Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away at 11.30 pm on Monday night and the Apollo Hospital declared the beloved Amma dead officially.
The mortal remains of Jayalalithaa were brought to her Poes Garden residence at around 2.30 am on Tuesday and later shifted to the Rajaji Hall for the public to pay homage to their beloved leader.
The funeral of Amma will be done at Marina Beach at 4.30 pm near her mentor MGR and Annadurai.
Born on 24 February 1948, at Melukote in Mandya district, (now Karnataka) to Jayaram and Vedavalli in a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin family, Jayalalithaa was initially given her grandmother’s name Koamalavalli at the time of birth and a year later the personal name Jayalalitha was adopted for use in school as was the practice during those days.
Grand daughter of Dr. Narasimhan Rengachary, who served as a surgeon and court physician to Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar of Mysore. She lost her father when she was just two years old and stayed with her grandparents. She attended Bishop Cotton Girls’ School in Bangalore as her mother was in Chennai, then called Madras. Later she moved to Chennai and pursued her education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School in Chennai.
She had learnt various forms of classical dance, including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Manipuri and Kathak under K J Sarasa, one of the finest dance teachers and choreographers of her time. When she gave her Arangetram at the Rasika Ranjani Sabha in Mylapore in May 1960, the Chief Guest Shivaji Ganesan was so impressed that he predicted that she would become a big film star and so she did in 10 years.
After her accidental debut as a child artiste in Sri Shaila Mahathme (1961) in Kannada, as the lead actress in Kannada film Chinnada Gombe(1964). In Telugu, she made her debut in Manushulu Mamathalu, which was a blockbuster. She was the first heroine to appear in skirts in Tamil films. Her only Hindi film was Izzat, with Dharmendra in 1968. Her success was that she starred in 28 box-office hit films with M G Ramachandran between 1965 and 1973. Her last film was a Telugu film in 1980, Nayakudu Vinayakudu, with Akkineni.
MGR, chief minister of Tamil Nadu since 1977, was instrumental in introducing her to politics in 1982, and became the AIADMK’s propaganda secretary. Later, she was made Rajya Sabha member in 1984 and continued until 1989. In 1984, when Ramachandran was incapacitated due to a stroke, Jayalalithaa successfully led the campaign in the 1984 general elections.
After MGR’s death, the AIADMK split into two factions: one supported his widow, Janaki Ramachandran, and the other favoured Jayalalithaa. Janaki was selected as the Chief Minister on 7 January 1988 with the support of 96 members, after a huge drama on the floor of the house when speaker dismissed six members. But the Congress in Centre used Article 356 of the Constitution of India to dismiss the Janaki-led government and impose president’s rule on the state.
Later she never looked back in politics and remained the main face of Tamil Nadu politics until now. In September 2014, she was sentenced to jail in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case that was launched by Subramanian Swamy (member of Bharatiya Janata Party). But the Karnataka HC acquitted Jayalalithaa in May 2015. A year later, in May 2016 she won state assembly elections and became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu again.
In her victory speech, she said: “Even when 10 parties allied themselves against me, I did not have a coalition and I placed my faith in God and built an alliance with the people. It is clear that the people have faith in me and I have total faith in the people”