The mysteries and the mysterious

via B R Haran published on May 17, 2009

As the issue of ‘Tamil Eelam’ became one of the talking points in the recent elections in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa made a huge shift in her stand (more to it than mere politics) and fell in line with the LTTE demand for a separate Tamil Eelam.


As part of this volte face, Jayalalithaa asked Chief Minister Karunanidhi to reveal the mystery behind the meeting his regime facilitated between Rajiv Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra and his assassin Nalini Sriharan.


Jaya said, “There is a suspicion that the Sri Lankan military stepped up its offensive against the Tamils only after the meeting between Priyanka and Nalini.” She asked, “What is the mystery behind the meeting? Who gave permission to it? What transpired between the two? Why did Karunanidhi remain silent when these questions were raised?”


Mysterious meeting


When the Priyanka-Nalini meeting was exposed by the media in April 2008, Jayalalithaa chose to remain silent. She was then voicing vociferous protests against the LTTE. As she is questioning the mystery behind the Priyanka-Nalini meet now, her silence at the time when the meeting was exposed may also be questioned now. Before analyzing the mysterious episode, let us have a look at the sequence of events as they unfolded.


# 11 March 2008 – A central intelligence official met Nalini, apparently in connection with her representation for an early release. During the meeting, the official showed Nalini a photograph of Priyanka and wanted to know her willingness to meet her; Nalini agreed to meet her.


# 18 March 2008 – Another officer, who identified himself as Pankaj Kumar, met Nalini and told her that Priyanka would meet her the next day.


# 19 March 2008 – The meeting allegedly took place inside the prison.


# 8 April 2008 – RTI activist and Advocate D Rajkumar sought information, filing an RTI application, about the purported meeting from the Vellore Prison Superintendent. He demanded to know the legal provision under which Priyanka Vadra was permitted to meet Nalini, who accompanied her, how long did the meeting last and what they talked about. He filed a similar RTI plea to the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary.


# 11 April, 2008 – Superintendent of Special Prison for Women, B Rajasoundari, denied the meeting and replied, “You are kindly informed that nobody met the prisoner in question (Nalini) either on March 14 or on March 19”.


# Second week of April – Nalini’s mother confirmed the meeting to Times of India. So did Nalini’s two lawyers, S Duraisamy and Elangovan, who claimed Nalini had briefed them extensively on the meeting.


# 15 April 2008 – The Times of India broke the news of the meeting between Priyanka and Nalini and the same day Priyanka herself confirmed that she met Nalini in Vellore prison.


# 16 April 2008 – The Prison Superintendent’s reply dated 11 April, denying the meeting, reached the applicant. The Home Secretary forwarded the RTI application, which he received on the 11th to the Prison Superintendent, who in turn stood trapped.


# 23 April 2008 – The Chief Minister, who had been silent on this sensitive issue for some time, referred to it on April 23 on the Assembly floor in the course of a debate.


# RTI Activist and Advocate Rajkumar, taking exception to the false information submitted by the jail superintendent, moved the State Information Commission (SIC) to initiate disciplinary action against the prison superintendent under Rule 20(2) of the RTI Act. As per this rule, the SIC is bound to initiate inquiry into cases of denial of information or submission of incomplete or misleading information, and recommend disciplinary action against the designated Public Information officer (PIO); in this case, prison superintendent Rajasoundari.


Mysterious questions


Here at this juncture, two questions arise: First, did the meeting really take place inside the prison? And second, was the prison superintendent made a scapegoat?


As there are no ‘records’ in the prison confirming the meeting, we must assume the prison superintendent’s reply to be true. The Congress declared that the meeting had indeed taken place, but claimed ignorance about the prison affair. So the question arises, where indeed did the meeting take place.


There is every likelihood that the Golden Temple in Vellore may have been the venue of the meeting, as the temple allegedly has Canadian connections – Canada being a safe haven for LTTE, and also because the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, a self-confessed atheist and some of his cabinet ministers (‘Katpadi” Durai Murugan and ‘Arcot’ Veerasamy) are very close to Vellore and visited the Golden Temple with the implausible explanation that they were announcing welfare measures from within its precincts.


The antecedents of ‘Narayani Amma’, ‘godman’ of the Golden Temple, are not known and the fact that he raised so much money in such a short period of time as to cover every nook and corner of the temple in gold, deserves to be probed.


