Tamil Nadu

Tamil Maiyam unfairly targeted: Gaspar

Jegath Gaspar Raj, managing trustee of Tamil Maiyam, whose office was searched by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as part of its probe into the alleged scam in the 2G spectrum allocation, said on Thursday that neither he nor his organisation was in anyway connected to the issue or the alleged scam funds.

Talking to journalists here, he said Tamil Maiyam had been “unfairly targeted” just because it was closely working with political personalities. “All trustees of Tamil Maiyam come from well-merited backgrounds; they have proven record of success in their professional domains.”

As for his organisation's connections with DMK MP Kanimozhi, he said: “We value her association” as she was instrumental in reviving the folk art traditions of Tamil Nadu through Chennai Sangamam.

Fr. Gaspar Raj, a Catholic priest, said Tamil Maiyam was a well-audited charitable trust and was running all its programmes through sponsorships. “All the transactions done are through legal instruments, and the names of sponsors always find a mention in our public communication. There is not a single source of funds which is not publicly divulged. Our books are clean and credible.”

“We gave value to the money donated to us, and we are not spending for our luxury. That is why we are successful,” he said.

Asked whether he had received any contribution from the former Union Minister, A. Raja, or Ms. Kanimozhi, Fr. Gaspar Raj said they did not donate anything personally. But the Green House Promoters, whose premises were recently searched by the CBI, had donated Rs. 3 lakh for Chennai Sangamam. But then Mr. Raja was not the Communications Minister. Furthermore, Tamil Maiyam did not receive any money from companies allegedly owned by Mr. Raja or his family members.

Stating that his association with Ms. Kanimozhi dated back to more than a decade when he was a non-resident Indian and the DMK was not in power, Fr. Gaspar Raj asserted that he would not break his ties with her because of the recent developments.

“Why should I? Politicians are never untouchables. They are in the public domain. I am not ashamed of associating myself with politicians because they are working with the people. If they do something wrong, it is for the appropriate agencies to take action against them,” he said. He would not mind associating himself with the AIADMK or the Communists if they came to power.

Asked whether the money from the alleged scam could have been routed knowingly or unknowingly to events organised by Tamil Maiyam, he said: “I don't know.”

He also rejected the accusations that he mobilised money for the LTTE. “I believe in the cause of Tamils. I took an ideological position. I have never been in agreement with the ways of the LTTE. The refusal of the Sinhala politicians to share power with the Tamils is the problem.”

Asked whether he was targeted because he participated in a meeting organised in defence of Mr. Raja, Fr. Gaspar Raj said he only spoke against the trial by media of Mr. Raja. “I did not say Raja was clean. I did not request the media and people to give a clean chit to him. I said, ‘give him the due process of law. Don't murder him or crucify him before an appropriate organisation files the case against him',” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 2:20:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Tamil-Maiyam-unfairly-targeted-Gaspar/article15595399.ece

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