IAS Officer Jothindra on Saketh Rajan

Jothindra an IAS officer pens his recollections of Com Saketh Rajan on his blog. Extracts given below:

Kodagu Days

There is something weird about the dense forest here . I have passed Bandipur and Madumalai many times on my way to Ooty. I’m used to seeing peacocks and herds of deer, why even elephants and bisons on the roadside itself. But it’s not the case here. I passed ‘Anekadu’(literally, elephant forest) between Suntikoppa and Madikeri a hundred times and yet didn’t get to see a deer! Maybe that speaks of the hunting instinct of the Kodavas. And looking at the thick, wet forest reminded me of my once dear friend Saketh Rajan. What made him decide to give up a comfortable life to a life in the jungles? Could he not have tried to change the society through journalism instead of becoming a naxalite? What a journalist he could have been! 

I came to know him during the debate competitions. He used to represent Yuvaraja’s College, Mysore, and I, alongwith one B.N.S. Reddy , used to represent the Maharaja’s College. We were fascinated by his debating skills. What language, what clarity, what presentation Saketh had! He realized that he had erred in joining a course in Science and then decided to join Maharaja’s College with journalism as one of his subjects.Inspite of becoming our junior, we grew to be close friends. He was so humble, so simply clad that for a longtime, we wondered how he had mastered the English language so well. Only later did we come to know that he was the son of a retired Army officer and the owner of a petrol bunk. After we came out of the college, we lost touch with each other. Only occasionally did we meet. 

But we came to know that he had changed a lot after his year’s stint at the All India Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi. He probably got in touch with the naxalites there. Maybe he thought that waging a war through Press was inadequate and so must have also joined the movement. This time he could not backtrack from the mistake he committed for he was playing a very dangerous game now. He had to go underground. 

The last time I saw him was near the Ashoka Circle in Mysore. I saw him pushing a cycle. Some villagers were with him. We spoke for just a few moments exchanging greetings and I realized how drastically he’d changed. He was no longer the Saketh we knew. The tale has an interesting twist. He was very close to B.N.S.Reddy and one Lingaraj Gandhi. The latter is a Professor in the University of Mysore now. And the former-a top ranking Police officer! What a filmy ending it would have been if he had been on the assignment which ended with Saketh being shot dead in the forests around Shimoga a few years ago. Surely, strange are the ways of God!

Source : Jothi's Jottings http://jothindra.blog.co.in/2008/12/09/jothis-private-notes-6/