Political Ponderings

சும்மா அதிருதில்ல!

Thalaivar Rajinikanth’s 2007 movie, Sivaji had a simple plot – It revolves around a software systems architect Sivaji, who returns home to India after a stint in the US. On his return, he dreams of doing good and giving back to society with free medical treatment and education. However his plans face a roadblock in the form of an influential businessman, Adiseshan. Adiseshan, sees Sivaji as his competitor because he  runs profit-making educational institutions and hospitals and doesn’t want Sivaji to run his free institutions. Sivaji is forced to bribe the corrupt officials to setup his foundation but soon the bribes demanded become so high that he has to mortgage his house and sell his car to pay them. Adiseshan files a case against Sivaji about his bribing officials and wins the case. Sivaji is reduced to utter poverty. Then Thalaivar does what he does best – turns the tables on Adiseshan by figuring out his secret stash and then figuring out the secret stash of his friends… all earned illegally. He not only manages to get a sizeable portion of it for his foundation, but also informs the Income Tax officials about them and their illegal ways of making money.

After several twists, where Sivaji fakes his death and then comes back as another man claiming to be Sivaji’s friend and finally the do-gooder does good and the villain is punished. Well, its a movie and anything is believable when Thalaivar is the actor!

Cut to 2017, ten years after the release of Sivaji and another potboiler is playing out in TamilNadu. 1800 Income Tax officials came in several hundreds of cars marked with stickers that married a fictitious Srini with an even more fictitious Mahi (I suspect they were having a little private joke at the expense of M S Dhoni aka Mahi and Srinivasan of India Cements who happens to be the erstwhile owner of Chennai Super Kings). They parked at 187 different locations and after changing into their own Income Tax banners and IDs, they raided the raiders…. Sasikala and family from the infamous Mannargudi. Ahhh, how could they? Wasn’t it an overkill to send 1800 officials ? Well, for once a BJP leader other than Smriti Irani, called Tamilisai Soundararajan (the TN BJP leader) had a great comeback for the media when asked “isn’t it a bit too much to be sending 1800 officials to raid 187 places belonging to one family simultaneously?” and she replied saying “shouldn’t the question be, that how come one person/family has managed to amass so much wealth that it takes 1800 officials and 187 locations to be raided?”. Now that they have found underground passages and rooms in TTV Dinakaran’s house, maybe some hurt feelings are assuaged.

A great joke on this situation goes – Sasikala is the happiest with these raids because she was struggling to reconcile the accounts and remembering all her associates and relatives that she had parsed the money out to.

Jokes apart, and going back to Sivaji, am reminded of Thalaivar’s famous dialogue – “சும்மா அதிருதில்ல!”

This is during his second coming in the movie when the villains all think that he is dead and he comes back with this bald headed look to finish them all off … சும்மா அதிருதில்ல! He says this dialogue as he runs his hand over his bald pate. Iconic.

I wonder if Sasi dear is remembering this particular dialogue. Am sure TTVD is certainly feeling the searing heat as he and his aunt should. I have the same question that Tamilisai Soundararajan has “how could one person or one family earn so much that it takes 1800 officials to track it all down???”.

Henceforth, every time our PM Narendra Modi pats any leader’s head in TamilNadu by way of blessing him/her, the background score will be Thalaivar’s famous dialogue from Sivaji – சும்மா அதிருதில்ல!:):):).

Note : For my non-Tamil speaking friends its a little difficult to translate that dialogue, it loses its impact, but loosely it means “isn’t it Earth shattering?”… Poor Sasi and TTVD. One is in jail already and the other one should soon be there keeping her company. Life is strange. 


2 replies »

  1. Linguistics nuances can be different but I think I have a rough Hindi equivalent: சும்மா அதிருதில்லே , would roughly translate as ” Hilaa diya , na?” Not exact, but in the same direction!

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