Suns set in Tamil Nadu

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A tribute to icons.

All countries have leaders and all states have Chief Ministers. Some do work, while some ruin the state. Rare few create history. But, to become history, is not possible for all. One such person who became history and made history proud to hold a few pages with this “ Hero” or should I say “Heroine”, was icon JAYALALITHA.

Referring to one of south India’s top actresses, the late chief minister — J.Jayalaitha, alias AMMA is not easy to put in a few peragraphs or pages. AMMA means mother,and it’s normal to call all women of her age as AMMA. That people not just called her that way, but felt the emotion as well. She became what she portrayed of herself.

Losing her father at the age of two, and growing under her mother’s care, reluctantly joined the film industry, at a very young age of 14, ignoring her own aspirations of becoming a lawyer or an academician. She excelled in everything she did. She was an excellent dancer, a gold medallist in her school, to became a top superstar drawing crowds to the theatres just to watch her, she did everything to perfection.

Film industry was a lonely place and all those who remember her, say one thing in common. Between the shots, she sat alone with a book in hand. Her beauty combined with her attitude and intellect made the then superstar and Chief Minister give her a special treatment, which developed into a controlled and dominating relationship for decades, slowly nudging her to a future in politics.

After so many humiliations and insults, being pushed out of the carriage carrying the late MGR’s mortal remains to disrobing of her saree in the assembly, she vowed to return only as he Chief Minister, which she did, 5 times and died while in office, her coffin kept in the same spot where she sat vigil for her mentor, 30 years ago. Draped in the national tricolour, and attended by the president and the Prime minister along with CM’s of many states, she died with the same glamour as she lived. American tourists visiting the funeral spot, were surprised that a political leader could bring a city and nation to a halt.

Tamil Nadu has the film industry and politics as the two sides to her face. People trusted the film star to become their leader, and trusted they would emulate their reel roles in real life.

Born in a well to do, Iyengar Brahmin family, as komalavalli, in Bangalore, she hailed from the Brahmin headquarters Srirangam, loving the lord there and sporting the mark on her forehead, symbolizing the iyengar mark. She stood against the whole state, where caste politics divides the people effortlessly, and with the likes of periyar and others openly opposing the upper caste, she is an icon of unity in diversity, living like a staunch Brahmin and in death, she chose to be buried next to her mentor, against her caste rules. She could peddle both sides and no one could have United and kept a state in order like her, and eventually she became THE STATE.

What was she like?

In her interview with Simi Grewal, she tells, “1/3 of my life my mother dominated. 1/3 of my life the late MGR dominated. The remaining 1/3 of my life, I wish to live according to my wishes”.

Did she? Could she?

The last 1/3 she remained under her aide sasikala’ control. She added that too in the interview, “ after my mother passed away, I needed someone to take her place. To control and correct me. To take care of me. That is filled by my friend Sasikala, like an elder sister”.

For someone so intelligent and brilliant, she could be the only political head, perhaps in the world, where her partymen, listened to like school kids. They say like dolls on the steps, where their “AMMA’s” mortal remains was kept. And went on to tonture their heads as a mark of respect for her.

Her party worshipped her, her enemies feared and respected her, showing their deep sorrow and erecting a poster in dedication. She didn’t take non-sense and an astute administrator, she is believed to have had all the details of all projects on her tips.

She did many unpopular things and went to jail as well, amassing wealth beyond imagination, but she was released from the cases and her jail term.

Her reforms and development plans for the state were genuine. Giving food for all classes and masses has been the party’s trump card. Masses adored her and her opposition hated her, but no one could stand eye to eye with her on any issue. She had the last word on everything.

Ruling like a royal queen, a dictatorial approach and using, carrot and stick policy, she beleived in her image more than anyone. Her policies isolated her from her best friends and in isolation she went into her inner self.

Her first co-artist theatre and political advisor Mr.Cho Ramasamy, died one day later leaving a huge void in the state already deprived of intellectuals. A journalist par excellance his sarcastic articles filled with satire, made the very people about whom he would write, admire him. Man who spoke from his mind, and felt from his heart for all and had no enemies, was admired by India’s PM Modi, who called him the RAJAGURU and appreciate him in his condolence message.

Losing two stalwarts in two consecutive days is a huge blow for the state and the film industry, and Mr.AVM Saravanan, who visited Mr.Cho’s family, recollected, Ms.Jayalalitha’s statement, telling Mr.Cho, “ you should be with me till I die and you should go after me”. True enough such good friends who connected on the same frequency, were admitted to the same hospital, and left their mortal body, from the same place, just as they started their career from the same stage they shared to begin a life of stardom.

While Cho was unconditionally respected by one and all and admired for his courage and honesty, Jayalalitha was loved and hated, and feared and worshipped. While Cho will go down in people’s memory as a good human being, intelligent journalist, bold writer, a good comedian, AMMA will be part of history, and won’t be surprised if they erect a temple and worship her.

An Iron Lady, an actress who stole hearts, a CM who ruled like a Queen, a child within who could never be let off the prison of life, has finally flown away from all that kept her imprisoned, and whom she kept on hold with a tight leash.

Both phenomenons living past the silver screen. Both hugely popular, while AMMA was both loved and hated, Cho was only loved. He was never there king. He was too simple and humble for that. Known as a political chanakya, wrote a commentary on Mahabharata, similar to Rajaji, who was also a kingmaker.

The Masses didn’t attend or cry for his death, but the entire film and political fraternity poured out their emotions, sincerely from their heart. It was no lip service or diplomacy.

Amma and Cho, both Brahmins, both began on the same stage in theatre, went into reluctant politics, one became a critic and the other sat in the chair to be criticized. Both loved the green colour, although he wore the military green like Fidel Castro, whom we have lost also, AMMA became the actual dictator.

Both actors, both politicians, both writers and both loved by the late MGR, both belonged to the Brahmin caste and loved by all sections of society is their victory. Both deeply religious and attached to their GOD.

Most of their films went on to make silver jubilee hits.

CHO ruled with his pen. -PEN WENT MUTE.


As THE TELEGRAPH rightly narrated with this headline,

The iron butterfly’s last flap…

Tamil Nadu saw two sunsets, which will never rise again. Loss of two geniuses, in two consecutive days is a big blow to the nation and the fans of JAYALALITHA AND AMMA. While Cho believed in democracy in all aspects, AMMA beleived in autonomous politics.

As long as water exists in this world, Jayalalitha’s name and fame will remain for ever. Bringing the Kauvery to the people who shed all the water within for their AMMA.

We have to take a moment here to appreciate and applaud the police force who have been on their toes since the past week.

Some leave footprints. Some leave a legacy. AMMA left a void.

Things change overnight, a reality she would have not known. She was naive and innocent and just a day has passed since she passed away, and her #jayatv Chanel now calls her late chief minister selvi. Jayalaitha and not AMMA.

She lived a life so unreal with problems very real.

She dreamt of a real life with real happiness and all she got was REEL LIFE

Nandri Vanakkam AMMA…

#RIPAmmA #RIPCho #politics #demise #PMModi #TN #journal #news

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