Monday, May 11, 2015

Jaya Verdict

This is the hot topic in Tamil Nadu.Lot of discussions are happening everywhere about this topic. Needless to mention about social media.Facebook and twitter are full of trolls,memes,outrages etc.What is really unfortunate is,people share all these in haste. Not many are ready to spare few minutes to think before sharing something.There are some people who doesn't care anything about what they are sharing.For them sharing trolls/memes gives a sense of satisfaction.Well we can't find fault with such people.But there is another group which has people who share serious 'updates/tweets'.There is a problem with this particular group.Most of them don't even try to find the details about what they are sharing.As expected they are sharing so many updates about the disproportionate assets case of Jayalalithaa.

There are people who feel Jaya 'bought this verdict'. These people belong to only 4 categories - 1) Hardcore Jaya haters 2) DMK supporters 3) Those who think except them all others are corrupt 4) People who expect the judiciary to be unbiased and the nation to be 'corruption free'.Personally I am least bothered about categories 1,2 and 3 as it is waste of time trying to wake-up someone who pretends to be sleeping.But I have a message to people belonging to category 4 - kindly think before expressing your anger in social network.

With reference to the verdict delivered by Mr.Kumarasamy,I would say this is not at all shocking for me.If you say 'this is unexpected','I am shocked' etc about this judgement, then I can only say this to you people - you didn't follow the case properly.I was actually shocked when the verdict was against Jayalalithaa in special court.The evidences submitted were not good enough to punish the former Tamil Nadu CM.For example,let us consider the grand marriage of Sudhakaran (Jaya's foster son whom she disowned long back).In this case they have mentioned that the cost of pandal, used in this marriage, itself is 5 crore 10 lakhs.This is an estimated cost and this estimate was provided only after the marriage was over(they have inspected it after 2 and half years and gave this estimate).Note the point,this is estimated cost,no proper bills were submitted.The special court judge, Mr.Kunha, didn't agree to this and he felt 5 crore is too big amount for this pandal,so he reduced the estimate to 3 crore. So without any proper documents they have estimated the cost and came to a conclusion. This is just an example,if you go through the entire judgement you can find more. This was mentioned by Tamil journalist Mr.Cho Ramaswamy.Immediately don't make conclusions that Thuglak/Cho is a pro-ADMK magazine bla bla bla. Ofcourse, Thuglak is supporting Jaya and ADMK, no doubt about it. The discussion is not whether it is right or wrong, but what Thuglak has reported is from the judgement of Kunha.Not many magazines published these details,but Thuglak published it. That is the reason for referring to it now.

This is just an example and there are lot of things in the judgement about which I was not convinced and that is the reason why I strongly believed Jayalalithaa will get acquittal.I am not saying anything against Mr.Kunha.Whenever a case involves a celebrity(politician,cricket player,cinema actors etc), the trial goes on in media and the judgement too will be delivered by the legal experts of these private channels.Print media too started behaving in the same way.These channels and magazines creates an impression that 'the judge is honest if the judgement is against the celebrity and he is corrupt if its in favor of them'.This is a very bad trend.

Mr.Kunha felt the evidences submitted by the prosecution was good enough to give conviction to Jaya and rejected the defense side arguments.As a result Jaya got a punishment for 4 years with a fine of 100 crores.Now in appeal,in high court,Mr.Kumarasamy felt the other way. The evidence submitted by the prosecution was not good enough to give conviction.People claim that the court didn't hear the prosecution's arguments at all.This is a wrong statement.In an appeal in a higher court, the entire trial will not happen again.The argument will be based on only the important evidences rejected and considered by the lower court.As far as I know,new witnesses too will be allowed. But the entire trial will not happen for sure.My basic understanding is 'an appeal against the lower court verdict means either the defense or prosecution is dissatisfied with the verdict pronounced based on the arguments made.Which means the argument is valid and only the judgement is not satisfactory. Incase a new witness/evidence is found it should be considered as well'.So the question of unfair treatment to Acharya,the public prosecutor itself is invalid.The Supreme court said, Bhavani Singh's appointment as public prosecutor(PP) was invalid at the same time there is no need for a fresh trial.It has asked Anbazhagan(one of the petitioner against Jaya) and the PP(Karnataka govt appointed Acharya as PP after Supreme court's verdict) to give their arguments in writing.

