Now will more truth about Raghavan come out in the Shiv Shankar Baba case enabling the police to file a case against him? Otherwise, despite people like Congress MP, Jothimani, asking the police to file a case against him based on the YouTube video, there may not be a case that could stand legal scrutiny. Raghavan and such power brokers should be booked on substantial charges and removed from the political scene permanently. So, even if we are happy that Raghavan has been disgraced, let’s not celebrate these shoddy honey traps that do not serve any purpose other than help one BJP leader settle scores with another. As far as we are concerned whoever heads the Tamil Nadu BJP – Raghavan or Annamalai or anybody – the party is not going to shed its fascist ideology.(The writer suffers from delusions of grandeur, which explains the quirky nom de plume, but has his feet firmly on the ground with eyes focused on truths and facts when keying in drivel like this)
The affairs of the BJP are too intriguing & too complicated
K T Raghavan’s purge from the post of general secretary of BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit exposes a hell lot of things about the party, which is much more than the expose on his indecent exposure that cost his scalp, besides raising a plethora of questions. The salacious story that was going viral on social media since early morning on Tuesday (August 24) might have seemingly concluded with Raghavan quitting his post in the party – yes, the post alone as he will remain a member of the party enjoying the same or even more intimacy with the national level leaders and continue the fixing and racketeering that he has been known for.
So, those looking for a juicy sequel could be thoroughly disappointed as it might not come at all. If at all there is one, it is in the hands of Malarkodi, the party State secretary who has been assigned to probe the expose, and it might turn out to be a damp squib at the end of it. But there is definitely juice in the prequels, which can also throw light on the intrigues, conspiracies and back-stabbing, not just confined to Kamalalyam but going beyond to the newsroom of a chummy publication and a diabolic YouTuber.
First let’s check on the contradictions about the particular YouTuber, Madan Ravichandran, the one who exposed the exposure of Raghavan, calling it a ‘sting operation. He says he is happy being a journalist but proudly flaunts the fact that he joined the BJP in the presence of its national president. Though he claims to be working for Dina Malar newspaper, he chooses his own YouTube channel to get justice for a woman ‘sexually harassed’ by Raghavan. He says that it was a ‘sting operation’ that took a long time to execute but adds that his associate in the venture had to convince the woman who was on the offending video call with Raghavan to cooperate with them.
So the question is: if the woman party functionary from a district made a video call to her State general secretary, records the conversation and also the visuals in her phone and then hands over the clip to Madan Ravichandran or his associate, how does it become a ‘sting operation.’ The next question is: what is the dividing line between a ‘sting operation’ of this nature and a ‘honey trap’. We would have been able to distinguish one from the other only when if the audio has been made available. What was the ‘victim’ telling the general secretary in that ‘Me Too’ moment? Was the religious man impelled to lose control over himself inside the pooja room without realising that his own phone camera was whirring?
But then, no one from the BJP, particularly not K Annamalai who presides over the affairs of the state unit, has raised such questions. Instead they revel in a sadistic glee, least realising that the powers and influence of Raghavan cannot be diminished by a video tape showing him in ‘bad conduct’ among those who have already put him in a pedestal for whatever reason. So that takes us to the next question: Who is this K T Raghavan?
The baby-faced lawyer from Chengalpattu became a household name suddenly through his omnipresence on television channels as the party’s spokesman, which also enabled him to cultivate media persons. Within the party he was close to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and even got close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by flaunting his clout with media persons. He created opportunities for him to showcase to the national leadership of BJP his proximity with journalists, editors and media barons by arranging meetings. No they were not official ‘press conferences’ which is primarily an anathema for Narendra Modi but informal tete-e-tetes in which the chosen ‘media’ scratched the back of the ruling establishment at the Centre.
So, when Chennai was showing black flags to a visiting Narendra Modi, even sending up black balloons in the sky to draw the attention of the air borne Prime Minister, Raghavan cobbled up a bunch of shameless journalists for a lunch with the visiting dignitary from New Delhi. Well, that did not work out properly, given the chaos on the roads that forced the authorities to pull down a wall and drive the Prime Minister through it to the next premises.
