Jayalalitha was a reluctant entrant to movies and politics, but she succeeded in both, becoming Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister for 6 terms. A brilliant student. A mega-movie-star. An irrepressible politician. A beloved leader. Interestingly, Jayalalithaa neither wanted to become a political leader nor to become a movie star. It was destiny that made her choices – but she followed through as strongly as anyone could. An academically brilliant student, she took to movies to help her family with finances.
People criticise her policies – freebies. Those who laugh at the Amma model and Tamil Nadu’s freebies don’t take into account that a college student takes his free Amma laptop to the class without removing the Amma sticker on it. For the poor people of Tamil Nadu, freebies are a welcome gesture and they didn’t think they could expect anything better from any of the other parties.
When one has a filmy and political background, both attracting a lot of media glare, I think there must be very little what people may not know about Jayalalithaa.When Jayalalithaa was on the verge of her acting career, she was often compared to Sharmila Tagore. She did many endorsements which included ‘Lux’ bathing soap. She did 142 movies in 14 years (1964-78). As an actress, she frequently worked with another actor-turned-politician, M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) who introduced her to politics. However, she has denied these claims and stated that she had entered politics by choice. She holds a record in Guinness book of records. She holds the record for hosting the “largest wedding banquet/reception”. In 1995, during her first term as Chief Minister, she Organised an obscenely lavish wedding for her ‘foster son’ Sudhagaran. The Guinness Record Book notes that over 150000 guests were invited to the wedding at a 50-acre ground in Chennai. The extravaganza ceremony conducted on 07.09.1995 is still to be matched in the state. (Even in the universe). She is a hardcore bibliophile, Owned 10,000 books. She likes David Copperfield fiction by Charles dickens, Loves the David character.
We may hear of many women personalities and their achievements, but Jayalalitha is one of the that we have witnessed through our times and admired.She is truly one of a charismatic leader in the political history of Tamilnadu and there is a big question in front of all of us that whether we will be able to witness an authoritative personality like her once again?
–S.NAVEEN DANIEL, I-Year, PGDM