Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ram's 'Hindu' Land & Anticipatory Bail

No, this is not about Lord Ram, whom the Social Genius calls a “Divine encroacher”. This is about another Ram who has almost encroached. The Coimbatore police have filed an FIR against N. Ram of The Hindu and others in a case of trespass, coercion and other offences. The case has its origins in 2004 when Kasturi & Sons Ltd. (KSL) sold controlling stakes in a company of KSL to Cheran Enterprises, a firm of K.C. Palanasmi, AIADMK member, agriculturalist and entrepreneur. Seems after the sale in 2004 the land prices skyrocketed and since then Palanasami seems to have been frequently harassed and threatened into reversing the sale by KSL and their goons. The pressure on Palanasami to reverse the sale and return the land to KSL appears to have gotten worse after the DMK came to power in 2006. The FIR also names Jyothimani, son-in law of Karunanidhi’s daughter Selvi. So there you are, a terrible nexus of big media house and a political party in a land grabbing attempt. Together they put their "wiseguys" into action. When I called our MSM India’s biggest mafia there were good reasons for it and The Hindu group just added one more.

The story was reported mildly in January 2012 by a few newspapers and the headline typically was: “N. Ram denies charges of land grabbing”.  The Hindustan Times (see pic) reported on January 26, 2012 (summarised):

Former AIADMK MP KC Palanisami accused N Ram of The Hindu and some directors of KSL of criminal intimidation and landgrabbing. In a complaint to the state DGP and Chennai city police commissioner, he alleged that Ram was using coercive tactics to force him to part with a property worth Rs.400 crore for Rs.30 crore. N Ram dismissed the allegations and said KSL will sue Palanisami for making wild allegations. "We have a dossier on him documenting his past, and court observations against him. We will sue him and all media outfits that carried the scandalous falsehood. He is also a habitual retractor," Ram told HT. Palanasami said in 2004 KSL sold him two companies which owned properties including a golf course running on losses. But as soon as land price began to rise, the company wanted to buy back the properties at a significantly low cost.  “After the government changed in Tamil Nadu in 2006 the pressure began to mount," alleged Palanisami. "I had lodged a police complaint and recorded my statement with a magistrate. Till now there has been no action," he added.

The FIR (Click to enlarge)
Well, things seem to have turned a different corner when the DMK was voted out and AIADMK returned to power in 2011. But the latest story, which was first reported by a little known Tamil newspaper Savukku, has taken a turn for the worse. The Coimbatore police have filed an FIR (No.85/2012, Serial No.C-0161685) on September 24 and charged Ram and others under sections 120-B, 457 and 395. The report states the maximum punishment under section 395 is life imprisonment. (Read the Savukku report in Tamil or have it translated). The only other newspaper to report these events, till the time of writing, is The Pioneer. All other newspapers seem to be wondering if they should report it or not.

The media, with their Unions of Snakes, like the NBA, is quite well known to cover up their own crimes. It is likely this news will be suppressed too. Mind you, this is no minor squabble or dispute. After years of being harassed and threatened the AIADMK member has finally managed to get the FIR registered by police. Even more importantly, N. Ram was not reachable for comment according to the Pioneer. Here’s what The Pioneer states: “Though Ram’s office was contacted for his version of the report, his secretary said that he was out of town. But Ram had filed an anticipatory bail plea with the Madras High Court which adjourned the case to October 3”. Hmm.. so from rubbishing all charges and even threatening to sue for defamation N. Ram is not reachable for comment. A former editor of The Hindu, a major newspaper, and a director in the company has been reduced to seeking Anticipatory bail. I wonder if they should at least now change the name of the paper from ‘The Hindu’ to ‘The Realtor’. That would be far more appropriate since the paper doesn’t seem even remotely Hindu.

So that’s our politico-media complex; the so called fourth estate indulging in real estate skulduggery. Now, imagine if the DMK had not lost power in 2011. I wonder if the case would have progressed and Palanisami would have managed to register the FIR or even retain his land. I have serious doubts. There have been whispers of shady real estate dealings of quite a few media houses. One hopes a new govt will investigate the crooks.

Had it been anyone else, especially a political member from the Opposition to UPA or a business outfit not so obliging with advertisements, the news would have been flashed over a thousand times as Breaking News on all TV channels: ‘N. Ram seeks anticipatory bail in land-grab case”. But hey, there’s a reason why you don’t find that headline on any channel or major newspapers. Just as N.Ram mentions he has a “dossier” on Palanisami maybe he has dossiers on other media houses too. And maybe other media houses have their own real estate crimes to hide too. After all, didn’t the Old Monk say “Hammam mein sab nange hai”? 


  1. Here's what an advertiser told me the other day. The media is just a business of blackmailers. He was referring to media leeches that were trying to fatten themselves on his blood, demanding anything from tens of thousands to much more to not post anything negative and hurt his business, even if he has solid products and happy consumers.

    Publishers often threaten businesses with printing something or the other unless the proprietor coughs up. Especially two-bit local papers which run almost entirely off the blackmailing business. The big boys do it too, but on a classier level.

    And ofcourse the field journalists of the big papers or channels blackmail fewer but bigger people. The more supposedly important the news channel, the more money the journalist can make off the blackmail business.

    The mainstream media has been campaigning for control on the social media. But with all the behind the scenes thievery going on, perhaps it is time for curbs to be placed on the mainstream media first.

  2. Ram of The Hindu is actually Sakuni of Mahabharata!

  3. Please do write about Hindi media...deeds of Naidunia and Bhaskar in Indore and MP and their alliance with political parties on both ends combined with real estate and mine deals will make N Ram appear a gentleman

  4. Let's see what happens next. I feel the title would have been more secular if it reads { 'The Hindu' Ram's Land and his anticipatory bill }.

  5. And why the hell should it be secular manish?. Is it a crime to say "Ram" in India the land of the Ramayana?.

  6. This could be well the proverbial last straw for his credibility; personal one I mean, journalistic credibility, he lost long back, and there is no hope for The Hindu to get out of his clutches; now that he has installed his American Communist puppet, Vardhabhai as the E-in-C. NR is the perfect ventriloquist.

    - Another loyal reader of 30 years who still can't find an alternative

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