But then Raghavan’s efforts fructified in August 2018 when he took some media personalities, ranging from journalists to editors to owners, to meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi on a secret mission. Though the Prime Minister had not given a single press conference in those four years in office (that is in 2018) the shameless media personalities were proud to be hobnobbing with him clandestinely. There is no indication of them asking the Prime Minister why he was not meeting the media officially and that must have made Raghavan happy and enabled him to grow in stature within the party.
He had earned so much prominence in the party that when Tamilisai Soundarajan was made the Governor of Telangana and relieved from the post that she held for too long as President of the BJP Tamil Nadu unit, Raghavan’s name was bandied about as a contender. Even he nurtured hopes of getting the elevation, which were dashed when L Murugan was brought in from out of the blue and enthroned. Since then, Raghavan had been conspiring against Murugan, it looks.
On the midnight in which the AIADMK signed an electoral pact with the BJP for the Assembly elections, when the BJP national leaders suddenly called for Murugan to do the bidding he was not in Chennai but staying in a hotel in Trichy. This juicy bit of information was leaked to some media persons by Raghavan months later around the time when Dina Malar came up with an exclusive story on a party meeting in which a top leader had castigated functionaries for having intimate affairs with women functionaries and staying in hotels and lodges.
Though the crucial details that Raghavan gave to media persons on the Trichy stay of Murugan could not be verified, it was true that he gave an interview to Puthiya Thalaimurai news channel the very next morning at an unearthly hour of around 5 am before checking out. Though some media persons in Trichy did wonder how Murugan could have reached their city after signing the agreement in Chennai around midnight, they did not probe into it, thinking that he might have driven down at night. Raghavan, however, did not stop with leaking it to the media, which did not respond to it with professional rigor, but is said to have briefed the higher ups in New Delhi.
While Murugan was made Union Minister of State and relieved of the post, Raghavan might have once again hoped to become the State President. We don’t know. But Annamalai, who got the job, seems to see Raghavan as a threat. Or, it could be the intensification of the factionalism in the party that led to them seeking help from that unscrupulous Madan Ravichandran, who once unashamedly said that during his job hunting days he went for an interview wearing a T-shirt with an image of Periyar E V Ramaswamy to show himself as an admirer of the Dravidian movement.
Despite Madan Ravichandran telling Annamalai about the video that he had in his possession, why was no steps taken by the national party ruling at the Centre to prevent it from being put out in the public domain? Is the party okay with taking some muck on its face or was it a conspiracy by Annamalai? Anyone can answer the question. As the State president, that too a former police officer to boot, Annamalai could have prevented the video from coming out and the shit hitting the fan.
Whether Raghavan’s behavior during the video call amounted to sexual harassment would be known only if the entire conversation is made available.Though it is a legal question that the baby-faced lawyer from Chengalpattu would be able to handle it himself, what is the role of Dina Malar newspaper and its employee, Madan Ravichandran, in the entire episode? Is such moonlighting allowed in Dina Malar if it has nothing to do with its employee’s so called sting operation? Is Madan Ravichandran holding the entire State BJP to ransom by saying that he has 15 more such revealing videos? There are plenty of such questions this episode raises. For all its worth, it could be just a case of honey trapping by someone who can changes T-shirts according to the surroundings. But are the BJP leaders enjoying the unfolding of a salacious drama?
Will this minor setback to Raghavan come in the way of his attempt to help his wife wriggle out of the imbroglio she has been caught up in? She landed in trouble when it was revealed that she was close to Shiv Shankar Baba, the godman who ran the Sushil Hari International Residential School. In the scandal that broke out with former girl students openly accusing the Baba of misbehaving with them and the staff of the school playing enablers to his peccadillos, Raghavan’s wife, a teacher in the school, found herself in the thick of the controversy. It was then rumoured that Raghavan was using his influence in New Delhi to bail out the Baba from the case so that his wife could be saved.
PS : Madhan Ravichandran was expelled by the BJP on 25 August 2021