Madras Mother’s Mortal Remains Moor at Mentor MGR’s Memorial at Marina

J Jayalalithaa,  the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has been buried on the Marina. The burial space is within the memorial built for her mentor Mr MG Ramachandran. MGR had been buried at the Marina in 1987. This arrangement also sidesteps a stay on all construction at coastal areas. The CRZ legislation was enacted a few years back to prevent degradation of fragile coastal eco-systems due to unhindered and mindless construction.

The last Tamil Nadu CM to die in ofice, Mr MG Ramachandran had been her co-actor and  political mentor and it is perhaps symbolic that in death as well, ‘Amma’,  the reluctant actress and politician, gives company to MGR.

Cool Chilli’s Comments

The common man may be in awe of the life Selvi Jayalalithaa had led. First as a glamourous Heroine most of whose films were silver jubilee hits. Then as a five term Chief Minister of an important state (From a GDP perspective, TN ranks next only to Maharashtra). However those who know her life story may well not wish to trade her life with theirs.

Losing her father at the age of two, with family finances squandered. Her mother having to work, away in Chennai while she grew up initially with grandparents at Bangalore. Being asked (against her wishes) by her mother to act in films. (The family needed the money desperately). Being abused, hit, and pushed out of the gun-carriage bearing MGR’s body. Being physically molested by the Opposition on the floors of the TN Assembly while she had been in opposition.

Wins and Wails

In ending, her life appears a portmanteau of contrasting worlds and experiences. A scion of a well to do Brahmin family but growing up in hard circumstances. A brilliant student wishing to study but pushed into a career at 15 years of age. A career, Brahmin women would typically not enter in the milieu of those times. A heroine as glamourous as they came, but enacting female centric roles with leading actors of her time as co-actors. As companion and protege, taking over reins of AIADMK from MGR, battling his wife and other established senior functionaries. A lady comandeering situations which would have broken the hardiest of men. As politician, being hounded on the assembly floor, being jailed for corruption, but also winning five terms as CM.

Rest in Peace, Amma

A Fighter through her life, fighting her ailments and the surrounding elements till her death, A life, full of public triumphs but filled with personal tragedies! Rest in Peace, Amma.

Please Note: Cool Chilli has never been a great fan of Amma. But in knowing so much of her in the past few days, would not have minded being counted amongst them.

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Abuse at MGR’s funeral