news Tuesday, May 05, 2015 - 05:30
Ashwin, the estranged gay son of ICC chief N Srinivasan, has accused his father of holding him captive and forcing him to marry a woman to carry on his lineage. While the story has gone viral, we have attempted to put together news reports from the past and there seems to be an attempt by Srinivasan to isolate his son after letters from father to son from an earlier time have surfaced. Speaking to the DNA, Ashwin has alleged that he and his partner Avi Mukherjee are being held captive by the former BCCI chief in Chennai. Ashwin alleges that his father wants him “to break up with Avi, get married and have children to further the family line.” Ashwin Srinivasan has also furnished hand-written letters from his father to the newspaper providing a basis to his claims.   This is not the first time the media have reported of the friction that exists between the father-son duo. A report in The Economic Times from September 2007 mentions that Srinivasan had taken full control of India Cements back then and Rupa Gurunath, daughter of Srinivasan had assumed responsibilities on the board. The report also mentions that Ashwin had been running a furnishing business at the time. The trouble between father and son though had been brewing before that period according to the letters that have been published. In a letter dated June 20, 2007, Srinivasan reportedly tells his son that all of his money was hard-earned by him and he couldn’t see it go to strangers. (In reference to Ashwin’s partner) “Therefore I think it will be good idea for you to marry a girl acceptable to us which probably might enable creation of a lineage,” the letter reportedly says. Referring to his daughter’s appointment on the board of the company, Srinivasan says that he wishes that Ashwin re-enters normal social life else he would have to induct his sister, Rupa, to the board. “You can also join the board after you accomplish the changes I have suggested,” he reportedly wrote. The ET report confirms that Srinivasan had then chosen his daughter as a member on the board over his son. Srinivasan had allegedly written another letter to his son on September 27, 2007, a couple of days after his daughter had assumed responsibilities as a board member. “See how you’re living now – man of your education and qualification, you are not prepared to face normal society. If you make an effort to change I will reward you,” he says. The report goes on to mention that Ashwin had ignored his father’s pleas and had responded with a letter of his own. In his reply, Srinivasan targeted Avi Mukherjee, Ashwin’s partner. Accusing Ashwin of extortion, Srinivasan says that “without your (Ashwin’s) knowledge your letter exposes the true character of your ‘friend’ (Avi) as a criminal who breaks the law, indulges in drugs, etc. – all criminal activities”. Further, he accuses the duo of having an “ORGY at my expense” and says that Avi had introduced Ashwin to “other people like him”. He goes on to accuse the former of influencing his son and taking him on trips of “debauchery” to Bangkok and continuing with the same lifestyle in Mumbai. Srinivasan also accuses Avi of reducing Ashwin to a state where he would rely on the former completely and of Avi trying to “asset-manage” him. “His plans are destroyed so he is using you to threaten and extort money,” says the letter reportedly. The DNA report says that Ashwin alleges that threats from his father have continued since. “From letters it has now come to violence and threats,” he says. Conflicting reports from 2012 touch upon an incident that had occurred inside a Mumbai pub called Escobar. A Daily Mail article which speaks of the incident mentions that Ashwin and Avi had gotten into an altercation with the Mumbai police after being refused drinks past the deadline. Ashwin is said to have punched a police constable who had intervened. The report mentions that Ashwin had bragged about his clout and had said that he could buy the bar if he so pleased. In a DNA report which has Ashwin’s account of the matter, Srinivasan’s son had alleged that his partner and he were being subjected to physical and mental torture by his father. It was the first time that a report had carried the story of Srinivasan’s son being gay though Ashwin gave a different account of the incident. He mentioned that the attack had been pre-meditated. Ashwin says that the waiters had been bothering the duo for the bill and despite repeated attempts by the duo to tell the staff that they would pay once they were done, the staff continued to argue. “Suddenly, as if on cue, 12 policemen sprang out from behind the bar armed with iron rods and started beating Avi mercilessly,” he was quoted as saying. Srinivasans’s son further alleges that the duo had been taken to a Bandra Police Station and beaten up till they passed out. The duo also said that they had been beaten up brutally in solitary confinement in Chennai in 2002. “I was kept in a dark room and administered drugs,” said Ashwin. Srinivasan has maintained a public silence on the issue. He has said in the past that it was a “private family matter” and refused to further address the matter.