The war of words between two politically aligned Tamil dailies has taken an unpalatable twist, with lurid details, unsavoury language and name calling appearing on its pages.
The editors of Tamil Nesan, owned by MIC president S Samy Vellu's family, and Makkal Osai, linked to Samy Vellu's arch nemesis S Subramaniam, are on the warpath.
And their far from polite diatribe has led many readers to complain to FMT.
Leading the charge on the Tamil Nesan front is A Veerasamy, popularly known as Tamil Mani, while his opponent in Makkal Osai, is M Rajenthiram.
The row started with Tamil Mani accusing Subramaniam of not performing when he was a deputy minister and deputy president of MIC.
Makkal Osai retorted by delving into Tamil Mani's past, saying that he was once highly critical of Samy Vellu, but is now singing a different tune after pocketing a big sum.
Makkal Osai continued its tirade against Tamil Mani by highlighting his previous police case involving a checque fraud.
The attacks also zeroed in on Samy Vellu, his son Vell Paari and the latter's wife Shaila Nair.
A vexed Tamil Mani then started attacking the editors, general manager and reporters of Makkal Osai on a personal note, even to the point of dragging their sex lives into the fray.
Unflattering words such as “kabothi”, “sonagiri”, “sopulangi”, “theru poriki” and “kamaanthagan” have now become part of the two newspapers' vocabulary.
'Sexual tryst on the stairwell'
In yesterday's edition, Tamil Mani went to the extent of including a disclaimer at the end of his one-page article, where he said that Tamil Nesan would not be responsible if anyone hanged themselves in shame over the issues exposed.
In the same article, Tamil Mani had accused Rajenthiram of having a sexual tryst with a female reporter on the stairwell of the now defunct Tamil Osai newspaper office.
Also coming under attack was Subramaniam, whom Tamil Mani had accused of spending a night with a woman in a hotel room, paid for by the latter.
However, he alleged that Subramaniam later put in a claim for the hotel room bill from MIC's education arm, Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED).
Tamil Mani also threatened to expose sexually explicit photographs of a Makkal Osai sub-editor, who was named in the article.
Makkal Osai, on the other hand, is threatening legal action.
Meanwhile, an angry reader who called FMT this morning said both the dailies are an embarassment to the Indian community.
“My son is asking me the meaning of such words after reading the paper. A paper is supposed to provide constructive information not garbage like this just to serve their political interests,” he said.
The reader, who wished to remain anonymous, urged the newspapers to be more responsible and not to behave like children.
During the recent MIC annual general assembly, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had also taken a swipe at the Tamil dailies.
He said the dailies were being used to further the political mileage of certain leaders without realising that they were destroying their own community by dividing it.
“The newspapers should help in changing the mindset of the Indian community, uniting the community but this is not happening,” he had added in his opening speech.