The Rediff Interview/V S Chandralekha
'The party is not Jayalalitha's property'
When you asked for support from various political parties,
did you expect support from the AIADMK?
No. I didn't. The appeal was a general appeal. It came as
a bolt in the blue.
Did it surprise you when it came?
It really surprised us. We were totally taken by surprise.
I think it is a very intelligent political move on her part.
Did you think twice before accepting the support?
See, it was not support that was sought. It was support
that was given. I didn't have to reject it. After all, she is
the general secretary of a party. When she is giving the support,
it is the party that is giving the support. What do I have against
the party? I have nothing against the cadres. In fact, Karunanidhi
tells them, Chidambaram tells them that they (the cadres) can
always come and work for them.
You should understand that the
party is not her (Jayalalitha's) personal property. So when she is extending support,
it is the party that is extending support, not she. You have to
a make a distinction between the two. I am not compromising on
any of my cases. The cases are with the various investigating
agencies. They are not in my control at all. They are either with
the state government or the central government. I am not giving
anything away by accepting her support.
The general feeling is quite different because it was Dr Swamy....
No, the general feeling is not so. A section is trying to
spread that deliberately. They want to divert the attention from
the dynastic rule and Stalin so that the entire issue gets diverted.
It is not correct at all. She gave the support because it suited
Will Dr Swamy stop attacking her (Jayalalitha) now?
No, why should we? See, it is not attacking. I think the film
culture has taken hold of all of you in a big way! You all have
such wonderful imagination. What is this attack? The attack had
never been personal.
On her wealth.
Okay. We are not going to leave that. Cases are all there.
Why are you assuming that something is going to happen to the
cases? Has anything come in your way to show that we have slowed
down in the process?
Then, why are you imagining things?
Is not a delicate situation now? She has extended her party
support to you and, if Dr Swamy continues attacking her..
Why should there be any embarrassment? We didn't ask for her
support. But I am not going to say no to a support that came.
I have heard that you very close to Jayalalitha when you served
the state as an IAS officer. Was it true?
Yes. I have known her. I do not know what you mean by close.
I have known her. Then the SPIC deal came through and I differed
Was that the only reason why the relationship got strained?
You see, there was never a close relationship. So there was
no question of the relationship getting strained. What do I say?
Yes, I have known her. But I'll not say I was close to her. I
have been a friend of hers, but always maintained a distance as
I was a civil servant. As a civil servant, you may have many friends.
But there is no such thing like straining of a relationship.
Straining of the friendship, then.
Once she became chief minister , where is the question
of a friendship? She was the chief minister, and I was a civil
servant. That was all about the relationship.
I have also read in some papers that it was you who introduced
Sasikala to Jayalalitha. Is it true?
Yes, that is true. Sasikala also admitted it. I had sent a
recommendation to her (Jayalalitha) to take Sasikala as her videographer.
She had a video shop then. As propaganda secretary of the
AIADMK, Jayalalitha's programmes used to be videographed. This
lady (Sasikala) came and requested me whether I can talk to her
(Jayalalitha) and see that she was made her (Jayalalitha's) permanent
videographer. So I recommended her.
Will you ever be able to forgive the person who was behind
the acid attack on you?
I am not a vengeful person. I don't carry any grudge. If there
is real repentance on the part of that person, may be I'll forgive.
Because ultimately one should leave everything to God, shouldn't
Did that incident leave any scar inside you, like the scars that
are there on your face?
I'll tell you something that happened in the hospital.
One of my friends brought a Mother Superior from a convent to
meet me. I was all bandaged. She prayed for me and told me, 'I
see light and know you will recover to a great extent,' which
I have. See it could have been worse. She told me not to have
any negative feelings and not to keep any anger inside
me because she felt that would delay the healing process.
From that moment
onwards I told myself that I will not entertain any negative feelings in
me. It has helped me, helped me a lot.
Chandralekha's Photographs: R Kannan