The entire Tamil Nadu is mourning the loss of their beloved “Amma” who was a 6 time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Even now several leaders are lauding her quality leadership , governance , decisiveness and monarchy.Social media platforms were flooded with videos and articles that celebrated the epitome of the “Iron Lady” of Tamil Nadu who was famous for her political grit and undoubted charisma.
It is a fact that under her leadership , the southern state Kerala became the India’s 2nd largest state economy , hence turning Chennai to an automobile hub and attracting several billion dollars investments across her ruling state Tamil Nadu.
Not only this , the mourners reminisced their meetings with their beloved “Amma” , which helped them by introducing various welfare schemes ranging from support for the abandoned babies to women & poor being endured with cheap but healthy canteens , water supply and medicines free of cost.
For the poor and especially the women , she was a figure of benevolent mother who touched their hell bent lives by a gentle breeze via her runaway hit schemes. And she was rewarded for it every time AIADMK contested an election against their rival parties.
But there is a common criticism of Selvi Jayalalithaa and that is corruption , we are all aware that she was convicted twice under the disproportionate assets case. But there are certain aspects of her ministerial timeline which we must look upon.
There are cases received by AIADMK Chief that is by Jayalalithaa which can make us question her record on the atrocities against the lower castes. To begin with , in the year 2011 , when the Tamil Nadu Police fired at a huge gathering at the Ramanathapuram District which killed 7 Dalit villagers.
FIle Photo Of Selvi Jayalalithaa.
Jaya constituted an inquiry into it but did a very little to mitigate the caste tensions between the powerful Thevars and Dalits which has been claiming lives in the Dravidian State.
Then in 2012 , 100’s of Dalits were rendered homeless as they houses were set ablaze in Dharampuri Village as a mob of Vanniyars went on a rampage to kill Dalits in Tamil Nadu. While a huge Police Force was standing in the corner and watched the whole scenario. And the trigger for the violence was an inter caste love affair , as a Dalit boy and a Vanniyar girl were against the Panchayat Diktat to give verdict on their love affair and the couple fled the region in no time.
However , the boy Ilavarasan was found dead near the railway tracks , giving a boost to the caste hatred people and also to “honour killings”. Ironically his killers are still free and have not been convicted till now.
In 2013 , there were severe clashes between PMK Cadre and Dalit villagers in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district leaving 2 people dead.
And earlier this year , there was another honour killing , as it was like history was repeating itself in Tamil Nadu only for to be corrected by the AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa , but in vain. A Dalit boy named Shankar was hacked to death in the presence of full public in Udhumalpet by his own upper caste in – laws , and the entire country was witnessing the horror either by physically present over there or through live close circuit camera recording which went on to become viral that time.
Tamil Nadu CM & Amma Jayalalithaa Being Put At Rest.
AIADMK did solve some high profile cases but failed to look into this matters may be because the Jayalalithaa’s close cabinet members , Sasikala and now TN CM O. Panneerselvam are both Thevars.
But this is not the end of her record , there were more than 200 defamation cases filed against opponents and journalists by her and the reason behind it was reporting only criticism and negative news about her policies.
She used to file cases against anyone who reported on her poor health and one time she had also forced the web portal Rediff to take down an article which did not get down well with her. There were innumerous cases filed against The Hindu , Times of India and Tamil newspaper Dinamalar. This made the Supreme Court rebuke the State Government and had accused State ruling party AIADMK Chief of “throttling democracy.”
At last , I can say is Jayalalithaa’s career was a mash up of some highly visionary decisions and costly mistakes that can never be undone. She will be highly remembered for fighting against gender abuse for many long years in a male dominated society. And that may be the sole reason behind her icy exterior and demand of utter loyalty from her party members and followers.
Instead of glossing her imperfections and political mistakes , it is sometimes good to look at the other side of her legacy , which had been labelled as ‘monarchy’.
So this was an unparalleled story of J. Jayalalithaa which might give history a chance to judge her everytime her name crops up!