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A dignity called Jayalalitha

August 22, 2019

Touched reading this about Jayalalitha Jayaram.

How she reacted when the law enforcement officials came to fetch her after summons were issued for her on court verdict. Her case was really peanuts but being JJ, she actually thought she would pooh-pooh it and that was her gravest mistake. Literally. The corruption suit filed in the 1990s finally caught up with Jayalalitha which was her bad time.

But when a lady officer arrived at her residence to get JJ, all that JJ asked for was a 10 minute time. In that time, she hastily finished what probably could have been her last puja for a while, packed a few sets of clothes and was ready to go. In those few minutes, looks like her maid appeared with coffee for the official who had come to arrest the state’s chief minister who was still wielding power. Even typing this pains, aches my heart. How this brave lady, a lioness faced it all alone and on her own. No family. Not even an old mother to pray for her. No siblings. No husband/son/daughter. Those who were with her probably were digging her grave already who knows. Or don’t we know!

With dignity, Jayalalitha left for the prison. In Bangalore. This is where she took seriously ill. Made to sleep on floor. No air-conditioning. Remember, JJ was born with silver spoon. She was daughter of a film heroine and attended the No.1 convent in the city. Her Bharat Natyam arangetram was a sensation in those times which earned front page press coverage. She made her debut with top hero of those times MGR in Tamil film industry when she was barely 16. Her property in Poes Garden was her mother’s really. She ruled Tamil filmdom for a decade and minted money like anything. Most of her assets were self-earned. She became the state’s chief minister on her own, with no support from her own political party. The masses loved her. For what she was. Her real life and reel life were both open book for the public to read and decide.

The way she died still brings a drop of tear to my eyes. I have never had a chance to cook for my own biological mother. I lost her too early in life. In JJ’s case, even when she was around, I used to wonder what it would be like to cook for her and serve her a meal with my own hands. To that extent I adored her and adore her even today when she is no more. I have grieved for her as if she was family. For a week i mourned.

Only once I have seen her in Chennai traffic for a flash of a second from my car. At that time ironically I was driving! She was in a Tata Sierra. Our eyes met for a brief second. I still cannot forget how it felt like for me then. I think i drew her attention only because I was at the wheel. I quit driving long since.

Jayalalitha Jayaram died a queen, still as the reigning chief minister of Tamil Nadu. How with dignity she embraced her fate humbles me. She accepted everything whether it was right or wrong or just or unfair. Not a single word explaining herself to anyone. Not a single word regretting anything. She went to even the prison with her head held high. What is a few lakhs of rupees of corruption for her. Those who did corruption in her name remain unscathed until now. Sadly it was JJ who took the blow. She could have done her share of mistakes but she did not deserve the way she was forced to go.

Yesterday I was watching in tv how this Chidamabaram also from Tamil Nadu avoided arrest and went absconding for over 24 hours evading the law enforcement officials. This inspite of his wife being high court lawyer in Chennai, a leading one at that. PC is surrounded by his corrupt family, party workers, He has had high command support from the start – be it Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi or now Sonia Gandhi. He was cabinet minister, India’s finance minister for 10 years. Yet he did NOTHING to Tamil Nadu. That is the truth. However he and his son used the time to build their own empire. When you swindle from India, you are denying fellow Indians better life. Today US$ is trading at 70 rs, I wonder how many of our politicians have contributed to this sad state of affairs. I recall US$ at Rs.35 a mere 15 years back. At that time speculation was rife that the dollar may touch down even thirty rupees. What went wrong since then.

Those leaders and ministers and politicians who we elect with our votes, we send to Parliament hoping that they would ease our lives. But it turns out that they are the ones who do us maximum damage.

Finally emerging from shadows, Chidambaram is giving press conference fishing for sympathy. Justifying his shameful actions. Explaining and reasoning the high level of corruption. Challenging the arrest. The charges against him run to many millions of dollars. FERA violations and disproportionate estate holdings in India and abroad and mind boggling asset accumulation. Yet PC is defying authority clearly, forgetting he is on camera. What a drama in Congress HQ last evening. And his home. Whatever, he could have surrendered when the look-out notice was put up. He could have done it with grace letting law take its course.

May be soon he will still be out on bail. He may even escape the net and sound like some martyr in very near future. Anything is possible.

Just cannot help thinking of Jayalalitha in times like these…

Tamil Nadu misses Jayalalitha, her leadership, her booming voice, her towering presence. I hope in her next janam, JJ is born in a loving family, surrounded by devoted parents and siblings. Let her have a dozen kids and be happy with family. That’s what I have always wished for her. Let her have nothing to do with films or politics dear God.

 

From → Dilli Durbar

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