It’s rather surprising that Vaasanthi, a well-known Tamil writer and journalist who used to criticise J. Jayalalitha when she was chief minister, is coming out with a biography that seems to paint a sympathetic portrait of her (The Road to Ammahood, March 21). There’s also an error in your article: after Vennira Aadai, Jaya was booked for her first movie with mgr called Ayirathil Oruvan. It wasn’t Adimai Penn, as your article mentions. If Jaya’s rise and fall is dramatic, it’s not just because she has to survive in a male-dominated world; it’s also because of her whimsical nature and inability to make adjustments with other politicians.
G. Swaminathan, Chennai
Outlook should take note that Jayalalitha spells her name ‘Jayalalithaa’, following the dictates of numerology. Besides, the 1989 ‘turning point’ in the assembly was provoked by Jaya herself. She hurled a copy of the budget at Karunanidhi, who was chief minister then, and called him a criminal. If dmk members had not attacked her, photos of a dishevelled Jaya would not have made it to the newspapers and got her the sympathy vote she got. Instead, dmk would have got all the sympathy, thanks to photographs of a Karunanidhi with broken spectacles.
V. Pandy, Tuticorin
Jaya is often characterised as headstrong and manipulative, but those are characteristics without which she would not be able to take on the likes of M. Karunanidhi. Law and order was definitely better when she was chief minister, and there’s no doubt that she is the better administrator. What she lacks is the cunning which Karunanidhi has in abundance.
G. Vijayaraghavan, on e-mail
Jaya is often accused of usurping mgr’s name and following. But the fact is, 25 years after his death, she’s still a force to reckon with. Your article, by the way, fails to mention that in the 1991 elections, which Jaya won in alliance with the Congress, the sympathy factor played an important role: the election was held soon after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.
Surprisingly, the only problem you find with the dmk is corruption. In fact, all parties are corrupt. Even so, the aiadmk is better than the dmk, I think, because the latter fosters family rule, monopolises media and industry, oversteps socialism and quota politics by giving away everything for free and, worst of all, it buys votes. Jaya is no saint, but she definitely comes off better.
Ashwin, Jersey City, US
Jaya has behaved shamefully with Vaiko. For standing steadfast by her for five years, she offers him a measly number of seats in the poll arrangement. He’s quit; she will pay for it.
Samirajan, Portland, US
It seems Vaasanthi’s book on Jaya is a sympathetic account of a woman who, by all accounts, is fighting a lonely battle. It’s astonishing that she’s a success. I think she’s a woman of courage and perhaps even sensitivity. Can we say the same of Karunanidhi?
Raman, San Antonio, US
Try writing such an article on Karunanidhi. You will use up several issues.
Kiran Voleti, Chennai
Jayalalitha is comparable with Jansi Rani or any other woman in the history of India who fought for civil rights. Yes she entertained, got troubled, empowered now she is the only hope for tamilnadu. I am first I am an Indian then only tamilan. If at all some one has to save tamil nadu now it is only Dr Jayalalitha. She should understand the 'feelings' and 'expectations' of tamils across the world.
Money is just 'promise' if you read carefully. Feelings and hopes for tamils are something more important and that drives tamilnadu. "Tamilan endru sollada thalai neemirndhu nilladha" not 'in scams of recent times like 2G'. Tamilnadu seen great personalities like tiruvalluvar, veerapandi kattabhomman, cheraa, chola, pandia culture and recently dr kalam with vision. Let us wait and see what she can do after returning to power shortly..
Vaiko stood steadfast with her for the last five years when many others were seem coming in and going out of her camp and for that she rewarded him with a shameful number of seats. She would pay a prize for the treachery she has committed in the coming elections.
