November 12th, 2011
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Kanimozhi tries new tactics

Kanimozhi New Delhi: Kanimozhi’s failed bail petitions banked on lawyers’ prose to try and melt the judge’s heart: “Minor children could suffer due to the absence of the women/mother.” Now the mother’s heartache at the separation from her son could be available in more poignant language.

The 43-year-old MP, author of several books of poetry, has been writing poems in jail describing her life behind bars, especially how she has been missing nine-year-old Aditya, party sources revealed.“The prison poems will be published once she comes out of jail,” a DMK source said in Delhi.

Politicians have been known to publish their prison writings. Jawaharlal Nehru’s Glimpses of World History is a collection of his letters from jail to daughter Indira, and former British MP Jeffrey Archer published A Prison Diary after being jailed for perjury. Unlike her published work, which is entirely in Tamil, some of the latest poems are in English, one of Kanimozhi’s lawyers said.

“The poems cover a broad range of emotions, but they mainly deal with her pain at being separated from her son. She has also shared her reflections on life in prison,” said the DMK source, who has visited Kanimozhi several times at Tihar. “She told us she started writing poetry inside her 15ft-by-10ft solitary cell as it was the best way to offload her varied emotions…. Some of the poems also describe how she has been enduring the agonising wait for bail.”

Kanimozhi has moved Delhi High Court against the 2G trial court’s verdict denying her bail for a second time. The daughter of DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi has been in Tihar since May 20. The jail authorities provided the Rajya Sabha member with pen and paper after she took court permission.

“She has told us this is the only time she has written poetry in adversity. She said she missed her son and cried a lot initially,” a jail official said. Before entering politics, Kanimozhi had worked as a sub-editor for The Hindu in Chennai, as features editor for a Singapore-based Tamil newspaper, Tamil Murasu, and as editor in charge of Kungumam, a Tamil weekly.

She has been an avid reader in jail, another prison official said: “So far, she has read over 100 books during her five-and-a-half-month stay in jail.” To de-stress herself, Kanimozhi is also taking “a keen interest” in meditation lessons, imparted to inmates with the help of NGOs as part of a rehabilitation exercise, the official said.

Kanimozhi is insistent, though, that the poems cannot be published before her release from jail, the defence lawyer who spoke to this newspaper confirmed. Which means that his team’s legalese on Aditya’s sufferings has to sway Delhi High Court before his client’s poetry can begin tugging at readers’ heartstrings.




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