This Acharya was the one who argued against Jayalalithaa in lower court and based on his arguments only Mr.Kunha gave a 4 year imprisonment to Jaya.By any yardstick,one day was good enough for a lawyer, who is aware of top-to-bottom in a case, to file his counter arguments against the defense. Instead of providing documents supporting his arguments against Jaya,this man just like that said 'the appeal itself is invalid.Without public prosecutor a trial can't happen'.Mr.Acharya was well aware of the fact that when asked about the appointment of public prosecutor,the Karnataka govt said 'no comments' and it was then the Tamil Nadu vigilance appointed Bhavani Singh as PP.Acharya had his chance to provide documents supporting his claim.Having failed to do that, whats the point of rueing now?When the Supreme court itself says 'a fresh trial is not needed',Acharya says the appeal is invalid.According to Acharya,whatever verdict given in the lower court should be upheld in High court and he will not provide any supporting documents for that.Is Mr.Acharya not making a mockery of law here?Who is Acharya to say an appeal itself is unnecessary?

Because the prosecution could not produce any concrete evidence,Mr.Kumarasamy cancelled the lower court judgement and acquitted Jaya.When Jaya got convicted there was joy and proud moments in social media with statements like 'needhi vendradhu'.'truth alone triumphs','justice prevails' etc.When the high court cancels that judgement,suddenly judiciary lost its respect for these people. The logic is simple - if Jaya gets conviction, 'justice prevails(நீதி வென்றது). If the judgement is in favor of Jaya - then ' money won(நிதி வென்றது).

A judgement will be only based on evidences submitted and not based on whether a person is good or bad.If the evidences submitted against Jaya were not strong enough to prove her guilt and if the judge still gives a verdict against her - is it fair? Is that not an insult to our judicial system?Recently Salman Khan got bail and his 5yr sentence was suspended and today along with Jaya's acquittal there is another news doing rounds that Satyam founder Mr.Ramalinga Raju got bail.So there is a lame communist thought going viral in social media that law is applicable only to common man. Ramalinga Raju got bail in a sessions court and his 7 years rigorous imprisonment was suspended.

This is again the judicial system of India.In appeal the accused will get bail and the sentence may be suspended too.The only problem I see here is the unusual delay in finishing a case in the lower court. The delay need not necessarily happen only because of the accused,it can also happen for various other reasons like the retirement of a judge in the middle of a case,changing a judge based on a petition etc.This delay is the only drawback with Indian judicial system.Well in that case, no country is perfect,they all have their own shortcomings.Just like that saying 'the law is only for common man' etc looks really childish.Salman Khan and Raju's bail and Jaya's acquittal,everything happened in a quick succession but coincidentally. Linking these 3 and blaming the entire system is nothing more than childishness. Even reputed sites like Firstpost have proven to be no different from other desperate channels.

I am facing another question - don't you think Jaya committed mistake?Don't you know was involved in illegal activities? How can you even support this judgement? Well my answer is simple - judgements cannot be infact should not be based on assumptions.Right from the beginning, people who filed the case against Jaya were not serious enough.This case was filed for political reasons and now when the case was nearing its completion,the opposition wants to exploit the situation using this case.They were sleeping for more than 15 years and they have waken up all of a sudden and wants to send Jaya to jail.Had they filed the case with proper evidences, the verdict would have been different. This case failed long back because it was not handled well by the people who filed it. With this verdict,to be honest, am satisfied that still there are judges who just don't succumb to hype and pressure and do their work sincerely.

Congratulations Ms.Jayalalithaa. More details about Ms.Jayalalithaa the politician and ADMK later.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ratham Ore Niram

Sujatha's Ratham Ore Niram - a novel based on First Indian war of Independence (1857). One of the best historical novels.It doesn't blindly demonize the British.McKinsey - a cruel British captain,has no respect for women or no sentiments at all.Muthukumaran,a local guy defeats Mc Kinsey in a fight(Silambam - martial arts) and an angry Mc Kinsey kills Muthukumaran's father in confusion.Now Muthukumaran wants to take revenge against Mc Kinsey.He is on a mission.
Captain Ashley, total contrast to Mc Kinsey.He follows ethics,doesn't accept killing women and innocent people.He writes poems to express his love to Emily while Mc Kinsey directly touches her 'romantically' to get her and Emily marries Mc Kinsey while she still sympathizes Ashley.Later she realizes how cruel Mc Kinsey is and finds out some kids in a locality resembling Mc Kinsey.If am not wrong, Sujatha's Karuppu Sivappu Veluppu was stopped because of this episode.