Just read all about it in : Histrionic Personality Disorder / Narcisstic Personality Disorder on en.wikipedia.org
It is rerettable that the writer has not revealed the real Jayalaithaa,whom divers persons describe differently! As achild of three she lost her fond father and her dear mother had to struggle hard to bring up her and her brother! These traumatic experiences lay the foundation of one's personalityy in later years!They and the innumerable decapitated wishes and desires float like deadbodies in the sea of one's subconscious mind and at critical juncture block themind and impel them to behave in an abnormal way!Her obsession with the position of "Cheif Minister"is more for seeking psychological refuge than due to her megalomania!A close look at her face revealsthe intense inner conflict and socia compulsions created by sycophants and media!It is time she acts on her own !
I fully agree with Sriram (#11)
I feel still people here have not understood the 2G scam; if the so called educated group can't understand and simply say loss is notional - it is possible for DMK to win.
As Aswhin (#14) rightly said the problem here is the FAMILY - the most dangerous mafia of TN.
Mr. Sudharshan (#13) - corruption is re-invented by (D)MK. So, MK can never give a corrupt free governance.
I think the book may be worth reading. It seems to be a sympathetic account of a powerful woman, who by all accounts is fairly lonely (except for her friend Shashikala). And as the introductory paragraph said it, she is a former film star and a woman (the combination seems to invite the worst kind of reaction in people), and a brahmin. In South Indian politics it is astonishing that she is a success. I know very little about TN politics except that it see saws between the AIADMK and the DMK. But I think she is a woman of courage and perhaps even sensitivity. Can we say the same about Karunanidhi?
Few more gossips about MGR:
# Fruit Shop Rajendran in Madurai lost his hand because he just held JJ from falling off the stage. MGR came to know about it and cut off the hand that touched her.
# MGR brought Vijayakumar (the naattamai) to his house and whipped nonstoppingly for the affair with the actress, Manjula.
# Rajinikanth underwent the same treatement due to his affair with the ex-heroine Latha.
# T Rajendar (Simbu's father) is the only hero who went to his house and escacped from those lashes because MGR was advised not to thrash him and let him get publicity out of it.
# MGR house in Pallavaram, Chennai was full of skulls and bones when the house went for decoration or restoration.
MGR lived like a don off screen with the help of Udayar, the Gold Eagle beer owner. The things look much murkier behind every celebrities all over the world. So, MGR was a matinee god to the ignorant poor; malicious villain to people who irritated him. The Janaki story was a known fact in Mint Street, Chennai.
JJ, being a woman, I do not want to gossip about her. After JJ, it is Radhika in Tamil who has more controversial stories, whose father Radharavi who shot MGR at the latter's residence. Reasons were not investigated by Sherlock Holmes. :-)
# The actors, Indirajith (Sarvam's fame) Pritiviraj (Raavanan's fame, the malayalam actor) are actually the grandsons of MGR (MGR's elder brother Chakkrabhani's daughter's sons).
# MGR never wanted to have kids because he wanted to die like a bachelor.
Ties up with BJP in 1998, but pulls out after Vajpayee declines to bail her out of court cases
During depressing times such as we are in, one wish to celebrate such obvious.
MG Ramachandran started his life as a light boy in studios and he was citizen of Sri Lanka. His actual face seems to be quite different one.
Janaki's husband Ravi Bhutt or Ravi allowed her to act in one film where she was trapped by MGR. One day she dissappeared altogether which led her husband to report to police. Since police did not take any action, he filed a case in the court.
Police at last arrested MGR and brought him to the court. In the court MGR agreed that Janaki was with him(escaping from her husband) but MGR emphatically told the court that his relationship with her is that of brother to a sister !!!!
Whatever is this claim of brother and sister relationship between MG Ramachandran and Janaki, they went ahead ,lived together. Shortly afterwards ,Janaki's husband was hit by a speeding ambassodor car which sped away after hitting him. He died on the road. According to police version, he was in drunken condition and he was crossing the road. Car that had hit him could not be traced(obviously).
Now Janaki became ,Janaki Ramachandran.
Jayalalitha is an intelligent woman but difinitely she is not a very matured politician. She may even be a little bit psycho case. Her attitude towards kanchi shankara charya ,and public outcry thereafter led to her downfall in the election afterwards.
