‘The Iron lady of India’ All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s “Amma’’ is no more
A Tearful Report By:
Harbans S Nagokay.
Jammu, December 6
Jayalalitha Jayaram! A Great Lady-We have lost Woman having close and emotional association with MGR and known for her courageous reactions at the times when doors of MGR’s residence were firmly slammed on her face to prevent her from having a glimpse of the dead-body of her mentor MG Ramachandran-then, “For 2 Days, Jayalalithaa Stood By MGR’s Body. She Did Not Shed A Tear.” Yes! Erstwhile film actress who became the powerful four-term leader of one of India’s largest states, died on Dec. 5, apparently of a heart attack. She was 68.Her political party, All India Anna DravidaMunnetraKazhagam, announced her death in a tweet, saying that “our beloved leader, the Iron lady of India . . . Amma, is no more.”PM Modi also tweeted that “I will always cherish the innumerable occasions when I had the opportunity to interact with Jayalalithaaji.Jayalalitha is a well-regarded public figure in her home state of Tamil Nadu and was known as “Amma,” or “mother,” an image she bolstered with a range of popular low-cost public programs, which she branded as || Amma canteens || Amma pharmacies || and || Amma water|| etc. It is otherwise most regrettable, that social media users especially Whats-App users; in a point fact even couldn’t spared the fake circulations of news about such deaths and keep on spreading rumors on her death for weeks but Thousands gathered on Monday around Apollo Hospital in the southern India city of Chennai to awaitsome news and then mourn her death, after the bulletin on her critical situation by doctors there-at.
She had governed the state four times, working through a proxy even after she was convicted on corruption charges in September 2014. A judge overturned the conviction, and she was reelected to her fourth term as chief minister in May of this year.She was known as a secretive, somewhat imperious politician who rose to power despite India’s deeply patriarchal political system and was credited with developing her state and helping the rural poor.”At any given point in time, I did what had to be done,” she once said in a television interview. “I never stopped to think whether I’m a man or a woman. . . . I felt I had to do this, I did it, I did whatever I felt was right.”
Alike our state, her state has low infant and maternal mortality rates, among other positive health markers, but is struggling with debt because of social programs such as Amma canteens.Jayalalitha inspired a cult like devotion among party elites as well as ordinary citizens, and she had her own television station, Jaya TV. Her corruption conviction had sparked days of riots in the streets, with some of her followers setting themselves on fire. In 1992, when she did a ritual bath as part of the KumbhMela religious festival, so many people crowded to see her that nearly 50 were killed in a stampede.
Jayalalitha, who was born in 1948 in the village of Melukote, had made her name at a young age, pushed by her mother to become an actress in the Tamil-language film industry. She eventually starred in more than 140 films.In several of those movies she was paired with a revered older film star, M.G. Ramachandran, who later became chief minister of Tamil Nadu and brought her into politics.She was elected to her first term in 1991, a few years after her mentor’s death. In September 1995, she threw a wedding for her foster son that was so grandiose that it was listed by Guinness World Records as the largest wedding banquet. More than 150,000 guests celebrated on 50-acre grounds at an estimated cost of $23 million, according to Guinness.Her extravagant display of wealth attracted notice, and she was charged with corruption and misuse of office in a “disproportionate assets case,” meaning she had allegedly accumulated far more wealth and property than her stated income – nearly $11 million more, the court eventually found.
Then, a police raid on her home uncovered more than 10,000 saris, bags of gold and more than 400 pairs of shoes.She was sentenced to four years in prison in connection with the case but continued to run her state – one of India’s biggest economies – from behind the scenes as her close aide, O. Panneerselvam, served as temporary chief minister. Today again; the weeping Panneerselvam, who carries a photo of the leader in his shirt pocket, was sworn in again to succeed her early Tuesday.
But, by all said and done, Everyone from President of India to Prime Minister – Amitabh Bachan to Rajnikanth – Kashmir to Kanyakumari everyone found her ‘very disciplined lady who actually maintained her dignity’and it is her height that made Prime Minister NarendraModito land in Chennai to pay his respects to MsJayalalithaa.President Pranab Mukherjeehas taken another flight, theneight chief ministers, including Delhi’s ArvindKejriwal, DevendraFadnavis of Maharashtra, and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also attended the funeral.
Sasikala Natarajan-MsJayalalithaa’s long-time companion, remained near the body today. She was seen adjusting the green sari that MsJayalalithaa was dressed in. Green was the leader’s favoritecolor, she felt it was lucky for her.MsJayalalithaa died at Apollo Hospital, where she was admitted on September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration. Her condition soon worsened and she was treated for a serious lung ailment. For many weeks, she was on support systems in the Intensive Care section.
