08 May, 2021

Riddles Under The Thick Veil

A probe into Jayalalitha’s death is set to begin. Will it get caught in the labyrinth of vendetta politics?

V.K. Sasikala by J. Jayalalitha’s body
Photograph by PTI
Riddles Under The Thick Veil

Amid the end-September heat in Tamil Nadu, a senior state minister let it out that last year the government was only parroting unauthorised sources while updating the public about the health of J. Jayalalitha as the chief minister. Dindigul Srinivasan, who holds the forest portfolio, even apologised to the people for lying that the sinking AIADMK supremo had eaten idlis during her hospitalisation. “What we told you is not true, as we never got to see Amma,” he revealed at an open Madurai meeting as part of the centenary celebrations of late CM M.G. Ramachandran. The officials were simply quoting what they were told by Jayalalitha aide V.K. Sasikala and her family, who “never gave us acc­ess”, added Srinivasan.

For a tropical state that loves its idlis with chutney-sambar, a minister pleading guilty for imaginary rice-cakes was both unpalatable and tough to digest. Indignation manifested itself in various ways including humour, gifting meme creators a field day. One said thus: “If Jayalalitha did not eat that idli, who really ate it?”...

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