Attack Pandi Apprehended; Siege Selvam, Destroy Durai Still on the Loose

When the leader of a newspaper office-burning mob turns out to be named Attack Pandi, is Tamil cinema reflecting reality or is it the other way around?


Attack Pandi (in white) was found hiding in the belly of this police constable

On the morning of May 9, 2007, the Tamil daily Dinakaran hit the stands with the results of a poll of its readers as to which of his two sons would succeed 84 year-old Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to the leadership of the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), currently in power in Tamil Nadu. The elder son, Stalin, is headquartered in Chennai, while the younger Azhagiri is Madurai-based.

Mr. Azhagiri, the survey found, scored six per cent in Madurai, the city he regards as his bastion; two per cent Statewide; and a humiliating zero per cent in Chennai. M.K. Stalin, younger brother and political rival of Mr. Azhagiri, notched up 70 per cent across the State; 68 per cent in Chennai; and a whopping 67 per cent in Madurai. An unnamed category, "Others," was shown as scoring 20 per cent Statewide and 31 per cent in Chennai (The Hindu).

Within a few hours, a pro-Azhagiri mob attacked and burned down the Dinakaran office in Madurai, completely destroying it and killing three of its employees in the process - three lives lost for what, in the end, turned out to be a power struggle within the DMK party.

Tamil Nadu politics have, for the past 35 years, been dominated by two political parties: the DMK and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Each party has built up a formidable media empire consisting of print journalism and television networks to act as mouthpieces for its political agenda. The DMK's media empire, of which Dinakaran is a part, is mostly controlled by party members Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi Maran, sons of the late Murasoli Maran (Karunanidhi's nephew).

What infuriated Karunanidhi was that Dinakaran published the poll, part of a "mega survey" covering various subjects, even after he had specifically set his face against its publication; he had sent word to Dinakaran's office not to publish it and also got in touch with the newspaper's management on phone (Frontline).

The fact that the poll results were published in defiance of Karunanidhi's wishes led to the party's leadership taking the decision to remove Dayanidhi Maran from his post as Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology. There is plenty more to read about the DMK's internal dynamics, but I just wanted to touch on them because they're integral to understanding what I find to be the most disgusting aspect of this story, which is the total inaction of the police during the May 9 attack.

With Mr. Azhagiri operating as an extra-constitutional authority in Madurai district ever since the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government came to power last year, the police were reluctant to act against the goons — who were led by known members of the Azhagiri faction. Shockingly, top police officers chose to wait for "political clearance" from the Chief Minister's Office before deciding to stop the attackers. By the time a shocked Mr. Karunanidhi gave the go-ahead to the police, the situation had spiralled out of control, leaving two employees and a security guard of the media group dead (The Hindu).


Police watch as the mob ransacks the Dinakaran office

The fact that the police were confused as to whether or not to take action against blatant criminal violence simply because the perpetrators were known to be cadres of the ruling party reveals how pathetic the condition of law enforcement is. The police very clearly had the numbers to stop the mob and prevent those three deaths, yet they felt compelled to make sure that they had the authority and clearance to stop this particular violent mob. For the love of God.

And to top it all off, outside the office a little while before Attack Pandi lived up to his name, the MAYOR OF MADURAI, G. Thenmozhi, was seen rattling the gates while her comrade burned a copy of the paper:

Saying goodbye to Madurai became a whole lot easier after this crap.

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Comments

The generous belly of the cop

The generous belly of the cop in the photo reminded me of this wonderful joke in Ananda Vikatan of days yore, based on a movie which had been recently released:

Cops are chasing a thief who bounds over a wall and escapes. One observers wonders to another, "Avanga ein thirudana thorattaratha niruthitaanga?" (why did they stop chasing the thief?), to which the other replies, "Ithu thaanda police!"

Really???? Thats the Mayor of

Really???? Thats the Mayor of Madurai?????
I'm speechless!!!

Great blog post, I can't

Great blog post, I can't believe that dudes name though..lol

Is there going to be any

Is there going to be any justice to those who died. I want all the accused tried for murder and all other charges. There must be so many eyewitnessess in this case. This case would be over in two days in most western countries, but in tamilnadu it takes weeks to arrest the accused, and then the case goes for years and finally the judge rules not guilty. This is very sad, are we livinbg in a civilised world or not. Where else in a democracy will you see injustice like this. Those three people who died were fathers, sons and brothers and alagiri and his goons have no right to take a life and they should be put behind jail. The day tamilnadu law enforcement and judicary stands upto the ruling party comes we will have to live in this barbaric, cruel, uneducated state. How many cases will the CBI have to take because the local police is so biased. This is a total shame on the country and the state of tamilnadu. I wonder what karunanidhi thinks about justice fr the three people who died.

I wonder if it's the same

I wonder if it's the same goons who are the vigorous defenders of 'tamil culture' at every opportunity?

[...] of you curious about

[...] of you curious about the fate of Attack Pandi, antagonist in a previous post, need look no [...]

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