In 1996, Jayalalitha was Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. There were massive corruption reports against her, though they may not be as big as 2G scam. Notwithstanding that, Mr. Narasimha Rao decided to align with Jayalalitha for the ensuing State Assembly as well as the Lok Sabha elections. A part of the Congress in Tamilnadu got angry and split away from Congress and called themselves Tamil Maanila Congress. Some non-political persons, who were not really friends of Karunanidhi, such as Cho Ramaswamy also gave support to Karunanidhi. In the elections thereafter Jayalalitha suffered a massive defeat. It was almost a mirror image of what happened now. When Karunanidhi was asked what the reason for his victory was, he just said “Jayalalitha” and nothing more. Immediately thereafter he started proceeding against Jayalalitha on various corruption charges. She was arrested and jailed, just as Kanimozhi is now. The cases proceeded against her very well for 5 years and she was almost to be convicted. Then elections came and Karunanidhi lost. There were no serious corruption charges against him at that time, though he was never an angel. If Jayalalitha was kept out of power for another 5 years all cases against her would have come to their logical conclusions. But electorate thought otherwise and Jayalalitha escaped. One case is worth mentioning here. It was Tansi land scam. She had been convicted by the lower courts and her election nomination had been rejected. Though she could not stand for election, her party won the mandate. She had gone on appeal to the Supreme Court. Her lawyer stated in the Supreme Court that the Tansi land transaction had been reversed. The Supreme Court let her off and made an appeal to her conscience. Jayalalitha appealed to the Supreme Court and the latter appealed to her.
In 2004 Karunanidhi aligned with the Congress as a part of UPA and UPA won all the Lok Sabha seats in Tamilnadu. Two years later, when Karunanidhi won also the State elections, he thought himself to be invincible. But as he was conscious of getting old, he started grooming his son, Stalin, named after the infamous Joseph Stalin of the then Soviet Union, to be his successor. When UPA won again the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, his feeling of invincibility was complete. He started using his leverage with the UPA to make his son, Azhagiri and grand-nephew Dayanidhi Maran as cabinet ministers besides A. Raja, and his daughter Kanimozhi a Rajya Sabha member. He had become the undisputed ruler of Tamilnadu and started preparing for dynastic rule in Tamilnadu.
Things have changed completely due to the unprecedented expansion of the visual media and the due process of law appears to be working well. One more serious mistake of Karunanidhi was his alienation of Sun TV controlled by the family of his nephew, late Murasoli Maran, and starting Kalaingnar TV. Kanimozhi is now in jail due to her connection with Kalaignar TV.
Whereas it is good that the DMK first family is being proceeded against, one must remember Jayalalitha is no angel. It is the misfortune of the electorate in this country that they are always asked to choose between the devil and the deep sea.