Thursday, July 30, 2015

Curious case of Yakub Memon

There are some people who are 'curious' to know why was Yakub Memon hanged. There is a false propaganda carried out by some pseudo-liberals who never bothered about victims of terrorist attacks but are only worried about the terrorists.Usually the argument on such cases will be that the 'accused' is innocent,he was misguided by people around him,he was so young that he didn't have the maturity to understand what he was actually doing,due to surroundings and unfortunate circumstances he committed this crime etc etc etc.But this case is little bit different.

As usual,the wannabe liberals, started abusing our judiciary system.The case was going on for the past 22 years, since 1994.These people have outright rejected the arguments of public prosecutor and the judgement given.They are quoting an article of late RAW(Research and Analysis Wing) officer, Mr.B Raman,which went unpublished way back in 2007.Recently,after getting permission from his brother B S Raghavan,the article was published.Based on this article,these fellows are running a campaign as if Yakub Memon was an innocent guy and he helped the investigating agencies in all possible ways,he was assured of not getting death penalty,he voluntarily came forward and surrendered etc,only thing is he helped his brother Tiger Memon,who is the mastermind behind the blasts,without knowing about the bomb blasts and since he was a chartered accountant,it was possible that he was unaware of the activities of Tiger.The saffron govt has hanged Yakub Memon. And 'sudden-patriots' like Shashi Tharoor calls this a cold blooded murder.Nonsense.

If someone tells such a story to you,just reply them in word - 'stupid'.Raman's article only says, Yakub was uncomfortable with ISI and wanted to surrender to the Mumbai police,but his relatives advised him not to surrender and return back to Karachi.While he was all set to return,the Nepal police arrested him based on suspicion and then he was brought back to India. Raman, not a single place in his article, claims Yakub was innocent.He clearly says Yakub Memon and his family members were involved in the conspiracy and they cooperated with ISI till July 1994.Further,the article reads, Yakub deserved death sentence for his conduct and role before July 1994.Then, he has written that since Yakub cooperated well with the investigating agencies and his conduct was good, "there is a strong case for having second thoughts about the suitability of the death penalty in the subsequent stages of the case.".

So the article which the liberals are using to prove Yakub's 'innocence' itself clearly says he was involved in the conspiracy carried out by ISI.Then where does the question of innocence arise? Yakub was given a fair trial. He had 22 years of time to prove his innocence.Death penalty will be awarded only after thorough investigation.He was given death sentence in 2003, which means after a 10 year investigation,he was awarded death penalty and he had 12 more years to prove his innocence. The following image from the The New Indian Express explains it all.

Just because someone has surrendered,it doesn't mean they should be let off.If the crime deserves a death penalty,the criminal will be given death sentence.Before sympathizing for people like Yakub Memon,spare some time for the families of 257 people who died in the serial blasts.Moreover though Raman says,as Yakub's conduct was good post July 1994 and there should be second thought on death penalty to him,it is not necessary to reconsider the punishment awarded.What Raman wrote in his article was just his opinion.Merit of the evidence and the impact of the crime will only decide the punishment, not the personal opinions of investigating officers.

Let us assume that Yakub was let off based on Mr.Raman's 'certificate' that his conduct was good post July 1994.What if he commits an even bigger crime after being let off?What is the guarantee that he wont do that again?Think..

The review petition on death sentence was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2013 itself,which means when Dr.Manmohan Singh was PM,which means there was a secular govt.On what basis these people accuse Modi sarkar and color the verdict 'saffron'?Its contempt of court.As usual the Muslim card is also being used.If they can ask such a question that was Yakub hanged because he was a Muslim? ,then they owe an answer for these questions as well, 'are these people supporting terrorists and terrorist activities?are these people supporting a terrorist because he is a Muslim?". One more info - statistics says,out of 1414 convicts only 72 were Muslims and 1342 were Hindus.

"..a new report by Death Penalty Research Project of the National Law University (NLU), Delhi shows that of the 1,414 prisoners in the available list of convicts hanged in post-Independence India, only 72 are Muslims—not even 5 per cent of the total executions..." - source-click-here

All these Muslim card-victim card and all will not work out dear liberals.

My appeal to sensible people,let the law take its own course,don't believe the false propaganda of pseudo-liberals and pseudo-seculars.Yakub's criminal culpability was proved beyond doubt. If you have any questions about this issue,you can post it in the comments section.

Mr.B Raman's article is given below. Courtesy

Memon brothers and the Mumbai blasts

I have been going through a moral dilemma in my mind ever since I read in the media about the sentencing of Yakub Memon to death by the court, which tried the accused in the Mumbai blasts of March 1993, and his tantrums in the court after the death sentence was pronounced.

Right though the trial, he has been claiming that he was not arrested in Old Delhi as stated by the prosecution, but in Kathmandu, Nepal. This was disputed by the prosecution, which asked for the severest penalty against him and others, who were sentenced to death. All those sentenced to death have the right of appeal to the higher court and to petition the President of India for clemency if their appeals are rejected.

I have been repeatedly asking myself: Should I write this article? Would I be a moral coward if I did not do so? Would the entire case get unravelled if I wrote it? Would the undoubtedly guilty escape punishment as a result of my writing it? Would my article be adversely viewed by the court? Would I be committing contempt of court? It is impossible to have definitive answers to these questions. Ultimately, I decided to write this in the belief that it is important to prevent a person, who in my view does not deserve to be hanged, from going to the gallows.

As the head of the counter-terrorism division of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), I had dealt with the external aspects of the investigation between March 1993 and my retirement on August 31, 1994. I like to believe that my work, with the help of some outstanding field officers of R&AW, was highly appreciated by P V Narasimha Rao, the then prime minister, who described our contribution to the investigation of the external aspects as worth its weight in gold.

I was disturbed to notice that some mitigating circumstances in the case of Yakub Memon and some other members of the family were probably not brought to the notice of the court by the prosecution and that the prosecution did not suggest to the court that these circumstances should be taken into consideration while deciding on the punishment to be awarded to them. In their eagerness to obtain the death penalty, the fact that there were mitigating circumstances do not appear to have been highlighted.

It was an outstanding piece of investigation by the Mumbai police and the Central Bureau of Investigation, with the excellent help of the IB. The nation ought to be proud of the officers who handled the investigation and prosecution, for their outstanding success in painstakingly collecting all the relevant evidence and placing before the court a watertight case.

The aura surrounding them would have shone even brighter had they taken the initiative in underlining before the court that there were some mitigating circumstances and that keeping those circumstances in view, they would refrain from asking for the death penalty even though perpetrators of such barbaric acts of terrorism deserve the death penalty.

The prosecution was right in saying that Yakub was arrested in Old Delhi. Yakub was right in claiming that he was not arrested in Old Delhi. In July 1994, some weeks before my retirement, he was informally picked up in Kathmandu, with the help of the Nepal police, driven across Nepal to a town in Indian territory, flown to Delhi by an aircraft of the Aviation Research Centre and formally arrested in Old Delhi by the investigating authorities and taken into custody for interrogation. The entire operation was coordinated by me.

He had come to Kathmandu secretly from Karachi to consult a relative and a lawyer on the advisability of some members of the Memon family, including himself, who felt uncomfortable with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, returning to India and surrendering to the Mumbai police. The relative and the lawyer advised him against surrender due to a fear that justice might not be done to them. They advised Yakub to go back to Karachi.

Before he could board the flight to Karachi, he was picked up by the Nepal police on suspicion, identified and rapidly moved to India.

He cooperated with the investigating agencies and assisted them by persuading some other members of the Memon family to flee from the protection of the ISI in Karachi to Dubai and surrender to the Indian authorities. The Dubai part of the operation was coordinated by a senior officer of the IB, who was then on deputation to the ministry of external affairs. Neither the R&AW nor I had any role in the Dubai part of the operation.

The cooperation of Yakub with the investigating agencies after he was picked up informally in Kathmandu and his role in persuading some other members of the family to come out of Pakistan and surrender constitute, in my view, a strong mitigating circumstance to be taken into consideration while considering whether the death penalty should be implemented.

There is not an iota of doubt about the involvement of Yakub and other members of the family in the conspiracy and their cooperation with the ISI till July 1994. In normal circumstances, Yakub would have deserved the death penalty if one only took into consideration his conduct and role before July 1994.

But if one also takes into consideration his conduct and role after he was informally picked up in Kathmandu, there is a strong case for having second thoughts about the suitability of the death penalty in the subsequent stages of the case.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam - the man who taught how to dream

July 27,2015 is a sad day for India as it has lost an eminent scientist,great president and a humble human being Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam.He played a key role when India carried out nuclear tests in Pokhran during the Vajpayee regime.

In India, the President post is more like a rubber stamp,but Dr.Kalam used some exclusive powers, given to President,which not many of his predecessors used.Dr.Kalam will be remembered for two of his important actions as a President. One - it is said that, it was Dr.Kalam who stopped Mrs.Sonia Gandhi from becoming the Prime Minister of India citing the citizenship issue.Two - he exercised his power under Article 111 of Constitution and sent back the "Prevention of Disqualification Amendment Bill,2006" for revision.

As a President,govt offers him free Iftar during the month of Ramzan,but Dr.Kalam gracefully ordered the food to be served to poor children. Even after completing his term as President,Dr.Kalam continued his social work.He has given lectures in many colleges and schools.He stayed in Anna University.He paid for the food consumed by his family members in Rashtrapathy Bhavan canteen.

It was Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam, who gave confidence to the demoralized Indian youngsters that one day India will become a superpower.His 'Wings of Fire' was able to ignite many young minds.This book has a special place in the annual book-fair conducted in Chennai every year.His Vision2020 convinced us that India will be the superpower in 2020.India may not become a superpower in 2020, but we will be on track.

Watch this 2 minutes video.The words he uses,his majestic voice and gallant body language will inspire anyone.

The man hails from Rameswaram.He was born in a poor family,but now the entire world weeps for his demise.This is called 'achievement'.His house was shown in TV channels.It is so simple that none will say its a former President's house.Nowadays even panchayat presidents owns properties worth lakhs and crores,but inspite of being a President of the nation for 5 years,this man lived such a simple life.Once I have seen Dr.Kalam, during my college days,at a close distance.When one of my friends went near his car and asked for an autograph,the man patted the guy on his shoulders and politely said 'son,its getting late for me.I have to board the flight at 4.30,if I give my autograph to you,others will be disappointed as I cannot sign for everyone now".Such a humble and sincere man he was.

The man who taught us the value of dreams is no more.I started blogging in the year 2009.I gave my blog title as 'Start Dreaming' inspired by Dr.Kalam's words only.Though his age is 84,it is too difficult to overcome the sadness.

Our request to the central govt is to set up a university,mainly for scientific research and name it after Dr.Kalam.Our deep condolences to the family members of Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam. May his soul rest in peace.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Joke Called Liquor Ban in Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, whether you find hospitals or not,you can find liquor shops in all parts of the state,even in remote villages.Nowadays the situation has developed to such an extent that if someone says 'drinking is a bad habit',he will be branded as a 'retard'.In olden days,some excuses were given for drinking - to overcome sadness,to celebrate a success etc.Also our male-chauvinistic society was so 'narrow minded' that women were not allowed to drink. Now there is a new trend - 'drinking is to get social with people'.What a fantastic reason.And yes,now ours has become a feminist society as well, as there is no gender based discrimination in drinking. So this is for common man. Infact, the points I mentioned above holds good for the people of entire nation,but this article is all about the recent developments over liquor in Tamil Nadu politics.

In Tamil Nadu,the govt itself runs the liquor shops under the name TASMAC(Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation).All of a sudden, some kind of 'enlightenment' happened to Tamil Nadu media and politicians,that all are jumping to earth and sky about the TASMAC and liquor shops. There are 2 types of arguments against TASMAC - 1)Govt should not run the TASMAC,but private firms can run(as drinking is one's privacy)- this is a brilliant argument. 2)There should be a total ban liquor.I am not sure what kind of impact will the point 1 mentioned above can create in the state. The argument is so stupid and lame that 'how can the govt itself give warning about the after-effects of alcohol and run the liquor shops too?'.According to this logic,it is ok if someone drinks in a private shop and develops some disease,but it is not ok if the same happens in a govt owned liquor shop. This argument happens in most of the places - work place,among college guys,in social media etc. If the private vendors take over liquor business,still shouldn't they get approval from govt? Now doesn't the same hypocrisy arise? Govt preaching about adverse effects of alcohol on one side and it gives license to private vendors to carry on liquor business,so is that fine? People who argue like this may get a sense of satisfaction that they have teared the ruling govt into pieces with their argument. The govt took over the TASMAC to prevent cartelisation and revenue loss. Since the govt took over TASMAC, the illicit liquor flow has been controlled to a great extent and the govt too got good revenue.

When private vendors sell liquor, what will happen? Or it should be like,what happened when private vendors had the license to run TASMAC. Relatives and benamis of powerful politicians ran the TASMAC shops,they got huge revenue but never paid the taxes properly.They supplied poisonous liquor which resulted in the death of many people.So should we support TASMAC?No,that is not the point here.Running the TASMAC shops by private vendors will do more bad than good.

Regarding the point2 of imposing a complete liquor ban,I am fine with it.I have spoken about it on many occasions.I have also written against drinking in the past.If a liquor ban is imposed,I will be the first person to support it.But this article is not about my opinion,it is actually about the recent stunts by our politicians.

PMK leader Ramadoss and his son(who thinks he is the next CM,he also has formed ministry with his family members it seems),were constantly speaking against liquor shops, only since 2002.Actor Rajnikanth made a statement against forest brigand Veerappan.Rajni called Veerappan a demon and went on to say, he should be shot dead.This has irked Ramadoss then and he started his activities against actor Rajni.Ramadoss said,Rajni spoiled the youth of TN by endorsing smoking and drinking in his movies and sought for a complete ban on his movies.He openly asked his community people to boycott Rajni movies and they held rallies too.In many places,PMK people allegedly,vandalized the theaters.The movie reel was taken away from a theater in Jayamkondam(Source-The Hindu,click here) by some PMK men.If Rajni says something against Veerappan,why should Ramadoss be bothered about it? The reason is - Veerappan belongs to his community as well(source-click here). This is a clear case of caste politics.Later in 2004,Rajni voiced out against PMK and asked his fan clubs to defeat PMK in all the 6 constituencies where they contested.Unfortunately PMK won and Rajni was not ready to experiment anymore.He 'bought' peace with Ramadoss and stopped using smoking/drinking scenes in his movies.After Chandramukhi's release,Ramadoss called Rajni his friend('Nanbar' Rajni).The entire episode was twisted as if Ramadoss changed Rajni and PMK is a party against drinking/smoking.Recent request by Anbumani to actor Dhanush to quit smoking, is yet another gimmick on the same line.

Was there no smoking/drinking scenes in Tamil movies before Rajni's entry into the industry? What's this then?

Except MGR,almost all actors have acted in smoking and drinking scenes.Why should Ramadoss single out Rajni?Let it be a case of personal enmity.This man says ADMK spoils Tamil Nadu by running arrack shops.The ADMK govt took over liquor sales in 2003 and TASMAC became a govt institution.Inspite of knowing this,why did he join the ADMK alliance in 2009? He got 7 seats and fought the elections under ADMK leadership.Was he not aware of TASMAC shops then?Isn't this enough to prove PMK's stand on liquor ban is publicity stunt?If you need more details about PMK, you can post a comment under this article,I will respond.

Next joker is Vaiko.Vaiko was a loyal DMK member.He was expelled from the party as he supported LTTE and DMK feared LTTE may kill the DMK chief Kalaignar Karunanidhi.Then he formed a party on his own(MDMK).I will tell why I have mentioned this information later.Vaiko was in ADMK alliance in 1998 Lok Sabha elections and won some MPs.Then Vaiko was arrested under POTA act by the then chief minister Jayalalithaa for supporting LTTE.After almost 18 months he was released.Again he joined the ADMK alliance in 2006.He campaigned like a loyal ADMK man in 2006 assembly elections,2009 Lok Sabha elections,2011 assembly elections too.But,he was not happy with the no. of seats offered to him during 2011 elections and he quit ADMK alliance,but his party didn't contest the elections too.He was with ADMK for atleast 5 years,after TASMAC was taken over by govt.Now he says TASMAC shops should be closed.

There is no liquor ban in some states ruled by BJP and Congress.One may again intelligently argue, govt doesn't own liquor shops.Such people can scroll above.So their demand for a complete liquor ban is laughable.This holds good to communist parties as well.I don't want to comment anything about Vijayakanth's DMDK.Upto the readers to make a decision about it.

PMK,MDMK,DMDK,BJP,Cong and Communists - these are all nothing compared to DMK. Recently,the DMK chief,Mr.M Karunanidhi announced that there will be a complete liquor ban in Tamil Nadu,if DMK comes to power.What a noble gentleman Mr.Karunanidhi is.There was complete liquor ban in Tamil Nadu until 1971.It was the same Karunanidhi who lifted the liquor ban.Former Madras chief minister and founder of Swatantra Party,Mr.C Rajagopalachari(fondly called as Rajaji),met Karunanidhi personally and requested him not to lift the liquor ban in the state. Karunanidhi not only lifted the ban but also said that Rajaji requested a Rajya Sabha seat for his son C R Narasiman.

People should know about Rajaji.Let me narrate a small incident here.Once Rajaji was offered a free ticket to watch cricket match in stadium.His grandchild took one back.He called the child back and said,'This is the Chief minister's ticket and not Rajaji's ticket and therefore leave it here'.He himself did not go to the match.Source-Corruption at the Grassroots: The Shades and Shadows By N. Narayanasamy).This is just an example.It is possible to list out many such incidents and prove how honest was Rajaji.He formed a party against congress(Swatantra Party).Not even his son was aware of it until the official announcement came from the man himself.But Karunanidhi says Rajaji asked a Rajya Sabha seat for his son.

Karunanidhi, who justified the act of lifting the liquor ban in TN then,by giving false information from literature as an example,now says he will ban liquor in Tamil Nadu.Should we not laugh out loud on this statement?By allowing free flow of alcohol in Tamil Nadu,it was Karunanidhi who spoiled Tamil Nadu.An entire generation,which was not aware of alcohol,started drinking because of this man.DMK and Karunanidhi are the root cause of all the evils in Tamil Nadu.But his statements are seriously highlighted by a leading Tamil weekly called Ananda Vikatan.After this statement by Karunanidhi,the magazine wrote, 'its dream of seeing a liquor-free TN may come true soon'.Lot of magazines support this claim.Their dream is not to see TN as a liquor-free state,but to see Karunanidhi as Chief Minister again.

TN will go for elections in 2016(the probability of advancing the elections cannot be ruled out).That is why our media and politicians are 'suddenly' concerned about the younger generations getting spoilt because of liquor.A leading Tamil news channel,Thanthi TV,even went to the extent of telecasting a school girl shouting under the influence of alcohol.Though her face was masked, is it so difficult to identify that girl?People of her locality might have easily identified who that girl was and would have 'branded' her with 'terms'.We are also coming across a very disturbing news of toddlers forced to drink by elders.For all these problems these magazines,TV channels,social activists and politicians conveniently blame the state govt and the govt-run TASMACs.

Did school children not drink before TASMAC was introduced?I have personally witnessed children studying in 6th,7th standards smoking and drinking.There was no govt run TASMACs then.They were able to buy and drink liquor easily.Such incidents has been happening for a long period of time and just like that blaming govt run liquor shops,one may satisfy himself that he has done a great service to this nation.But the ground reality will remain the same.

Through this article am not endorsing liquor shops or drinking.I stand by my view - drinking is a bad habit and it can spoil an entire generation.At any cost a liquor ban is must.When the Kerala govt wanted to impose a ban on liquor in Kerala,the Supreme court asked the Kerala govt to follow Gujarat model on imposing the same same(source-click here).But this step has to be taken by the state govt. The TN state govt should think about the welfare of people and go for a liquor ban in the state.Neither the ADMK nor the DMK showed any intent to shut down the liquor shops,instead they openly supported increasing the number of shops.TASMAC was taken over by govt in 2003,DMK was in power for 5 years after that(2006-2011).Both the parties heavily depended on the TASMAC revenue while in power.There are certain rules and regulations in running a liquor shop like there should be some minimum distance between one shop and other,there should be no liquor shops in residential areas,near religious places,near educational institutes etc.But the govt itself violated all these rules and like some provisional store,there are liquor shops in every street. As a first step in reducing liquor flow,the govt should atleast come forward to reduce the number of shops and follow the rules mentioned above.Because I have mocked other parties,it doesn't mean ADMK is an angel. ADMK is equally bad.