After a long time in India (almost after the enormously-vast & big funerals of ‘Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Mohamed Rafi, Sheikh Abdullahor-elseBala Sahib’s etc.) such a long flood of weeping women and men found hitting their heads and beating their chests, wailing “Amma, Amma” in grief, has been witnessed by the world. In huge relief for the administration, there has been no violence since the news of MsJayalalithaa’s death. For lakhs whose devotion to her bordered on the religious, self-harming shows of loyalty were not uncommon.While; when she was arrested on corruption charges in 2014, her party said 200 people committed suicide in anger and sorrow. Public buses were set on fire. From within jail, Jayalalitha asked – as urged by the Supreme Court – for calm to be maintained.Ms Jayalalithaa was revered especially by the rural poor for the vast amount of giveaways she provided – mixer-grinders, laptops – ahead of elections. In recent years, her government introduced the Amma brand of massively subsidized water, canteens and medicines which endeared her further to the poor, while stressing the state’s finances.
However, earlier this year, MsJayalalithaa beat a nearly three-decade-long tradition to be re-elected as Chief Minister. Before that, Tamil Nadu alternated between choosing MsJayalalithaa and political adversary, the DMK.J Jayalalithaa’s close companion Sasikala Natarajan, always her faithful shadow, remained firmly by her side on Tuesday as lakhs streamed into a public hall in Chennai to pay their last respects to the four-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.Sasikala’s family members flanked the body, not any leader of Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK however, her loyalist O Panneerselvam, who kept her photo on the dais as he took oath as Chief Minister late last night, could be seen standing there with sitting BJP’s Vankehya Naidu.The dominating presence of Sasikala, in a black sari and red-rimmed eyes, was seen by many as symbolic of the power that the former video store owner enjoyed for decades as the other occupant of Jayalalithaa’sPoes Garden home in Chennai.By dint of that association, Sasikala, 59, is emerging from the background as a key figure in Tamil Nadu politics. Sources say she or a person of her choice could take over as the general secretary of the party – essential for her to retain her grip on power.But this part of the succession plan may not be as smooth as Panneerselvam’s appointment, for which party leaders projected a united front. While; Sasikala has never held a post either in the government or the party – and that is how Jayalalithaa kept it for three decades, even though she confided in her and relied on her for advice.
Well! At last, she preferred to stay wordless and calmly recognized her entombment with state honors, where thousands gather at her final resting place being buried in sleeping mode in ‘Sandalwood Casket-Next to her Mentor’ – MGR. And, no one seems opposing her last rests, there-with
Last among her few activities & advances:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa died on Monday at 11:30 pm in a Chennai hospital. Here is a chronology of events leading to her death since her hospitalization on September 22:-
* September 22, 2016: Admitted to Apollo Hospitals with complaints of fever and dehydration.
* September 29: Advised a ‘few days’ rest’ for ‘recuperative treatment’.
* September 30: UK-based interventionist Richard John Beale flown in to treat the Chief Minister.
* October 2: Apollo Hospitals says Chief Minister being treated for infection, improving.
* October 3: Apollo Hospitals says she continues to improve.
* October 6: Jayalalithaa continues to improve, requires longer stay, says Apollo.
* October 21: Hospital says Jayalalithaa interacting.
* November 4: Apollo Chairman PC Reddy says Jayalalithaa “completely recovered” and it is up to her to decide when to go home.
* November 8: Jayalalithaa able to talk, cheerful and healthy, says AIADMK.
* November 12: Apollo says Jayalalithaa needs recuperation, no date fixed for discharge.
* November 13: In her first direct communication since her hospitalisation, Jayalalithaa says she has taken rebirth because of people’s prayers and urges them to vote for AIADMK in the November 19 by-polls.
* November 17: AIADMK says Jayalalithaa breathing without respiratory support; may be discharged any day.
* November 18: PC Reddy says Jayalalithaa’s mental functions ‘absolutely normal’.
* November 19: Chief Minister shifted to private room from Critical Care Unit.
* November 22: Jayalalithaa thanks voters for electing her party candidates in polls.
* November 25: PC Reddy says Jayalalithaa speaking using tracheostomy tube valve.
* December 4: AIADMK says AIIMS expert team confirms Jayalalithaa has recovered completely.
* December 4: Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest; put on extracorporeal membrane heart assist device.
* December 5: Jayalalithaa dies at 11.30 pm.