her, whipping her who knows? How anyone could have wanted to usurp her of her wealth, of her hard earned estates, trying to dispossess her off of her own home? And her idealist party which was like her life breath?

Iron lady to the outer world… but a frightened kid, a prisoner, within four walls of her own home…

Why do blood relations count? This is why… When you have not a single blood relation around you, any one can take you for granted. The best gift parents can leave for their kid is a sibling, a blood cord. We may have a thousand differences within our families, but the brother-sister bonds never break. Your sibling’s blood will boil if you come to any harm. Your sibling will fight for you onto the end if you come to suffer injustice. But when you are an island, it is very easy to drown you – especially for the cowardly, mean people. Who cares…

In Tamil we say ‘Kooda Natpu’ (the undesirable friendship) is to be avoided. If you take Karna in Mahabharath, Karna is a Pandav and a great matchless soul, but because of his closeness with the evil Kauravs especially Duryidhana, he falls. So however good we are, if we are to attach ourselves to undesirable elements, we will have to suffer someday.

Shobhan Babu, the married Andhra actor, was JJ’s only true love. It was not to be. For MGR family, JJ always remained the other woman. The illegitimate woman. Sandhya, JJ’s mother too was second wife to her husband. What a life of ill-satiated love JJ led? Deeply unsatisfied, unhappy, it is no wonder she shut herself into a cocoon and refused others a peek into her private world. A recluse who kept anyone from getting closer to her, even her ministers were not allowed to share the same dais with her. She seemed to lack the basic trust in those who surrounded her day and night. ‘Makkalaal Naan, Makkalukkaagave Naan’ she said, ‘I am because of the masses, I am for the masses.’ The masses became the very meaning and substance of her life.

Yeah, if anyone could have gotten her, it could have been only through deceit. Never in an all-out direct battle. You could only backstab her, you could never win her rightfully, royally, morally, ethically.

Karma has its own payback version, 29 years after being kicked out of MGR’s funeral by his family, JJ was buried alongside her mentor and former film superstar turned-CM of Tamil Nadu, M G Ramachandran. What Jayalalitha as a woman was denied in her life time, she attained finally in eternity that was not to be for Janaki, MGR’s legally wedded wife. She made her ideals, her identity.

During my PG days I have been to Anna Samadhi and MGR Samadhi – not because I wanted to but because my MUSE department, University of Madras, lay directly opposite to this part of the beach. It was habitual for us to have our lunch there in the lawn. May be I will go see JJ one of these days… Just to tell her, 100 million Tamil hearts around the world know the truth and will always love her to eternity…

Sleep well Amma, in eternal peace, in the bosom of Mother Lalitha, where none can harm you. I don’t believe you will have rebirth. The jyothi of your rarest of rare souls will blend with Shakthi, no doubt.

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