India: Popular Tamil leader Mysooru mallige Jayalalithaa is no more!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
The most important Tamil leader and Chief minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa who worked several hours every 24 hours, showed sympathy for the poor of the state through important economic measures and fought for the rights of her state until her last breath, is no more.
Popularly known as the iron lady in saree, Jayalalithaa, showered the poor with populist programs, and died in a dramatic twist of fortunes after battling for life for 75 days at a private hospital in Chennai. Jayalalithaa 68 died around 11.30 night on December 05 at Apollo hospital in Chennai, fighting for survival in order for serving her remaining life also for the uplift of the people of Tamil Nadu and India. The mortal remains of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa were on Tuesday morning kept in state at Rajaji Hall here for the public to pay their last respects.
From the night of September 22 when she was hospitalised for fever and dehydration, various union ministers and film personalities, besides well-known people from various walks of life, had visited the hospital to enquire about her health.
Cries of ‘Amma, Amma’ from hundreds of AIADMK supporters rent the air outside Apollo Hospitals where J Jayalalithaa breathed her last after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. Chest-thumping and wailing, men and women could not come to terms that their beloved leader was no more as the ambulance carrying the late Chief Minister left the hospital to her Poes Garden residence.
Draped in her favourite green color saree, after having discharged form Apollo hospital, Jayalalithaa’s body was taken from her Poes Garden residence early this morning to Rajaji Hall where hundreds and thousands of supporters queued up to have a last glimpse of their ‘Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’ (Revolutionary Leader Amma).
As the casket carrying the body of historic six-time TN chief minister was placed on the steps of Rajaji Hall, in the heart of the city off arterial Anna Salai, four Army men covered it with the national Tricolour.
Top national leaders have paid rich tributes to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and hailed her for being powerful voice for the weaker sections. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, while condoling Jayalalithaa’s death, said, “I am deeply grieved to learn the passing of Selvi J Jayalalithaa. ” Jayalalithaa lived her entire life with the same indomitable courage with which she battled her illness. As the leader of AIADMK and four-time CM of Tamil Nadu, she had a unique and deep empathy with the needs and hopes of the people, and put in place policies that immeasurably improved their lives. “Whether it was her welfare schemes for the rural and urban poor, her swift relief measures in the aftermath of tsunami, or her vision of Tamil Nadu’s industrial development, her leadership qualities and administratively abilities were truly outstanding,” Sonia said.
Meanwhile, Paneerselvam, whom the governor Rao administered oath and secrecy, assumed CM of the state and a seven-day state mourning has been declared from today morning to mourn the death of five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. A three-day holiday has also been announced for educational institutions in the state. The Tamil Nadu government has announced a seven-day State Mourning from Tuesday in view of the demise Jayalalithaa.
A seven-day state mourning has been declared from Tuesday morning to mourn the death of the beloved six-time Chief Minister and a three-day holiday has also been announced for educational institutions in the state.
Kerala and Pondicherry governments have declared holiday. Central government declared state mourning today in view of demise of TN CM Jayalalithaa. National flag on all government buildings to be flown at half-mast. Centre to accord state funeral to Jayalalithaa.
President of India Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, PM Modi, Delhi CM Kejriwal, among other dignitaries send messages of condolence on Jayalalithaa’s demise, will attend the funeral. Most leaders in the state including DMK chief M Karunanidhi condoled Jayalalithaa’s death; say her fame will remain forever. Kerala mourns Jaya, government offices and educational institutions in Kerala will remain shut on Tuesday as a mark of respect to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who passed away after a prolonged illness. In a press statement, the government declared a holiday today for all government offices, including state owned Public Sector Undertakings and educational institutions.
End with honor
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was cremated with full state honors at Marina Beach on Tuesday at 5:15 pm, attended by the nation’s political top brass, among others, former PM Deve Gowda, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, TN governor Vidya Sagar Rao, central ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Radhakrishnan, Vaiko, former TN governor Rosaiah.
Preparations were on in full swing for the cremation of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the Marina Beach in Chennai as huge crowd including VIPs and VVIPs from politics, government and other various fields are expected to bid their last respects to the departed soul.
All necessary arrangements have been put in place for Jayalalithaa’s cremation. Helicopters were deployed by the Tamil Nadu Government at the area to conduct aerial surveillance. On the ground, there is heavy presence of personnel from the Rapid Action Force, the army, as well as the Tamil Nadu Police.
As the procession was moving along the Mount road towards Marina Beach, thousands came out on the streets to pay their last respects and have a last glimpse of their leader popularly known as Amma. Jayalalithaa was buried next to the memorial of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) founder and her mentor MG Ramachandran at Marina beach.
Jayalalithaa has been accorded a state funeral and will be honored with a gun salute at the time of her burial. The late AIADMK supremo’s body is being carried to the burial site by officials of the armed forces.
