Rajat Sharma

The legacy of Selvi Jayalalithaa

Many, many years ago, in 1987 to be precise, I had watched the massive funeral procession of Jayalalithaa’s political mentor, the great M G Ramachandran. I saw thousands of his fans and supporters weeping, running barefoot behind the cortege. There were incidents of self-immolation and arson in several cities of Tamil Nadu following MGR’s death. I fervently pray this will not happen this time, and the people of the great state of Tamil Nadu will face the tragic news with stoic forbearance. In essence, the politics of Tamil Nadu had been coagulating behind single personalities over the last several decades, and ‘Amma’ Jayalalithaa was one of them. The future of the entire party AIADMK is dependent on Jayalalithaa’s image. The baton of governance may have passed over to O. Panneerselvam, and that of the party to Sasikala Natarajan, but the future yet lies in the realm of conjectures. My deepest condolences to the innumerable supporters of AIADMK in their hour of grief.

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