The press should behave with some responsibility.Instead of behaving like official mouth-piece of DMK,they should pass constructive criticism on govt.Only if the journals follow some standard,it can make the people think.The only intention of most of the leading Tamil weeklies and dailies seems to be to bring down the ADMK govt and make Kalaignar Karunanidhi as chief minister again,which is unfortunate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

M S Viswanathan - The Legend lives on

      M.S.Viswanathan 24 June 1928 - 14 July 2015

M S Viswanathan, popularly called as MSV,is no more.Ofcourse he is 87,so one can say 'its not a young age'.May be true.But there are people who grew up listening to M S Viswanathan's songs.If I say, 'MSV's music made my childhood awesome',it can't be an exaggeration.It doesn't mean I haven't listened to other music directors,but only some people find a special place in our hearts and MSV is one such person.

MSV refined music in Tamil cinema and now he is like a library to all the music directors. Prior to MSV,music followed a 'drama' style.The movie will be full of songs,infact dialogues will come in between songs.That was a trend.But MSV has given a new dimension to music in Tamil cinema.It is not like before MSV music was bad,but only means MSV was a trendsetter.The number of instruments used,the way background music was given,singers were chosen etc, all changed with MSV's arrival.May be there were legends like K V Mahadevan who were good at it too,but MSV was still someone special.Along with Mr.T K Ramamoorthy,MSV has composed lot of memorable songs.

One important quality of MSV is the amount of respect he showed for lyrics and also lyricists. There were instances of MSV composing music for lyrics and also lyrics being written after the tune was composed.He had a golden run in the industry with veteran lyricists like Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram, Kannadasan and Vaali. I have read lot of incidents about MSV. Once Kannadasan came to studio early while MSV has not turned up and he was not picking up the phone call too. Then it was understood he was still sleeping.But Kannadasan had to go, so he wrote the lyrics starting with the lines 'avanukenna thoongi vittaan,agapattavan naanallavaa'(meaning he slept happily,but I was caught here).After MSV came to studio,he had a smile on his face and as the lyrics matched the tune perfectly,he went ahead with composition with the same lyrics.

There was an argument between Vaali and MSV while composing a song.MSV challenged Vaali for a song and said if Vaali could impress MSV,he would give him his gold ornaments.Vaali accepted the challenge and gave the lyrics to MSV,in return MSV gave his gold chain to Vaali as he was highly impressed with the lyrics,which then Vaali politely refused.So much respect he had for lyrics. Vaali himself has struggled a lot to establish himself in industry.Vaali was highly talented,but he was waiting for the right opportunity.After he wrote for the MGR starer 'Padagotti' for which MSV was the music director,Vaali became a 'star' lyricist.Infact,MSV has recommended Vaali's name to many producers and Vaali himself has written this.Not only to Vaali,MSV gave break to great singers like SPB,Vani Jayaram etc.

People said with Ilaiyaraja's entry into Tamil Cinema,MSV's domination ended.But the reality was different. With Ilaiyaraja's entry, Tamil people's love for Hindi songs faded away as Ilaiyaraja's tunes were fresh.Undoubtedly Ilaiyaraja went on to become a trendsetter and rightly he is being called as the 'Isaignani'(musical genius).With time,people's taste changes and trend changes accordingly. Ilaiyaraja could only create a place for himself(which none can replace),but his rise could not sideline MSV.Viswanathan continued to compose music and gave memorable songs. Just like that one cannot compose 16 songs for a movie - Ninaithale Inikkum and make all the 16 as super hit songs. Once MSV was invited as chief guest in a college.Ilaiyaraja was at a peak at that time.When MSV went to stage,students started screaming 'sing Siva Sambo'(Sambo Siva Sambo is a song from the movie Ninaithale Inikkum).MSV said,'wait wait I will definitely sing Siva Sambo' while going to stage. Even after Ilaiyaraja's entry, MSV continued his golden touch with movies like Ninaithale Inikkum,Billa,Simla Special,Thillu Mullu,Varumayin Niram Sivappu,Thirisoolam,Ranuva Veeran etc.

MSV worked with Ilaiyaraja too in the movies 'Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu' and 'Vishwa Thulasi'. He is not only a great music director,but also a great singer.He sang many songs for other music directors.'Unakkenna kuraichal' from Velli Vizha music by V Kumar,Vidaikodu Engal Naade from Kannathil Muthamittal and AalaalaKandaa from Sangamam music by A R Rahman,Megame from Madrasapattinam music by G V Prakash etc.Madrasapattinam released in 2010. MSV's voice had the magic till his last breath.God's gift.

MSV was one among the very music directors who used the instruments perfectly. The piano usage in songs like 'Paaduvor paadinaal aada thondrum'(Kannan en Kadhalan),'Enakkoru Kadhali Irukkindraal'(Muthana Muthallavo),'Ellorum nalam vaazha'(Enga Mama),Saxaphone usage after every line in the song 'Kalyana naal paarkka sollalama'(Parakkum Paavai),violin usage in 'Engey Nimmadhi'(Puthiya Paravai) etc. are genius work by him.These are all just samples.

