Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, better known as J Jayalalithaa or Amma aka Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) in political circles, was born on February 24, 1958, in Melukote. J Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, in Chennai. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam also known as AIADMK declared on Twitter, “Our beloved leader, The Iron Lady of India Puratchi Thalaivi Amma is no more.” They posted a statement by the Apollo Hospital, which declared the leader of the masses dead. She reportedly died at 11.30 pm at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai.
Earlier story: Jayalalithaa is the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and has been an actress before. The 68-year-old died on December 5 in hospital after a heart attack, and before that she was in hospital on ventilator support for a few months from September 22 this year, with all kinds of rumours about her health doing the rounds. Jayalalithaa was in a scam of disproportionate assets recently but the court acquitted her. The power of the woman can be seen with the number of die-hard admirers she has, and the public in TN is going crazy thinking their leader may not survive this time.
What is it that people like about Jayalalithaa? Her charisma or her looks? Or her work for the common man or only her sense of power? Here are 11 things about J Jayalalithaa that you may not know about.
1. Jayalalithaa was a former actress and began her career as a child actor.
2. She delivered many box office hits, 28 of which are with the great MG Ramachandran.
3. She also acted in a Hindi film with Dharmendra called Izzat (1968). Jayalalithaa played a “spunky Adivasi belle” called Jhumki, who is in love with Dharmendra.
4. Jayalalithaa was trained in classical music, western classical piano, as well as the dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Manipuri and Kathak. It was at her arangetram that movie star Sivaji Ganesan noticed her and said she will be a star.
5. Jayalalithaa was chief minister of Tamil Nadu six times, representing the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK.
6. She was introduced to politics by the then CM of Tamil Nadu, Ramachandran, who wanted her to be a Rajya Sabha member. When Ramachandran was unwell, Jayalalithaa tried to take his position but was unsuccessful. After his death, his wife Janki Ramachandran was made CM briefly before Rajiv Gandhi imposed President’s Rule.
7. Jayalalithaa was Leader of Opposition in 1989 and her first term as Chief Minister was in 1991. Her second term as Chief Minister was in 2001, after a loss in 1996. She was in jail after being convicted in the Pleasant Say Hotel case and had to step down as CM. She was reinstated as CM of Tamil Nadu in 2003. Jayalalithaa’s proper third term as Chief Minister began in 2011 and she was elected for the fourth time in 2015, after being acquitted in the infamous disproportionate assets case. J Jayalalithaa was elected by the people of Tamil Nadu as Chief Minister again in May 2016.
8. As Leader of Opposition, say reports, Jayalalithaa was molested in the assembly by the ruling DMK members in front of the Speaker, allegedly egged on by then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. Jayalalithaa left the Assembly in a torn saree and apparently it is here that the people began sympathising with her and seeing her as their leader. She was seen as the iconic character of Draupadi from the epic Mahabharata, who is disrobed by the Kauravas in public and saved by Lord Krishna.
9. As per reports, Jayalalithaa took only Re 1 as her salary for the chief minister’s job.
10. Jayalalithaa set up India’s first company of female police commandos in her state in 2003, with the same tough training as that for the men.