Tamil folk singer Kovan held for derogatory lyrics against CM Jayalalithaa, slapped with sedition charge!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Tamil Nadu government of J. Jayalalithaa does not seem to take chances as the state is getting ready for the poll next year and it applies brakes to all possible anti-government tirades seeking to weaken her and AIADMK’s image.
Politics in Tamil Nadu, as usual, takes turns and twists as Tamil Nadu Chief minister and actor turned politician J. Jayalalithaa is all out to retain power at any cost and deny it to her arch foe DMK chief, and former CM K. Karunanidhi and his son MK Stalin, the CM candidate announced by the party chief Karunanidhi.
DMK party under MK. Stalin is being geared up for the poll, focusing on snatching power from the AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa while many other parties led by actor turned politicians like Vijayakanth and PMK leader former Union minister Anbumani, also a CM candidate, are busy meeting the people explaining about the freebies of Jayalalithaa to fool the Tamil masses and take way the valuable votes. They complain she has no time for governance and makes only announcements. Not only prices are shooting up, many towns and villages in the state are kept in darkness without electricity supply, notwithstanding electricity generation at Kudankulam nuclear plant considered by most sensible people as a serious threat to their won existence.
Meanwhile, CM Jayalalithaa is already in soup with a serious corruption case in the Supreme Court hanging around her neck as she is likely to be removed from power even before the poll is announced and put in jail again. She was, earlier, wrongfully released from jail in Karnataka by a faulty judgment by Justice Kumaraswamy and many politicians and lawyers say she could have bribed the judge to deliver a bad judgment.
Jayalalithaa knows all tricks of the political trade. The final judgment is expected any time now and hence she wants only positive statements about her and she is very cautious about the need to block all opposition voices.
On Friday the Oct 30 the cybercrime police in Tamil Nadu arrested a folk singer for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in lyrics he has written. A police team from Chennai nabbed the singer, S Sivadas alias Kovan (45), from his house at Maruthanda Kurichi near Tiruchi at 2am. He was brought to Chennai for further inquiry.
Police said Kovan had been associated with the Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam, an outfit involved in revolutionary activities in the state. They said he had written lyrics spreading revolutionary ideas and demanding closure of Tasmac shops (liquor shops) in the state where he made derogatory remarks against Jayalalithaa. The video of the song –“Oorkku oorkku sarayam” — was uploaded online. Kovan had been booked under various sections of the IPC, including 124 (A) (sedition).
Meanwhile, advocate Jim Raj Milton said the police had not allowed meeting Kovan in Chennai. Milton said he had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras high court in this regard, and the court would take it up in the afternoon.
What happened to S Kovan, a 45-year-old folk singer from Trichy, in the early hours of Friday has a lot in common with the plot of India’s entry to Oscars 2016, Court. The movie portrays the ordeal of a Dalit activist-poet, who challenges the establishment through his songs and is subsequently held responsible for the suicide of a sewage cleaner.
In Kovan’s case, the Tamil Nadu police Friday slapped sedition charges on him for songs he penned against the J Jayalalithaa-led Tamil Nadu government and its liquor policy. Officials said the Cyber Crime Police picked up Kovan from his house in Woraiyur near Trichy at 2.30 am.
Kovan heads the cultural wing of Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam or People’s Art and Literary Association, a 30-year-old movement working for the weaker sections of society. The cultural wing routinely performs folk songs and street plays on socio-economic issues. Kovan was reportedly arrested for the lyrics of two songs he had penned in the last few months, ‘Moodu Tasmac Moodu’
It seems, the state Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, was critical of the defamatory remarks together with the video sharing on the internet. However, a treason case has been registered against Kovan. From his home near Tiruchirapalli in Marutanta Kuricci he arrested at 2 am this morning and was brought to Chennai. She is being questioned, ” he said. He did not allow himself to meet in Chennai his lawyer said Jim Milton. Konarvu filed a petition in the Madras High Court in this regard. The case is being taken up for hearing in the afternoon today.
It is easy for the governments in India to call any opposition as terrorist gangs and punish them. Sedition is a very serious matter concerning national security but asking government to implement liquor ban is not an act of sedition. State intolerance against criticism is increasing in India the Tamil Nadu government is just an example. The arrest of folk singer Kovan at midnight from his house for singing a song that might have annoyed and exposed CM Jayalalithaa. It is a serious issue concerning human rights in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere in India.
Indian PM Modi should have condemned this and asked Jayalalithaa to release the poet forthwith, but he himself is intolerant to criticism of any kind and also shields his ministers with corruption charges.