news Monday, March 02, 2015 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed| The News Minute | March 2, 2015 | 05.20 pm IST Cases of domestic disputes, divorce or even reconciliation between couples happen in abundance every day. Some make it to the news if there is a legal nuance, violence or some drama involved. But in Tamil Nadu, a domestic dispute, an estrangement between a husband and wife has been playing out in public for more than three days now. Lyricist Thamarai is well known for her music collaborations with composer Harris Jayaraj and director Gautham Menon which has resulted in some of Kollywood’s best music - ranging from VTV’s Hosanna to Vaarnam Aayiruam’s Adiye Kolluthey. Thamarai who has been in the news for igniting the love spark through her songs, has now hit headlines for holding a dharna outside her husband Thiyagu’s house for the third day in Chennai. According to Thamarai herself, Thiyagu left her and her twelve year old son Samaran about three months ago. In the public realm, Thamarai is known as a lyricist, but she and her 55 year old husband are now in the public glare after her estrangement from him. Thiyagu is well-known in Tamil Nadu’s political and literary circles. Now a part of the Tamil national liberation movement, Thiyagu was amongst those who were in the original Charu Mazumdar movement. (Charu Mazumdar was one of the founders of the naxal movement in India). Sentenced to death in the 1970s for propogating the CPI (ML)’s annihilation theory, he served a life term before the DMK government commuted his death sentence. While in prison, Thozhar Thiyagu as he is called translated Karl Marx's Das Capital in Tamil. The profiles of these two individuals with the added dose of drama could be the reason for Thamarai’s protest getting attention. Talking to the media, she alleged that Thiyagu had left in November 2014 and had not returned ever since. She also spoke of attempts she had made to reconnect with him by talking to a number of Tamil political leaders in order to settle the issue amicably. “He told the child that he will return, but he never did,” said Thamarai to mediapersons. This is not the first time that the couple has faced issues. "In 2012 also he ran away. At that time, some friends convinced to come back.” she told The News Minute. Part of the Tamil Nadu Liberation Movement, Thiyagu has actively fought for women’s rights as a social activist. A visibly emotional Thiyagu spoke to Vikatan TV admitting that he had left the house. But he said that he had not absconded. “I have spoken to my son after leaving… I have communicated with her through SMS.Saying that I went missing, ‘escaped, ‘absconding’ is not true, he said. Living without understanding between husband and wife is equivalent to living in a snake’s pit. She already knows what the problem,” he said. “If she wants to go to court, let her go. I will not go,” So why does Thamarai want her husband back, as he has clearly stated his stand?  “I don’t want him back. I know there is no purpose in that. We are public figures, we speak about integrity, honesty and Tamil nationalism. He speaks about values and a new Tamil nation which is based on values. This is not a personal problem, but I feel the faces of people like this have to be unmasked,” she told The News Minute. However, Thamarai has publicly refused any options of a divorce. While speaking to The News Minute, she said, “"He has been cheating on me. But he claims he is into a revolutionary politics, and says family is a distraction. I am also a revolutionary, how is my presence hindering your ambition.” A personal issue The issue is clearly personal. However, since the lyricist Thamarai has brought it out on a public forum appealing and seeking for help, it appears as if she is accusing the activist of double standards. The right way forward would be to approach the court or to handle it within the confines of home with the help of peers and friends to arrive at an amicable solution. Thamarai has consistently demanded that other leaders from Thiyagu’s political outfit should help, but what stops her from going to the police? A woman has every right to demand her husband’s presence. However an accusation of going against the very ideals that he stood for, in terms of women's rights, over his 'absconding' is taking things a bit too far.  According to Thiyagu, legal remedies are available for Thamarai to pursue. She has all the rights to apply for a divorce if she wanted, he said.  "You can lead a horse to water. But you can't make it drink." Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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