MSV along with T K Ramamoorthy has given 'n' number of hit songs.T K Ramamoorthy was a master in Violin while MSV was a master in Harmonium.The song 'Engey Nimmadhi' held the record for using more number of violins those days.Puthiya Paravai was an altogether different experience. It was a thriller and the song 'Paartha Nyaabagam Illayo' with a haunting humming and terrific instrument usage would have definitely frightened some people those days.I didn't have the privilege of watching it in theaters as the movie released 23 years before I was born.Last month Jaya TV telecasted Puthiya Paravai,still the movie has not lost its charisma to attract new age audience too. You should watch this song to understand this :

Many songs like Koduthadhellam Koduthaan(Padagotti),Athai Madi Methayadi(Karpagam),Ullathil Nalla Ullam(Karnan),Nenjam Marappadhillai(Nenjam Marappadhillai),Sonnadhu Neethaana(Nenjil Or Aalayam),Senthamizhthen Mozhiyaal(Maalayitta Mangai),Manaivi Amaivadhellam(Manmadha Leelai),Kadavul Amaithu Vaitha Medai,Deivam Thandha Veeda(Avaloru Thodarkadhai), Vetri meedhu vetri vandhu(Thedi Vandha Mappillai),Odum Megangale,Adho andha paravai pola(Aayirathil Oruvan),Kettadhum koduppavane Krishna Krishna,Deivame(Deiva Magan), Madhavi Pon Mayilaal thogai viriththaal(Iru Malargal),Puthiya Vaanam,Rajavin Paarvai Raniyin pakkam(Anbe Vaa), Manithanenbavan(Sumaithangi), Paramasivan Kazhuthilirundhu(Soorya Gandhi),Pazhamudhir Solayile,Anbulla Maanvizhiye(Kuzhanthayum Deivamum),Adisaya Raagam,Yezhu Swarangaliley,Kelviyin Nayagane(Aboorva Raagangal) etc etc etc. I can keep typing his hit songs. To list out his hit songs itself I can write atleast 5 blog posts.

He has composed music for devotional songs like Pullanguzhal Kodutha Moongilgale.He has composed music for the song 'Allah Allah nee illadhe idame illai neethaane ulagin ellai' and he himself sang this song. This song was composed for the movie 'Mohammed Bin Thuglak'.The lyrics for this song was written by Vaali.The then CM MGR was not happy with MSV composing music for this movie as it was a political satire.MSV was very close to MGR,but that didn't stop him from working for this movie.

He has composed music for over 1700 movies in Tamil,Malayalam,Kannada and Hindi.The nation should have celebrated him like anything and he should have got a Bharata Ratna during his lifetime itself.Unfortunately,he was not even honored with a Padma award.Not sure what was wrong with the juries.Vani Jayaram got national award for the best playback singer category for the movie Aboorva Raagangal(music by MSV),but M S Viswanathan did not get the award.Ofcourse Vani Jayaram deserves it,no doubt about that. During a felicitation function(I think it was for A R Rahman),people raised the concerns of MSV not being honored with national/padma awards.But Mr.Viswanathan gracefully said,'the love and affection of fans is my biggest award.I could see so many people getting award in the industry,I am so happy about it.'.So what if the successive govts didn't give him any award? That will not degrade him,that has only made those awards meaningless. Today a leading Tamil daily mentioned about MSV's proximity to MGR and Kalaignar Karunanidhi,but still he has not got an award.Had he considered these awards so important,easily he could have 'got' it by making MGR or Kalaignar to recommend his name.But he didn't do that,man of self-respect. Ms.Jayalalithaa is the only Chief Minister to recommend his name for Padma awards,but the central govts as usual ignored a legend from Tamil Nadu.If MSV doesn't deserve these awards then who else deserves them? MSV is on par with legends like Naushad Ali.Because MSV was not given these awards,only the awards lost its respect.

M S Viswanathan was not only a great music director but also a nice person.He has never spoken anything against anyone.MSV took care of his Guru Mr.S M Subbaiah Naidu(he was a great music director as well) and his wife till the end of their life.Royal Salute!!!

The song 'Vaaraayo thozhi vaaraayo' is a common song in marriages happening in Tamil Nadu and also for some other happy occasions. Music was composed by MSV.So MSV will be behind the happiness of people of future generations too.MSV composed music for 'Thamizhththaai Vaazhththu'(தமிழ்த்தாய் வாழ்த்து) and even today school children sing Thamizhththaai Vaazhththu in the same tune. As long Tamil is alive,people will sing Thamizhththai Vaazhththu and as long as people sing it,MSV will be remembered.Tamil is immortal and so is MSV.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bahubali - The Epic

The most expected movie of the year - Bahubali,directed by S S Rajamouli, has finally hit the silver screens.I watched the Tamil version.Rajamouli gained popularity all over India after his fantasy flick Magadheera - starring Ram Charan.The dubbed version itself was well received among even non-Telugu speaking audience.Then he went on with Eega(Naan-E in Tamil and it was not a dubbing, but a bilingual),which again went on to become a super hit.Now he has made Bahubali as a bilingual again(some say its trilingual - Tamil,Telugu and Hindu,but not sure).What's Bahubali all about? I can answer in one word - Grandeur.Ofcourse Bahubali has more to offer.

Well in the name of review,I don't want to reveal too much about the story. Infact,more than story it is the narration and the visuals that keeps us engaged till the end.This is how the movie goes on - the tribal people see a hand carrying a kid in water,asking for help.The kid is brought up by Rohini and she names him Shivudu. The boy keeps asking whats there in the hills behind waterfalls and he attempts to climb that hill many times,but he fails.Needless to say,who that kid is - hero Prabhas. One fine day he sees an angel like girl calling singing and dancing at him,Somehow he climbs the hill and finds out a rebel group.Who are they?What's their goal?How Prabhas joins them and what he finds out? This is what Bahubali part-1 is all about.

Rajamouli's screenplay has more scope for 'mass' scenes than any suspense element.Performance-wise everyone has done their part very well.Tamanna as Avantika, has tried her best to act as a rebel.Her angry expressions and fights justify her casting.Other heroine Anushka as Devasenai, has less footage compared to Tamanna, but its a powerful character.Anushka's make-up and dialogues are well received by the masses. The very first scene when Anushka was shown,people started whistling.Glad to see a heroine having such a mass appeal,especially when her character is not an usual glamorous one.Sathyaraj rocked as Kattappa - the loyal slave.In one scene Sathyaraj fights with 'Kicha' Sudeep.It was choreographed very well.The energy shown by Sathyaraj in that scene makes it a treat to watch.Sudeep as Aslam,comes in just 1 scene.He may get more footage in second part it seems.Still I doubt it as he gets a special 'Thanks' in the title card.

Palvaalthevan(Rana) is a ruthless king.He kills his own people,tries to kill his cousin,doesn't mind people dying when his 100 feet gold statue is raised.Such is his lust for power.He looks good and has a good screenpresence.He had to work really hard to be accepted as a villain.His hard work paid off. Prabhas as Bahubali and Shiva fits to the character perfectly.He is not such a big mass hero, but his tall and strong physique is appealing.His physqiue makes some scenes like lifting the Shiva statue believable.There are mass scenes for Prabhas.His entry into the Magizhmadhi kingdom is the best sequence. Theater erupted to a thunderous response for the golden statue scene.There are more mass scenes like his walk after chopping off the head of a prince,lifting the Shiva Lingam,fighting in battle field etc.

Rajamouli has shown the quality called 'Rajabakthi'(people's devotion towards the king) very well.I have read this in novels as well,how a 'good' king will be treated by the people of his country.In one word - he will be treated like a God.We can see that from the expressions of people.It was so natural especially in the statue lifting scene.

CGI work was ok,not bad.It could have been bit better,but with an Indian budget,we have to compromise on this aspect.Flying scenes,the snow ride etc were bit amateur.But the battlefield scenes are the highlight of the movie.It was picturised so well that one could feel as if he is returning from real battlefield. Of course, one can argue that there are better Hollywood movies.Always there will be a better option,without comparison I can say the battle scene was marvelous.The funny language of 'Kalakeyas',the competition between Rana and Prabhas to outsmart each other in defeating the enemy to get crowned,Prabhas' inspirational speech and the grand sets and CGI work makes the battlefield scene a mind blowing experience. 

There will be comparisons between Magadheera and Bahubali.The question of whether Bahubali is better than Magadheera is unavoidable.Magadheera cannot be called as a period film as only the flashback portions involve all those wars and kingdoms.But Bahubali is completely a period film. Magadheera had a reference to Sagapthiya Vamsam, people of which will kill atleast 100 people before their death in wars to save the country, with the hero Ram Charan himself playing a warrior from Sagapthiya Vamsam. Bahubali has Kattappa,a strong and bold warrior,who is capable of saving the entire kingdom,but remains a slave to kings due to the promise of his ancestors.Magadheera had electrifying scenes like confrontation between Ram Charan and SriHari,RamCharan and DevGill etc. Bahubali doesn't have such confrontation scenes with villain directly.Probably I should say till now we didn't see such a scene as the movie is still not over.The director gives a clear lead to second part in the climax.Otherwise both the movies follows the 'mass template' faithfully. There are scenes of head chopping,item song etc in both the movies.Magadheera had better songs compared to Bahubali. But Maragatha Mani's BGM gives the much needed mass feel.

I have written about almost all the important characters except Ramya Krishnan.She deserves a special write up.16 years ago,her Neelampari character was a huge hit among masses.Her acting had such a reach that people teared off the screens in some theaters because she insulted Rajni(in movie). In these 16 years she has done many movies,but her Sivagami character in Bahubali creates the same impact.You get goosebumps when she feeds both the babies and says both are her sons(Rana and Prabhas), runs the kingdom in the absence of an able king,fights the traitors,brings up the children. The crowning scene was terrific.Ramya understood the character very well and has given what it actually needs.She stands up tall,with a proud smile on her face praises one prince and crowns the other.If I remember correctly only Ramya speaks punch dialogues,ex 'adhuve en kattalai,enadhu kattalaye Saasanam'.Splendid performance.If you ask me to watch it a second time,without any second thought I would go mainly because of Ramya Krishnan.She has lived as Raj Mata. I am sure Ramya will have a part in second part too.

We should ignore people who sit in home and say "my uncle's sister's friend's brother's daughter texted me 'Bahubali' is average,so its average".We have seen movies like this since black and white days.MGR's 'Adimaippen' had somewhat similar script.But that we can say for any movie. Bahubali is a tested and tried formula script with grand visuals and soulful performances.Royal salute to Rajamouli for making the characters speak proper Tamil.Credit goes to Karky(dialogue writer) as well. Its not only a visual treat but its epic. Go for it!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Papanasam - Recreates the 'Drishyam' Magic

Papanasam is a faithful remake of the malayalam classic 'Drishyam'.I am writing this review after watching both the movies - Papanasam and Drishyam.Before watching Papanasam,I had an opinion that it was highly impossible to recreate the magic of Mohan Lal's Drishyam. There were reasons for that.Be it Mohan Lal or Meena or the children who acted as their daughters or even the Muslim who runs the tea-shop,their performances were very natural. On the other hand,I thought Kamal may overact and spoil the character in an attempt to overtake MohanLal.There were many who thought like this.But 'Papanasam' gave a tight slap to us.We felt like Kamal through his 'Choyambulingam' character saying 'chinna pasangala yaar kitta?' to us.

