About the Book:
Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.
Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired cop—is a cause of concern for Sesha.
Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?
A 1972 IPS cadre officer. A person of upright character. Impeccable track record in Tamil Nadu police for 38 years. Precisely the reasons for which Madras High Court appoints him as a special investigator to go into the role of Sesha in the massacre of 73 Kannadigas.
Sadagopan looks more like a mathematics professor than an ace cop. Though the world has moved towards progressive lenses, he still uses a pair of bifocal spectacles, which adds respectability to his personality. Post-retirement indulgence in tasty food has left him with a small paunch, which looks more pronounced because of his lean structure, and earns him the taunts of his wife. To pacify her, he has been climbing the stairs to his third-floor apartment everyday.
Sadagopan knows Mythili from her childhood. He was her neighbour in Srirangam. Her father and he were buddies from school days. And this—that he is a family friend of Mythili— was enough for Zarina’s lawyer, the one who was prosecuting Sesha, to trash Sadagopan’s findings.
Has he let down Mythili? Has his acquaintance with Mythili’s family turned out to be his undoing? He curses himself for accepting this assignment. All his achievements would be forgotten and only this would be remembered.
He is a trained cop. He can’t afford to feel diffident. He can’t accept defeat till has put in his best. The judgement is just a few days ahead. A chance viewing of an innocuous documentary aired by a TV channel to mark the 2nd anniversary of the killing of Kannadigas offers him an interesting lead. In the next couple of action packed two days, he comes up with incontrovertible proof.
That is Sadagopan. He fights till the last. And he succeeds.
But then when Sesha faces sexual harassment charge, see what he has to say to Mythili when she seeks his help in proving Sesha’s innocence: ‘Sexual harassment cases are not pursued to the end. The trial does not happen in courtrooms, especially when the accused is a celebrity; it happens in the studios of TV channels. We don’t ever come to know whether the charge was real or false. The alleged perpetrator lives with a constant blemish on his character. They’ve learnt to live with this. Perhaps Sesha also has to…’
Is he giving up before even trying?
About the Author:
Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.
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