Jayalalithaa’s Life: On a day, when the nation lost one of its reputed mass leaders in J Jayalalitha, the entire country is mourning over her demise and remembering her legacy. J Jayalalitha was the chief minister of the state of Tamilnadu and was knows as ‘Amma’ (Mother) among the people of the state. She resembled as a great mass leader after MGR in Tamilnadu.
Jayalalithaa was admitted in hospital since September 22 when she was taken to the hospital after facing breathing difficulties and was kept under the surveillance of expert team of best doctors from India and UK. But on December 4th, she had suffered a cardiac arrest and was on life support system for around 24 hours and was declared dead by Apollo Hospital Doctors on Monday mid-night.
Here is a detailed timeline of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s life in film and politics, which follows her evolution from silver screen stardom to political icon status.
February 24, 1948
Jayalalithaa is born in Melukote, in what was then Mysore State, presently in the state of Karnataka, to Jayaram and Vedavalli. At birth, she was named after her paternal grandmother, Komalavalli, in line with her community’s customs. She will be given the name Jayalalithaa at the age one.
Jayalalithaa’s Life in Entertainment Industry:
She makes her film debut in a lead role in ‘Chinnada Gombe’ a Kannada film. To support her debt-ridden family, Jayalalithaa gives us on her dreams of becoming a lawyer and plunges into the film industry.
Jayalalithaa’s Tamil film debut comes in the landmark blockbuster hit, ‘Venniraadai’. In the same year, she stars in a film, ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’, with Tamil cinema’s biggest star MG Ramachandran (MGR) for the first time, to begin what remains among the most successful screen pairings in Tamil cinema, as well as one of the most critical relationships in her life.
1965 – 1980
This was the peak of Jayalalithaa’s film career. She was among the highest-paid actresses in the country at the time, and endorsed top brands. In this period, she acted in over 140 films, of which about 120 were blockbuster hits.
Jayalalithaa has a falling out with MGR after he chooses to work with another leading lady. After this, she decided to step back from the movies.
She stars in a movie with MGR for the last time, in ‘Pattikaattu Ponnaiya’, a year after he split from the DMK to launch the AIADMK.
Jayalalithaa stars in a Tamil movie, ‘Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal’, for the last time. Her last film in a leading role, however, that was the Telugu film ‘Nayakudu Vinayakudu’.
Jayalalitha’s Life in Politics
After almost a year after reviving relationship with MGR, Jayalalithaa joins MGR’s AIADMK and soon after delivers her maiden political speech at the party conference.
She is appointed the AIADMK’s propaganda secretary and very next year she is elected to the Rajya Sabha, as MGR wants her there for her fluency in English and knowledge of several languages. She remains a member of the Rajya Sabha till 1989. She becomes a key campaigner for the AIADMK as the party wins a massive election victory despite MGR remaining hospitalised through the campaigning. Her rising prominence irks senior hands in the party. Her attempt to be named interim CM also does not go well with MGR.
MGR sacks Jayalalithaa from all party posts after she forms a parallel political outfit. However, she continues as Rajya Sabha member of the AIAMDK.
MGR dies, leaving no clear political heir. AIADMK descends into chaos over his legacy. Jayalalithaa competes with his widow Janaki for control of the party. The party splits into two major factions, one behind each woman.
The Assembly election saw the Jayalalithaa faction win 27 seats to the Janaki faction’s two. Janaki steps aside to clear the way for Jayalalithaa’s accession to MGR’s legacy. Jayalalithaa becomes Tamil Nadu’s first woman Leader of Opposition. During the budget session, she s assaulted in the Assembly Hall and a senior DMK leader attempts to disrobe her. She vows she will not return except as Chief Minister.
Allied with the Congress, and rocketed by the sympathy wave following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, Jayalalithaa storms to power as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time.
1991 – 1996
Her unpopularity rises because of her perceived high-handedness, allegations of corruption among party cadre and the opulent display of wealth in the wedding of her foster son Sudhakaran, a nephew of her close aide, Sasikala Natarajan.
AIADMK is routed in the elections. Following DMK government files a slew of corruption cases against her. She is arrested and remanded in prison in a corruption a case, which she would be acquitted of in 2000. Subramanian Swamy, then the chief of Janata Party files disproportionate assets case against her in August.
AIADMK wins 18 of Tamil Nadu’s 39 seats as part of the NDA and becomes part of Vajpayee government.
Jayalalithaa pulls out of the NDA government, amid growing disagreements on several issues.
AIADMK, now allied with the Congress, loses seats. NDA, now including DMK, wins to form the government.
Jayalalithaa convicted in Pleasant Stay Hotel case and the TANSI Land Acquisition case. Both convictions are appealed in higher courts and the matter remains pending. Though the conviction is stayed, the court bars her from contesting the Assembly elections the next year.
AIADMK alliance sweeps Assembly elections, winning 196 of 234 seats. Jayalalithaa was sworn in as Chief Minister amid controversy over the pending results on her convictions in the TANSI and Pleasant Stay Hotel cases.
Supreme Court strikes down Jayalalithaa’s appointment as Chief Minister. Her loyalist O Panneerselvam is appointed Chief Minister, a post he occupies for about six months amid accusations of being a puppet. About this time, she adds an ‘a’ at the end of her name for numerological reasons.
Court overturns her convictions both the TANSI and Pleasant Stay Hotel cases.
Jayalalithaa resumes charge as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Jayalalithaa takes a strong stand against over a lakh striking government employees. She uses the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act (TESMA) to quash the strike, threatening suspensions and dismissals for those government servants who don’t report to work.
Supreme Court shifts Disproportionate Assets Case against Jayalalithaa to Karnataka, to ensure a fair trial.
AIADMK wiped out in Lok Sabha elections; the loss is attributed to the anger of government servants and other sections of society.
AIADMK wins 61 seats and loses Assembly election to DMK-led alliance comprising most of Tamil Nadu’s political parties by slender vote margin. DMK forms government.
Jayalalithaa, now part of the Third Front, is unable to stop the DMK-Congress combine from winning a majority of the seats for the UPA.
AIADMK-led alliance sweeps the Assembly election, winning 203 of the 234 seats. AIADMK alone wins 150 seats to form the government. Her government starts implementing several populist and popular schemes.
AIADMK wins 37 of Tamil Nadu’s 39 seats, becomes the third largest party in Lok Sabha, just behind Congress’s 44.
September 27, 2014
Bengaluru-based trial court sentences Jayalalithaa to four years in jail and Rs 100 crore in fines. The conviction automatically in the Disproportionate Assets Case disqualified her as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu under a recently passed law. She is jailed at the Parappana Agrahara prison complex. Again, O Panneerselvam took her place.
October 17, 2014
After about a month in jail, she is granted bail by the Supreme Court.
May 11, 2015
Jayalalithaa is acquitted of all charges in the Disproportionate Assets Case by the Karnataka High Court hearing the appeal against the trial court verdict.
May 23, 2015
She takes the oath to return as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Karnataka government goes to Supreme Court to appeal the acquittal by the Karnataka High Court.
Fighting the Assembly election by herself, Jayalalithaa creates history by becoming the first Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in 32 years to be voted back to power. AIADMK wins 134 of the 234 seats to retain power.
September 22, 2016
Jayalalithaa was admitted to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital after facing breathing issues. Check out CM Jayalalithaa’s Health timeline.
December 5, 2016
Jayalalithaa passes away, aged 68.