According to some,she has an uncontrollable temper and emotions. There are many rumours which are very popular about her. One rumour is that she actually has a daughter with Shoban Babu, a telugu film actor who recently died. Another rumour is that the son which she claimed to have adopted is actually her own son! God knows the truth.
But difinitely she is a woman with powerful personality and she is more honest than Karuna nidhi ,AM Raja etc.,
It is surprising that almost all the comments indicate that corruption is the only problem with the DMK. Atleast, for me, that is not the problem. Let me concede that I consider all parties to be equal on the corruption front. But here's why I prefer AIADMK over the DMK:
* Family rule in DMK is simply disgusting. Azhagiri having his own fiefdom in southern TN is despicable.
* Karunanidhi's family members are monopolising every possible industry sector. They have already taken up films, radio, TV and news, newspapers, airlines etc. In effect, they are creating a state wherein 15-20 years from now, private sector competition (except for MNC's) will be nearly zero.
* DMK has started the practice of "cash for votes" and this is a great danger to democracy the very "idea" of India. But on this one, I must save my harshest words for the voters who vote for cash.
* DMK has over-stepped socialism. By giving away everything for free, no fiscal disciple in being followed. State debt is on the increase and it makes an entire population lazy.
* DMK has no leader of national stature and hence no national vision. It is very narrow minded. Jayalalithaa on the other hand is a nationalist at her core. Given an opportunity, I think she will prove to be a good national leader as well.
* DMK openly plays vote-bank politics by pandering to quota demands and reservations. On this front, it has no vision for the future and is narrow minded. AIADMK on the other hand, can stand up to unreasonable quota demands (JJ being a Brahmin may be a reason...but in this case, I think it works for the good).
Everyone must remember that just because a state ranks #1 today on several fronts does not mean all policies are good. We must look at what the future holds as well as how we achieve this success. For example (I know I'm digressing a bit here.....but), Gujarat is said to be very good too. But I would rather prefer a Bihar under Nitish than Gujarat under Modi -because, the values of inclusiveness is lost in Gujarat. If a CM presides over a genocide, I don't care what his/her competencies in other development areas are.
Let me conclude by saying that Jayalalithaa is no saint. But she definitely comes across as the better of two evils.
Sriram - Would you vote for Karunanidhi even if he gave a corruption free government?
If polling dates can be considered as a special day (as one of the festive days) and people are let out to vote without "loss of pay", I'm sure there will be more turn out to cast their votes. Rigging can be avoided.
There is always 55-65% of people who come out for casting their votes. If we backtrack Number of Votes Vs Number of People Voted (%), then we can calculate the extra number of votes or % againt each constestant in each constituency. This will let the public know who got FALSE VOTES.
If each Ballot has a number, then the total Ballot used in a constituency must be equally divided among all the contestants.
For example, if there are 50,000 voters and 8 contestants (1,2,.....8), the summation of each contestant garnered votes must be equal to 50,000.
Contituency Name = Chennai
Costituency Electoral Stength = 1000 votes
Constituency Constestants = 4 (DMK, AIADMK, CONG, MDMK)
Voters Turned Out = 700
No of Legal Votes = 600
No of Votes / Contestant : DMK - 150, ADMK - 150, CNG - 150, MDMK - 150 = 600
Can Election Commission provide this Constituency Break Down Card (CBDC) details?
Can EC provide the number of electorates voted in each constituency, instead of %?
If media can get into nire ANALYTICS and REPORTS of post-electoral verdict with numbers (instead of gossips), I'm sure we can track down even GRANULAR DATA like who came out and voted; who did not vote. There is a huge GAP in election processes. More turn out; more legal votes; right leaders - only way to eradicate corruption.
As long as people are looking for celebrities to rule them and common man is not allowed to contest ----- CORRUPTION is here to stay.
Even AIADMK with MDMK comes to power, Vijayakanth, Sujith, and Premalatha have a huge, young family members to loot TN. Fish is the water knows how to swim and dive. Expecting contrary result from the fish is not a genius act. :-)
I am quite amazed by the comments about the development politics of DMK. It is precisely for Development one elects a government and it is the duty of it to deliver and to compliment it is nothing but mockery of governence itself. All the kapil sibal style of notional loss talk is a real danger for the thinking process itself and puzzled by these comments. Nobody will sell their properties today at the rate prevailed a decade back and if some one does,then, it is definitely not his legal property. Granted it is a notional loss for the argument's sake, why and how did those people who got that licenses sold part of the stake for many a times the fixed license prices?..It is a simple and plain loot. With regard to DMK talking about corruption, there is no denying that in the period between 2001-2006, there were indeed corruption charges against Jayalalitha and her ministers. The fact is jayalalitha faced all the cases, even got arrested and won the cases in the court of law. The Only case pending is, about her disproportionate assets, which are valued at around Rs.60 crores. This is nothing but pure and simple political vendetta. Jayalalitha was a leading actress for decades, acted more than 100 films and was one of the highest paid at that time. She has invested in lot of assets that time when things were dirt cheap, and even we, the common man who have considerable investment in gold few years back stand to benifit in today's high rise prices. Same applies in assets also. The only thing that went against her was not filing of IT returns. What about Mr.Karunanidhi? What has made him so rich today? What was his financial position when he entered filmdom and how many blockbusters movies he was part with his script writing?.. How come he owns number of TV channels, countless number of Trusts and all his sons, daughters, siblings, grand sons make huge investments in movies.. The way which he cleverly uses his political clout in getting plumb posts like Roadways, telecoms, which are literal cash cows will speak volumes about his lust for power and money. He has simply paid back few crores of the billions, looted, and that is enough for a common man who struggles everyday to make both ends meet. Who ever is witnessing the day to day happenings in this state will vouch safe the crime, robbery and theft is superceding even the price rise. The way he threw 600 crores for fooling the public for tamizh maanadu in Coimbatore, his penchant for participating in film based programs where each and every clown will go over the top in prizing him, thereby able to get few lucarative deals and also make sure that the heros will get decent theaters for their film release, as most of the theaters are now either owned by his family or by his partymen. You take any field, they have encroached and the way they go against this grabbing, nothing will be left in the coming years.No department worth in their name is functioning and the way the DMK men indulges in extracting their pound of flesh is unmatched. A separate booklet is required to list the kind of mis-governence that this regime has undertook. See the kind men he is having.. Simple example is this fellow called "Martin", a lottery owner who operates from Kerala, and produces karunanidhi's film which never runs more than a week in theaters and for the loss, he is compensated by giving brewerie licenses to make beer which will be lapped by Tasmac and the booty goes to karuna's kitty. Recently a tamil magazine of repute has listed out the number of engineering colleges owned by DMK ministers, Distillary plants, and thousands of acres which were supposed to be given to the poor people. For God's sake, do not say, they have built, roads,bridges, etc, which every government is doing. The Best example is Narendra Modi's, which are hated by the so called secular camp. Not even a single corruption cases have emerged from Modi's governence. Well, coming back, see, all those ministers of erstwhile ADMK,for whom karunanidhi made a high voltage campaign for corruption are now sitting in his company. With regard to SPIC disinvestmet case, if one argue cynically, jayalalitha has done good for the government coffers by selling them!, as there is no such Company called SPIC exists today! Yes, Quality of life has definitely improved here, and also in every state, but that does make one person and his family to rule and loot in a very scientific way. Today, the situation demands that DMK should be taught a fitting lesson and should be defeated, not only to save democracy but the state itself! It should serve as a wake up call for our future politicians, who should never think of involving in large scale corruption..
Agreed on the traffic tantrums.
The traffic incident - could be a random event happened to me twice. Once with MK too. Once not with MK Stalin. ONYX (Solid Waste Management) was a real achievement and relief for Chennaiites during mid&late 90s - by MK Stalin.
I might be wrong. However, I felt more development during DMK regimes than that of AIADMK, though both are equal in corruption. Historically speaking, DMK is for pro-development; AIADMK for pro-poverty. 70% of Tamil Nadu lives in urban areas, which is the highest in the nation; poverty in Tamil Nadu is much much lesser againts the national average. The difference: DMK have a big family to swindle; AIADMK swindle for NONE.
Had there not been any 2G scam, DMK would have had a cake walk in this election. Even this 2G scam, the so-called "2 lakh crores of loss" is estimated loss and NOT the actual loss.
The Central government can always cancel all the licenses; start over the bidding process again so that the estimated loss becomes void and nullified. However, it is not possible as some bidders bribed Raja, which is worth of "hunderes of crores", which Raja & Co, DMK & Co may not be willing to pay back as they might have spent it or buried it or distributed or spent in film production or airlines or broadcasting, marriages, or safe-locked, etc. That's where Congress seems to be feeling naked to cancel those licenses; armtwisting DMK on seat sharing.
While speaking to people, nobody in Tamil Nadu is talking about what they don't have but the money swindled by the DMK family. It looks like, people are happy with developments and governance in the State but not happy with their attitude at the Center in fund management.
DMK seem to have done a fair job at the State level; failed at the Center.
"Karunanidhi proposes; Kanimozhi disposes"
I agree with SKC on Stalin. Its unfortunate that the spectrum scandal has hit him for no fault of his. He seems very capable and remember when he was the mayor of Chennai, he did quite a few changes. But for the spectrum scandal and the needless bad publicity generated by the various factions of the family, not much fault can be found with the DMK rule -corruption is given unless somebody thinks there is party in India which is not corrupt. TN is ahead on most social indicators and there are no farmer suicides or poverty deaths. Somehwhere, the social reform movement started by the dravdian parties has had its impact though most people on the forum believe that only the congress or the BJP have the ability to govern.
In my view,The story about MGR wanting to merge his party with DMK is one amongst the scores of stories planted by Karunanidhi. He is known for coming up with interesting anecdotes about his adversaries after they are gone. Unlike Karunanidhi who is pragmatic, MGR and Jayalalitha are people with big egos. The last thing they would do is wind up their party.
I have not seen any major traffic distruption caused by either JJ or Karunanidhi after 1996-97. Have seen both of them pass by so many times on beach road,alwarpet or gopalapuram.Next time you see her passing by near poes garden or Alwerpet, try flashing the two leaves symbol at her. She will promptly wave back with a smile:-)
It was told that MGR wanted to dismantle AIADMK and it merge with its parent party, DMK. Keeping this in mind, MGR seemed to have called Dr.M.Karunanidhi to see him at his residence. Unfrotunately, MGR was dead by the time MK arrived at his residence. That was when, emotionally hit MK recited a poetic line, "Oh, My Friend! even i death ---- you've beaten me. MGR and MK shared a very good, cordial, personal-level respect and love to each other, though politically fought to the hilt.
Having attended one of the JJ-without-MGR political processions in 80s as a boy, I'd still say she is a crowd puller. That's it! This article mostly seems to be true with facts. It's a typical story of any film artistes (especially heroines) in the world of cinema.
My naked-eye experience with JJ:
I remember one of those sunny days standing at the traffic signal in the Beach Road, Chennai, till JJ's SUMO with all bodyguards passed by ( a painful experience given by a honorable Chief Mainister to public). Another incident were on LB road when she shifted her house to South Chennai due to some astrological reasons, waited for her parade to leave the road in the morning during a week day (another public nuisance caused by JJ).
It was told that MGR never had had a good life till his 30s, especially with women. MGR happened to have addicted to women during his career peak in cinema and politics. MGR won the hearts of Tamil Nadu by his social statements and political aspiration in throughout his films, by the time people realized his real face.
I love MGR as an actor; not the politician as he did nothing marvellous as a Chief Minister. One example of his goof-ups, Tamil Nadu had to let the electronics industry (base for today's IT) set up in Karnataka during his regime, as he was not willing to provide subsidies to the Japanese industrialists.
MGR seemed to have a team of wellwishers 24X7 around him. MGR created popular leaders such as Nedunchezhiyan, RM Veerappan, PH Pandyan, Panruti Ramachandran, the list goes on. MGR also seemed to have followed good management techniques - Chain of Command, Delegation of Work, Decentralization of Work, etc. He was a good people's manager and a "visionary of his own goals" Jayalalithaa could not create the same aura that MGR created because she could neither self-market nor create a word-of-mouth technique. Whereas, MGR was good at mareketing and branding himself and his ideas.
MGR was and MK is good and genuine at their basics - acting and writting respectively. JJ never wanted to be in films; never wanted to be in politics ---- so she still could not find herself out what she is good at. Both MGR and MK were part of social revolution that was spread across India during then. People were also ignorant; less educated and exposed; poor to look out for an idol to resolve their problems.
JJ doesn't have any agenda till today. She wants to be a queen-bee wherever she is, because of her high self esteem. I bet, If she can act as a top heroine with Sharukh Khan today, she will throw politics for cinema. JJ is an opportunistic politician in my observation. Moreover, people are no more stupid to fall for stardom. Any performer, given opportunity, can handle the Chief Minister role nowadays.
MK Stalin seems to be the most groomed and trained Chief Minister in Tamil Nadu as of today, though the gang-rape-effort of corruption is unfathomable. I don't think JJ might have changed much from her basic characteristics as nothing had happened to her life. There was no death or birth or assoication or separation of any relationship ever happened in her life before or after her last Chief Minister stint.
I leave the verdict to people who need those changes. All the best to Dr.Jayalalithaa and MK Stalin!
Please try writing a similar article on Karunanidhi & his families...Wonder how many weeks of Outlook would be required for it!
It is not the fault of the kings and queens, but the people are slaves.
Jayalalitha - ADMK's propaganda seceretary in 83.
Vaasanthi - Jayalalitha's propaganda seceretary.
Sugata Srinivasa Raju - ???
What's the point of this hagiography?.
I agree with Sudarshan. Rajiv Gandhi's death propelled her to the CM's chair by a guilty electorate. That is not to say she wouldn't have had political success if the unfortunate incident hadn't happened - it might have taken her a little longer.
While I agree that there are still some people who vote in the name of MGR, I think Jayalalithaa must be given enough credit for becoming a leader in her own right. She has earned it.
Another aspect that has been casually mentioned is the role of Sasikala and her family. Largely speaking, I think Jayalalithaa has no reason to amass wealth. She has no family to pass it on to. She seems to be at the grip of the Sasikala family which continues to ruin her reputation. What kind of hold they have on Jayalalithaa is a matter of intrigue.
It needs to be highlighted that after she showed maturity during her second term, she has gained acceptance amongst the urban middle class - a group that vehemently voted against her in 1996. AIADMK under MGR had vast rural support. Under Jayalalithaa, the base seems to have moved towards the urban educated vote bank who seem to despise the family rule of DMK (it is in a sense family rule in AIADMK too (sasikala family) but Jayalalithaa seems to have learnt the art of keeping Sasikala away from public eyes).
More than the contents - an empathetic hagiography of an unethical & patently corrupt politician - it will be interesting to know who commissioned this whitewash job of Jailalitha Jayraman. A very old hooded gentleman in dark glasses , his parapharnelia of wives, sons, nephews & next twelve neighbours, better be careful! Time Tamilnadu( Private) Limited is wound up & file for insolvency?
The oft repeated criticism on Jayalalitha is that she has no charisma or political clout on her own. She is accused of usurping (with the added Aryan conspiracy angle to it) the vote bank of MGR comprising of die hard fans and followers who cannot think of voting for any other party. However, twenty five years have passed since MGR’s demise and Jayalalitha is still a force to reckon with.
The author has missed an important point while discussing her victory in 1991. The elections were held within a month of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and the guilt ridden people of Tamil Nadu voted for the Congress alliance in overwhelming numbers. The DMK was totally routed with Karunanidhi being the lone survivor out of 234 DMK candidates. Thus, being at the right place at the right time accelerated her political ascent.
Very interesting and informative... but why a write a cover story on her?
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