Indian president Pranab Mukherjee, PM Narendra Modi, Delhi CM Kejriwal, Orissa CM Patnaik, UP CM A. Yadav, came to Chennai and placed a wreath on the mortal remains of Jayalalithaa at Rajaji Hall. In a series of tweets last night, the Prime Minister, who enjoyed a good personal equation with the late leader, had said that he was “deeply saddened at the passing away of Selvi Jayalalithaa. Her demise has left a huge void in Indian politics.”
An inconsolable Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam hugged Narendra Modi emotionally on a couple of occasions as the Prime Minister approached the casket containing Jayalalithaa’s body to pay his last respects. The atmosphere was surcharged as Modi, amid tight security, walked into Rajaji Hall, where the AIADMK supremo’s body is lying in state.
J. Jayalalithaa was most dominant political personality of Tamilnadu in last 25 years. Jayalalithaa was an iconic leader, devastating loss to the state and the nation. A humane visionary, Jaya always worked for the benefit of the poor and needy. She has left an indelible mark in Tamil Nadu politics with her enduring legacy. Selvi Jayalalithaa was one of the most iconic political figures of India who had an enormous impact on the people of Tamil Nadu.
Under her stewardship, Tamilnadu was regarded as among the better governed States. She brought a hard uncompromising style to politics and governance that won praise and criticism. She was a person of indomitable spirit, fearless courage and an innate determination to do what she had decided to do. She faced many political and personal challenges, but rose up to occasion with each one of them
Freebies galore and populist schemes under the popular ‘Amma’ brand became the hallmark of late Jayalalithaa’s tenure as Chief Minister, helping her steamroll arch-rival M Karunanidhi’s DMK in this year’s Assembly polls.
From the Amma canteens to Amma gymnasiums and parks, the brand became synonymous with her name. Karunanidhi may have revolutionized the freebies culture in Tamil Nadu but Jayalalithaa mastered the art right under his nose, showering a slew of freebies in 2011 and 2016 on voters.
However, Jayalalithaa always took exception to the term ‘freebies’ and chose to call them free of cost, insisting that the populist schemes were aimed only at helping the lower rung masses. In the battle of freebies that intensified in 2006, Karunanidhi’s masterstroke of free color TV scheme among others launched DMK into the ruling saddle but in 2011 and 2016, Jayalalithaa emerged triumphant wooing voters with her own brand of welfare schemes.
Combined with anti-incumbency, Jayalalithaa checkmated Karunanidhi in the 2011 elections with a slew of announcements including providing free rice, laptops to students, milch cows and goats, mixer-grinder, and gold for ‘thaali’ (mangal sutra) and pushed DMK into the third place in the Assembly, making then ally DMDK main opposition.
Jayalalithaa further consolidated her welfare icon image with her Amma brand subsidy-oriented schemes like Amma Canteen, Amma Mineral Water, Amma cement and Amma salt.
During the 2016 elections, Jayalalithaa expanded her populist portfolio, including free 100 units of power for domestic users, free mobile phones and 50% subsidy for women to buy two-wheelers.
She subsequently led her party to a historic successive term in May 2016 Assembly polls, breaking a 32-year-old jinx where a ruling party could seldom retain power.
From being a traditional dancer to be able to decorate the Madras Fort in Chennai as the bold CM of Tamil Nadu to protect the genuine interests of the state, Jayalalithaa had a long splendid life, giving hopes and guidance to women in the state and elsewhere.
Over two tons of flowers from several destinations were used by about 40 workers who worked for 10 hours to prepare the Army truck and gun carriage for the final journey of Jayalalithaa. Thousands came out on the streets to pay their last respects and have a last glimpse of their leader popularly known as Amma. Jayalalithaa was buried next to the memorial of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) founder and her mentor and former CM of TN MG Ramachandran at Marina beach.
Death of charismatic Jayalalithaa leaves a vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics.
In fact, the entire nation is shocked and deeply saddened by her demise. She will always be remembered not only as Amma, but a leader that ordinary people could reach out to
Now the stage is set for political maneuvering in the state as both Congress and BJP are out to improve their poll position in Tamil Nadu in the absence of tallest Tamil leader Jayalalithaa. .
The Pannerselvam government has a big responsibility on its shoulder. AIADMK must carry on and provide a government for remaining over 4 years and win the next general parliamentary and assembly polls.
End of an era in Tamil politics and has no parallel in Indian politics today.
If any positive development is to be encouraged to benefit the poor and common people, those who serve the public honestly should be rewarded. Jayalalithaa surely deserves Bharatratna posthumously for her work for the state and people. Her commitment to national development and public life deserves to be recognized. Instead of wasting nation’s top civilian honors on fake sportsmen like cricketers who get 100s etc on prior fixings with bowlers directly and through mafia, such public leaders could be considered instead. After all, not every political leader in fact thinks about the plight of poor and help them economically.