Remaking a classic, which was also commercial blockbuster, is like walking on a tight rope. That too, Drishyam is a complicated case.Mohan Lal's George Kutty character doesn't demand any special appearance or loud dialogues.George Kutty is a common man, who earned all his properties by sheer hardwork and leads a happy life with his family.How he faces a difficult situation and how he overcomes it.That is what the protagonist of Drishyam or Papanasam is supposed to do.When Mohan Lal has already done this perfectly,the task of doing this role again in a different language is going to be a real challenge.Kamal took up the challenge.

The story is simple.Choyambulingam(Kamal) is an ordinary man,who has come up on his own, marries Gautami without getting any dowry.He has 2 daughters.At times voices out against the corrupt policeman(Kalabavan Mani).One day his family faces an unexpected problem.What the problem is?Is Choyambulingam able to solve it?If yes, how? This is what Papanasam is all about.Recently,we have seen lot of thriller/horror movies.In such movies, the screenplay will revolve around an incident and the audience will be left guessing - 'who is behind the incident?'.But Papanasam is a different thriller.Here you will be tempted to know what will be the next move of the protagonist rather than thinking 'what would have happened when the incident took place'.You will understand this while watching the movie. 

Biggest success of Papanasam is its casting and performance.Baby Esther and Asha Sarath played the same roles in original version as well.I thought Gautami is a miscast after watching Meena.I felt Meena had a better screenpresence than Gautami,but that did not spoil the character.
Gautami has done well.Hope she gets more offers after Papanasam. The elder daughter Niveda,corrupt policeman Kalabhavan Mani,Ilavarasu as constable, Arul Dass as sub-inspector have done well too.Nothing was artificial.Baby Esther's eyes, expressions and dialogue delivery would leave you spellbound. Asha Sarath as a tough police officer and a caring mother has done exceedingly well.It seems she is doing acting in this role for third time( after Malayalam and Kannada versions).

 But it was M.S.Bhaskar as the tea-shop owner stood out.He was damn brilliant.People will usually say 'he lived as that character',that sentence will suit Mr.Bhaskar very well.His local slang,expressions,body language etc proves his quality.I can proudly call myself as a fan of this actor.He was terrific in movies like Mozhi,Uttama Villain etc.Compared to those movies,he has less footage in Papanasam,but he has proved his mettle in this role too.Other than M S Bhaskar,I feel one more character has come out very well in Tamil - Anant Mahadevan's Prabhakar,who comes as husband of Asha Sarath.He was impressive with his innocent expressions and body language.This particular character alone I feel Tamil version is better than Malayalam.

Ghibran's BGM and songs are pleasing.The background music is neither too loud nor quiet. Ghibran has given as much as the situation demands.Sujith's cinematography takes you to Papanasam itself.Lovely visuals.'Yeya En Kottikara' song has a soothing music and pleasant visuals.

 I have mentioned lot of positives about the movie,but Kamal as Choyambulingam elevates the standard of movie.Full credit to director Jeethu Joseph.Though he has directed the original version,it is not easy to create the same impact again.Handling Mohan Lal and Kamal has its own advantages and difficulties.They are known for their acting skills,so it is quite normal for even an average movie-goer to expect some impressive performance. The advantage is they are capable of doing it,difficulty is extracting it perfectly.The director has mastered the art it seems. 

There are some scenes which are enough to differentiate Mohan Lal and Kamal.Mohan Lal shows an unimaginable calmness in his face and his body language conveys the message 'you have underestimated me and you are going to pay for it'. The same scene,Kamal does bit differently.He just gives a sarcastic look towards the police. It was like saying 'now you might have understood who Choyambulingam is'. Audience were crazily whistling and clapping for this particular scene.Again in climax, Mohan Lal maintains his calmness on his face still we are able to notice the tears in his eyes.Here too his expressions and body language says,'yes,it may be wrong.even we are not happy with that,but there was no other option,for me my family is important'. Whereas Kamal was completely different from Mohan Lal in climax.He starts of kind of normally, gradually he gets emotional and suddenly he breaks-down.Splendid performance it was. In short, Mohan Lal and Kamal have acted differently but with complete perfection. Those who have watched Drishyam and Papanasam will never say Kamal was better than Mohan Lal or Mohan Lal was better than Kamal.

There is another important point about this script.Anant Mahadevan once says 'our son is misusing your affection'.Parents should control their children - both son and daughter. When parents fail to control their children on some aspects,they will only end up suffering.Just because someone is a 'son',he doesn't get the license to do some 'small' mistakes. Ignoring some 'serious' mischief of the 'sons' is the starting point for most of the crimes in the society.

As I have mentioned in the title, the Kamal-Jeethu Joseph combination has recreated the 'Drishyam' magic in Papanasam too.Instead of walking out of theaters, when the hero does not fight with the villains using muscle power and uses his brains,the audience are whistling clapping like anything.Papanasam is going to be a huge hit for Kamal and undoubtedly this is the best movie of Kamal in the last 12 years.To be honest,I don't find any negative points in this movie.It is flawless. If you are a fan of good cinema,without any second thought,book your tickets for Papanasam.