Sunday, Aug 14, 2022
Outlook.com
Last Page

Kanchipuram Diary

There's more to the town than sleaze, scandal and silk and Jayendra Saraswati's made a quiet comeback

Kanchipuram Diary
Kanchipuram Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Math-raking

My first brush with Kanchi­puram was as an Outlook reporter in August 2001. I was investigating the charge that the CEO of the district, Jayendra Saraswati, had seg­re­ga­ted hostels for Brahmin and non-Brahmin stu­de­nts in the engineering college under the San­kara math. The math had by then acquired hos­pitals, erected a deemed university (with P.V. Narasimha Rao’s abiding grace) and was plan­ning an IT Park. I filed the report proving how the seg­re­ga­tion was indeed true, but within days, 9/11 hap­p­ened. The story never app­ea­red. I revisited the town in 2003 when Jayendra began med­dling in the Ayodhya-Babri dispute at the behest of the then BJP government. Soon, in September 2004, A. San­ka­raraman, a former math fun­c­tion­ary, was hacked in the premises of Varadarajaperumal temple. Chief minister Jayalalitha (of the extra a) decided, for once, that the law could take its course. Jaye­n­dra became the first accused. While the sub­sequent Kar­una­nidhi regime weakened the case, Amma was exp­ected to tighten the scr­ews again. But she got busy attending to other loose screws. Today, pos­ters near the math herald Jayendra’s 78th birth year. He has made a quiet comeback.


Outlook Newsletters

Photo Gallery

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.