Though this is a historical novel and based on first war of Independence,it doesn't fail to entertain us.Characters like Pooncholai and Bairagi are added mainly for entertainment.Through Ashley's character,Sujatha means,not all the Britishers were cruel and there good people like Ashley too. One need not doubt this,yes there were good people in British side too and a best example would be Lord Ripon.So Ashley's character is very much believable.The novel moves at a brisk pace and scenes like Ashley helping Muthukumaran to escape twice, Muthukumaran rescuing Sivagami(Pooncholai's younger sister) from British custody etc are typical Sujatha touch :-) . The following conversation between Ashley and Edward Mc Kinsey shows how the 1857 revolt started.When you read this novel completely,you will understand 'what caused the revolt and how it ended up'.

"இந்தச் சின்ன கொழுப்பு விஷயத்துக்காகப் பெரிய கலகம் விளையுமா?"

"இல்லை எட்வர்ட்.காரணம் இது மட்டும் இல்லை. இது கலகம் வெடிக்க ஏற்படக் கடைசிக் காரணம். முக்கியமான காரணம் வேறு." - ஆஷ்லி 

"என்ன அது?"

"நாம் இந்தியர்களை நடத்தும் விதம்."

"ஹ! அதில் என்ன குறை? கறுப்பர்களை வைக்க வேண்டிய இடத்தில்தான் வைத்திருக்கிறோம்"

"இப்போது நீ 'கறுப்பர்கள்' என்று சொல்கிறாயே அதில் இருக்கும் வெறுப்பும் ஆணவமும்தான் இன்று கலகம் துவங்கியிருப்பதற்குக் காரணம்."

What makes this novel unique is the 'balance' which Sujatha maintains in describing the atrocities of British and also the Indian rebels.While Sujatha describes the cruel nature of British through scenes like Mc Kinsey enjoying an Indian widow getting burnt alive,British army ruthlessly killing 2 children because they were wearing a rebel like dress etc etc. The narration of Bibighar massacre was so hard-hitting that even being an Indian,I sympathized for the British.120 British women and children captured by the Sepoy forces were slaughtered mercilessly and their remains were thrown into a nearby well to hide the evidence.After reading this book,some questions came to my mind - 'should we take it as all is fair in war? should we oppose wars/fights at any cost?'. On a killing spree one may kill any number of people,but that will haunt him throughout his life.
Infact, there is an important character called 'Bairaagi' (kind of monk, though not exactly..this monk is an expert in martial arts and also cracks adult jokes at times) and this Bairaagi justifies all these war cruelties and he says 'even rape is right in war'.On the other hand,he also describes about British people trapped in Kanpur.They were on losing side and they were even sure of their death in the war.Amiliya,an innocent girl once says to Emily, 'before our troupes reach Kanpur,we all will be raped' and she laughs at an old lady.And she goes on,'after we come out,first thing I would do is to buy a dress as yours'..While offered to leave by the Indians, these trapped people still carried some valuables with them and Amiliya says 'whatever happens,desires of people remains the same'..the death of the 120 people including Amiliya will move anyone to tears.
There are emotional scenes like Muthukumaran saving Emily from an Indian soldier,who tried to rape her.While Muthukumaran takes Emily with him, she emotionally thanks God for sending Muthu to save her.Finally Ashley comes searching Emily and finds her.What happens then is the climax.

I read this book only last year.Once in a while,'Ratham Ore Niram' comes to my mind and also the horror suffered by innocent people(both Indians and British). Sujatha Sujatha thaan 
smile emoticon not sure,if he was honored with any award in the field of literature,but his books will be loved by future generations too compared to some 'award winning books/novels'.  I have said this so many times 'Writer Sujatha is immortal smile emoticon '.