Mysterious Golden Temple and godman


This self-proclaimed godman ‘Shakthi Amma’ aka ‘Narayani Amma’ claims he was born in 1976 with the distinct Srivaishnava sign  of “Naamam” and that he hails from an ordinary middle class family. One fine day, he claims, he attained self-realization that he was an incarnation of Narayani, the Goddess who combines in herself the attributes of Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati, and proclaimed the same to the people of Malakodi village in 1992, when he was just sixteen years old!


As per the words of Sakthi Amma, the man of miracles, Goddess Narayani came into this world as “Swayambhu” (self-born deity) when the earth caved in on 11 September 1992 at 6 pm! Sakthi Amma established the “Narayani Peetam” and since then things started moving at great pace. The “Swayambhu Temple” was consecrated in January 2000. Sakthi Amma’s Narayani Peetam became an overseas enterprise and he soon established foreign chapters of the enterprise in Calgary and Toronto in Canada and New York in USA. He consecrated the “Golden Temple” (55,000 sq. ft), constructed on a sprawling 100 acres with 1.5 tonnes of 24 carat gold with the help of 500 goldsmiths and coppersmiths, on 24 August 2007.


Till then, the mainstream media maintained a deafening silence on the man and his ‘peetham’. Despite the fact that sthapathis had been working on this project for almost six years, it was a surprise that neither the project nor the godman hit the headlines in all those years! It would seem that almost no one knew about the building of this gigantic temple! Neither the AIADMK government during the initial stages, nor the DMK government subsequently, made any reference to this huge and un-Hindu ostentatious temple.


The finer details about this Golden Temple take ones breath away! The total property is believed to be worth more than Rs. 600 crores, with a Swayambhu Temple, Golden Temple, Shanthi Mandapam, Kamala Nivas for yatris, Administration Block, Narayani Vidyalaya School, Narayani Child Care Center, Narayani Seva Hall, Narayani Hospital & Research Centre, gardens, ponds and parks! The godman who until the age of sixteen had lived an inconspicuous and even unremarkable life in a middle class family, is, sixteen years after his “self-realization”, hundreds of crores!

(For more breathtaking details, visit  and )


Mysterious questions


Though the godman claimed the money had been mobilized from followers across the world, and that the required gold bars were brought through the Reserve Bank of India, the Canadian connection makes the whole thing dubious. He also trumpeted his ‘secular’ credentials by saying, “300 messages of wisdom taken from the Gita, Bible and Koran have been written along the pathway which leads to the Temple”. How can a Hindu temple have verses from the scriptures of other faiths?


The godman is also reported to have said “The Taj Mahal was built for ‘love’ but the Sri Puram is now built for ‘unconditional love’. This is also one of the wonders of the world!”


Who is this godman and what are his antecedents? Who is his guru? What is the basis of his claim to be a spiritual leader? Who really is behind him? Who are his fund-raisers? These questions need to be answered.


Mysteries for ever


We have to conclude that Sonia Gandhi perhaps sent Priyanka to meet the LTTE terrorist Nalini; and that the ruling DMK, a known LTTE sympathizer, facilitated the meeting. The Golden Temple is an alleged ‘front’ for the LTTE through Canadian-Tamil connections.


So either Nalini must have been taken to the Temple from the prison, or Priyanka must have gone to the prison. Either way, the state government erred grievously not only in facilitating this meeting, but in arranging it in secrecy.


Terrorism and political assassinations are not matters concerning an individual; these are issues of national security and one must question the motives of the Gandhi family in attempting to convert it into a family matter just as we must question the wisdom and motives of the DMK in facilitating the meeting, and just as we must now question Jayalalithaa’s silence then and clatter now. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.


Priyanka’s sudden visit to Vellore and her meeting with Nalini is a mystery; the Vellore Golden Temple and its overnight-godman are a mystery; the silence of Sonia, Karunanidhi and Jayalaithaa on the meeting is a mystery.


Jayalalithaa’s change of stand with regard to Eelam and her clamour over this meeting now are also mysteries.  Probing these mysteries may lead to many more mysteries connecting Bofors, Italy, Sweden, and Stockholm, arms, guns, drugs and political murders.


(Read B.M. Oza: Bofors: The Ambassador’s Evidence (1997) and Jan Bondeson’s “Blood on the Snow”)


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