By FHA Shibly –
Jayalalitha Jayaram, a former film star popularly known as Amma and Puratchi Talaivi by her party members and people around Tamil Nadu is the Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state. She was a popular and powerful woman worked as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for more than 10 years.
She died on 5th December 2016 after 75 days of illness and subsequent hospitalisation, where multiple attempts to resuscitate her after she suffered a cardiac arrest, failed at Apollo hospital, Chennai.
On September 22nd of 2016 she had been hospitalized due to infection and dehydration. She was being monitored by many specialists from Apollo, AIIMS and physicians from UK. She later responded to the treatment and has recovered slightly. Later on December 4th she was declared fit by AIIMS specialists who have been treating her and can be discharged and can be taken to her home in Poes Garden whenever she’s willing.
The next evening again she was shifted to ICU as she has been diagnosed by heart attack. She was being treated for the same from then. Apollo have been continuously releasing news bulletin regarding her health. She was treated with Echmo, which when the heart fails and acts as artificial heart and functions exactly like a normal heart. She has been declared dead on December 5th at midnight 11.30 pm.
She is a former Heroine. She had worked in many films including Sri Shaila Mahathme, Manushulu Mamathalu, Ayirathi Oruvan, Man Mauji, Epistle and many more featuring in multi lingual films including English. She had been awarded as best actor for her roles in many films with highest state awards in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil.
She in 1982 joined the AIADMK party which was founded by M.G. Rama Chandran. From then she has been active in politics. She has become propaganda secretary for the party and has been selected as a candidate for Tiruchendur Assembly constituency in the by-elections. Later she improved step by step and has made a strong career politically.
AIADMK was allied with National Congress and till then she has been established well in the party. As Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated then and it became a sympathy based advantage for her. She became the first female, youngest Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu serving full time from June 1991 to May 1996.
From then she introduced many schemes favoring women empowerment. She introduced cradle baby scheme against female fetus abortions. Under her ministry Tamil Nadu have seen women biased police stations. Her party lost power in the next elections.
In spite of losing hope she had become an active opposition leader and lead her party with victory in the next consecutive elections. She has been sentenced to jail for the accusation of allegedly obtaining state operated agency TANSI. Despite this AIADMK won in the term elections with majority and was declared as CM as non-elected member.
Her party AIADMK in April 2011 was part of 13 alliance party and has won 14 assembly seats. She was declared the Chief Minister of the state for the third time. On September 2014 she has been sentenced to jail for four years and fined 100 crore Indian Rupee by special court in Bengaluru. She was convicted in a disproportionate assets case which was 18 year old which was launched by Janatha Party President Subrahmanya Swamy. Based on many allegations filed on her she was automatically disqualified as the CM of the state and has become the first Indian Chief Minister to be disqualified.
O. Paneerselvam succeeded as the CM of the state on September 2014. Supreme Court on October 2014 granted her bail and suspended her jail sentence. Jayalalitha has been again elected as the fifth CM of the State on May 2015 as she has been allowed by the acquittal.
She in May 2016 elections has been elected as the Chief Minister of the State for the sixth time, retaining R.K.Nagar constituency with a margin of 39,545 votes. After M.G.Rama Chandran she was the second CM to serve as the CM consecutively. She on her victory speech commented as “when even 10 parties allied themselves against me, I have not have coalition and kept faith on God, built an alliance with people. It has made clear that people have faith in me and have I faith on people”.
Despite of many struggles she faced during her political time, she has gained faith of masses and has won many hearts. Thus she became a King, not queen in Tamil Nadu political history. Rest in Peace Jayalalitha!
*FHA Shibly,Lecturer, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka