One of the most renowned and most popular politicians of India in the contemporary times and six-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa Jayaraman passed away in office on December 5, 2016 following a major cardiac arrest. She was 68.
Amma, as she was popularly known, was a mass leader with a fan following across generations, religion and regions of Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa started working in films at the age of 15 at the behest of her mother who was also an actress. She was the lead actress in many hit Tamil movies in the 1960s and 1970s. She was mentored as political heir by MG Ramachandran, better known as ‘MGR’, who was a popular actor and the male lead in many of the films she acted in. MGR founded the ADMK political party, which was later renamed AIADMK. Jayalalithaa joined this party in 1982 and led it for over 25 years.
Her demise has put the state of Tamil Nadu in a state of shock and sorrow, something which they might find difficult to come out of very soon. Her absence has created a void in the political landsape of Tamil Nadu and also India as a whole. AIADMK veteran, Tamil Nadu’s Finance Minister and an old Jaya loyalist O. Paneerselvam was sworn-in as the chief minister of the state to oversee the continuity in the state administration.