05 March, 2021

Probe Into Jayalalitha's Death Is A Political Spectacle

The Arumugaswamy panel is probing the medical care given to Jayalalitha before her death in December 2016

AIADMK supporters pay homage to their departed leader
Photograph by Getty Images
Probe Into Jayalalitha's Death Is A Political Spectacle

Death bears a certain dignity in its wake, a peacable closure, even when a person’s life has been buffeted by the crests and troughs of public life lived under a polarising glare. But not if the person in question is Jayalalitha, with claimants vying for her throne, and after a close aide is sent to jail for amassing wealth and still wants to control the party from prison. And certainly not when a roving inquiry is ord­ered into the exact cause of her death and is used to settle political scores.

If Jayalalitha’s 75-day hospital stay before her death on Dec­em­ber 5, 2016, was marked by lies and misdirection about her medical condition, the aftermath is suffu­sed with stunning revelations. The Arumugaswamy Inq­uiry Com­­­­mission probing the treatment given to the former Tamil Nadu CM is proving to be the occasion for a public washing of dirty linen. Though held behind closed doors, regular briefings by the deponents, their lawyers or strategic leaks keep headlines boiling.

The latest fusillade has seen the...

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