Rajat Sharma

Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa

Jayalalithaa was a great fighter throughout her life, she never conceded defeat. An able administrator, a great orator, she understood the travails of her people.

Those in the opposition were her political rivals, but she always accorded them respect. Jayalalithaa’s personality was a mystery wrapped in enigma. When her party leaders visited her at home, she used to stay on the first floor, and spoke to them on an LED screen, but her hold on the party was complete.

Her ministers used to take oath keeping her photograph in their pockets, they used to lie protstrate in front of Amma, and yet Jayalalithaa’s magic among the masses worked wonders, only because she adored her people, and the masses, in turn, adored her. That is how Jayalalithaa became Amma for the masses.

Many people have raised questions about why Amma was not cremated according to Hindu traditional rites, but laid to rest. The reason being, the father of the Dravidian movement C N Annadurai had specifically wrote in his will that his body should be laid to rest, and not cremated.

Jayalalithaa’s mentor and political guru M G Ramachandran was also laid to rest. Taking this tradition forward, Amma was laid to rest on Tuesday.

And now, looking to the future, Jayalalithaa’s closest aide Sasikala, who had been her companion for the last two decades, barring a brief period of quarrel, will now be looking after the day-to-day affairs of AIADMK.

Amma herself met and spoke to few people in her daily life, and most of the conversations were done through Sasikala. So, those in Tamil Nadu politics do know what had been Sasikala’s role, and what is going to happen in the years to come.

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