What happened to S Kovan, a 45-year-old folk singer from Trichy, in the early hours of Friday has a lot in common with the plot of India’s entry to Oscars 2016, Court. The movie portrays the ordeal of a Dalit activist-poet, who challenges the establishment through his songs and is subsequently held responsible for the suicide of a sewage cleaner. In Kovan’s case, the Tamil Nadu police Friday slapped sedition charges on him for songs he penned against the J Jayalalithaa-led Tamil Nadu government and its liquor policy.
Officials said the Cyber Crime Police picked up Kovan from his house in Woraiyur near Trichy at 2.30 am. Kovan heads the cultural wing of Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam or People’s Art and Literary Association, a 30-year-old movement working for the weaker sections of society. The cultural wing routinely performs folk songs and street plays on socio-economic issues.
Kovan was reportedly arrested for the lyrics of two songs he had penned in the last few months, ‘Moodu Tasmac Moodu’ and ‘Ooruku oru Sarayam’