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Some politicians turn up at Seshan's final journey

November 12, 2019 08:41 IST
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The DMK's M K Stalin, Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar, the BJP's Pon Radhakrishnan... A clutch from the political class pay tribute to T N Seshan on his last journey.
A Ganesh Nadar reports.

IMAGE: DMK President M K Stalin consoles former chief election commissioner T N Seshan's family members after paying his last respects in Chennai, November 11, 2019.
Seshan, who led the game-changing electoral reforms in the country in the 1990s, died on Sunday following a cardiac arrest. He was 86. Photograph: PTI Photo.

For a man who shook the political establishment with his enforcement of electoral laws as chief election commissioner, one didn't expect much of a political presence at T N Seshan's last journey. And one wasn't proved wrong either.

At his home in Alwarpet in south Chennai on Monday morning, there were three priests reciting shlokas for the departed soul. There was a large contingent of the media, eager to see who was coming to pay their respects, and who wasn't.


A policeman informs me that Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin had come to pay his respects. And from the government's side, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar came by with a wreath.

Others who came to pay their last respect were Chennai Police Commissioner A K Vishwanathan and Tamil Nadu Disaster Commissioner J Radhakrishnan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party was represented by former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan.

IMAGE: T N Seshan's adopted daughter attends the funeral rites at their home in Chennai.
Former national security advisor M K Narayanan (second from left), Seshan's batchmate from the 1955 civil services cadre, was among those who paid their last respects. Photograph: A Ganesh Nadar/

At around 2.35 pm, Seshan was carried out of his home and laid outside for the last time. A hearse soon drove up to carry him away to the Besant Nagar crematorium, with his adopted son carrying the pot of embers.

At the crematorium there was a small pandal which had been put up with about 25 chairs on which some five people sat.

One lady had tears in her eyes. Her father, an IAS officer, had been Seshan's batchmate and thus she had known him all her life.

There were about 10 policemen at the entrance when the hearse arrived at the crematorium with two Mercedes Benzes and other high prized cars following it.

In all, there were three Brahmin priests, 10 members of the media and about 35 family members and friends at the crematorium, with relatives paying their last respects even as the son performed the rituals as priests instructed him.

Once done, Tirunellai Narayana Iyer Seshan was carried inside where his body was consigned to the flames watched by family elders.

An unassuming end to the man who in his time had put the fear of god into the political establishment.

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A GANESH NADAR / in Chennai
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