Chennai: The ‘ethayum thaangum idhayam’ (brave heart) was demonstrated in the toughest of situations by DMK working president M. K. Stalin as he harrowed along through Tuesday night when the party lawyers toiled before the First Bench of the Madras High Court for the Marina resting place for his father Karunanidhi.
And when the court verdict reached the Rajaji Hall, where he stood shattered next to the body while the thousands of party followers and Kalaignar fans streamed along to pay last respects in the morning, he could not contain the burst of tears.
He tried his best to control his himself but soon gave up. As he broke down, former Union Minister A. Raja tried to support him from one side while DMK senior Durai Murugan offered his chest to rest the sobbing face of the grieving son. Sister Kanimozhi quickly reached an arm to comfort.
Was it happiness amid such horrid sorrow, or was it simple relief after the State’s insensitive rejection of the plea for the patriarch’s burial next to his mentor?
Scores of others in the party leadership on the steps lining up to the coffin at the Rajaji Hall and the crowd below burst into applause when the news of the court verdict was announced by former Mayor Ma.Subramanian, who said dharmam vendradu (justice won).
Elsewhere at a defence airstrip not far away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi waited in his military chopper for the court verdict. Perhaps he did not want to risk another black flag demonstration like the one he had faced on his last Chennai trip; for, many DMK sloganeers had been shouting abuse at the BJP and the RSS, unfairly though, blaming both for the state government refusing permission for the Marina burial.
It was thus good for most that the High Court chose to look beyond mere legal arguments, coastal norms and statute books while deciding to go by public sentiment and pure logic. In deciding in favour of the DMK plea, the Bench took note of the petitions that had been earlier filed objecting to memorials at the Marina and asked the unrelenting state counsel why the government had hurried its GO against the Karunanidhi burial at Anna Samadhi, at such top speed, when graver issues remained unattended for long periods. “There is no legal impediment for not allotting the place. Already allotted place in the Marina for all Dravidian leaders. There is no need to take different stand in the present case”, said the Bench comprising acting Chief Justice H G Ramesh and S S Sundar.
“There is no legal impediment for not allotting the place.Provide a place for a decent burial forthwith in terms of the rough sketch given by the petitioner”, the Bench told the government.