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Dynamic Lady Legend…


Jayalalithaa Jayaraman  (24 February 1948 – 5 December 2016), commonly referred to as Amma and Puratchi Thalaivi by members in her party.

She 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, named for the houses of her grandparents where she lived – Jaya Vilas and Lalitha Vilas. After the death of her father in 1950 her mother moved to live with her parents in Bangalore, taking Jayalithaa and her brother, Jayakumar..She joined in elite Bishop Cottons Girls School. Her mother Vedavalli starts acting in plays, and subsequently films, under the stage name ‘Sandhya’, which she is still known by.

In 1958Jayalalithaa moves to Madras to live with her mother, after her aunt gets married. She is enrolled in the elite Sacred Heart Presentation Convent, popularly known as Church Park, where she excels in academics. She excelled at school and was offered a government scholarship to pursue further educationShe won Gold State Award for coming first in 10th standard in not just her school but also in Tamil Nadu. She appears not to have accepted the admission offered to her at Stella Maris College, Chennai. She is fluent in several languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam and English

 She is also trained in Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam and Kathak, later in 1964.

  • Her first film, ‘Epistle’, was in English language and released in 1961.

 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 Professional way..

  • At the behest of her mother, Jayalalitha started working in films at the age of 15 when she was still in school. Below is a chronicle of her acting career:
    In 1965 her Tamil film debut comes in the landmark blockbuster hit, ‘Venniraadai’ which was directed by C.V. Sridhar. Jayalalitha was the first heroine in Tamil films in the mid-1960s to appear in short-sleeved dresses, skirts, gowns and woolen suits.

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. 

  • In 1966, she made her debut in the Telugu film ‘Manushulu Mamathalu’.
  • Jayalalitha acted opposite Shivaji Ganesan in the film ‘Pattikada Pattanama’ in 1972, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil.
  • In 1973, she received three Filmfare Awards for Best Actress for her performance in the films ‘Pattikada Pattanama’, ‘Suryakanthi’ and ‘Sri Krishna Satya’.
  • The first Tamil film that India submitted for the Academy Awards in the category ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ was ‘Deiva Magan’. It featured her and Sivaji Ganesan.
  • The 1960s and 1970s saw a number of successful films pairing her and M.R. Ramachandran.
  • ‘Izzat’, one of her notable Hindi films, saw her paired opposite Dharmendra.

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.
In 1971 her mother died.and alter in  1973 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.

Again in 1977 she steps back from films.
Later in 1980 Jayalalithaa stars in a Tamil movie, ‘Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal’, for the last time. Her last film in a leading role however was the Telugu film ‘Nayakudu Vinayakudu’.and again in 1981 she revives relationship with MGR.

immediately in 1982 she joins MGR’s AIADMK and soon after delivers her maiden political speech at the party conference.and on 1983 She is appointed the AIADMK’s propaganda secretary. 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 hospitalized 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.

After death of MGR in 1987  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.Later in 1989 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.

In 1991 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.
Her brother Jayakumar, his wife Vijayalakshmi and his daughter Deepa lived in T.Nagar Chennai. Her brother died in 1995 in an accident. 

  • She gave her first public speech, Pennin Perumai (the Pride of Women), at the conference of the party that year.
  • On 24 June 1991, she became the youngest ever and the second female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She held the position till 12 May 1996.

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. Again in May 2001 AIADMK alliance sweeps Assembly elections, winning 196 of 234 seats. Jayalalithaa sworn in as Chief Minister amid controversy over the pending results on her convictions in the TANSI and Pleasant Stay Hotel cases.In September 2001Supreme 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.
As Court overturns her convictions both the TANSI and Pleasant Stay Hotel cases, Jayalalithaa resumes charge as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in Dec 2001.
But on 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 with in 1 month.. in jail, she is granted bail by the Supreme Court.Again in May 23, 2015 She takes oath to return as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Exactly on May 2016 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 – October 2016
Jayalalithaa admitted to Chennai’s Apollo hospital on September 22 with complaints of “fever and dehydration”. She’s later put on respiratory support and is treated for lung congestion. Doctors from the UK and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi join the team of specialists from Apollo to treat her. 

Jayalalithaa’s mother worked as an actress in drama local drama companies and Tamil cinema. She followed in her mother’s footsteps, first as a child actor. At the age of 15, she played a leading role in the Kannada film Chinnada Gombe, which became a runaway success

Jayalalithaa was professionally trained in classical music, western classical piano, and various forms of classical dance, including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Manipuri and Kathak. Jayalalithaa was be referred to as Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) but she was called ‘Ammu’ by close family members and co-stars. The first time she starred alongside M G Ramachandran, one of Tamil Nadu’s greatest movie stars and a former chief minister of the state, was in the Tamil film ‘Aayirathil Oruvan.’

The peak of Jayalalithaa’s film career occurred between 1965 and 1980. During this period, she was one of India’s highest-paid actresses, and acted in over 140 films, 120 of which were blockbusters. She represented the AIADMK in the Rajya Sabha between 1984 and 1989. She was elected after MGR wanted her in New Delhi for her fluency in English and knowledge of several languages.

When MGR died in 1987, he left no clear political heir. AIADMK descended into chaos over his legacy. Jayalalithaa competed with his widow Janaki for control of the party, which eventually split into two major factions, one behind each woman.In 1989, Jayalaltihaa was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. She became the first woman to be appointed Leader of the Opposition. In the same year, the two factions of AIADMK merged and unanimously accepted Jayalalithaa as their leader.

During her term as Leader of the Opposition, DMK MLAs molested Jayalalithaa and nearly disrobed her while the house was in session. Media coverage of her emerging from the assembly in a torn saree, and her own comparison of the ordeal to Draupadi’s cheerharan, won immense sympathy from the public.In 1991, Jayalalithaa became the first female(and the youngest) chief minister of Tamil Nadu to serve a full term.The obscenely lavish wedding of Jayalalithaa’s ‘foster son’ Sudhagaran holds the record for being the largest wedding banquet (incurring taxpayers a massive Rs 10 crore bill), attended by over 1,50,000 guests.

Unfortunately, the feat which won her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records proved to be her downfall in the 1996 elections.Jayalalithaa returned to power in 2001, but her second term as chief minister was cut short when the Supreme Court ruled that she could not hold office while criminal cases were pending against her. She had been convicted on corruption charges in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case, though she was later acquitted and was reinstated as CM in 2003.Jayalalithaa was sworn in as chief minister for the third time in 2011. But in 2014, she was sentenced to four years in jail in a disproportionate assets case. As a result, she became the first Indian chief minister to be disqualified from her post and the legislative assembly.In 2015, she was acquitted of all charges in the disproportionate assets case. Amma returned as chief minister following a landslide victory in the by-election.

The AIADMK leader again contested the elections in 2016 and became the first chief minister in 32 years to be voted back to power.According to reports, Jayalalithaa drew a salary of just one rupee for her job as chief minister.She also shares the record of holding the chief ministerial position five times with DMK president M. Karunanidhi. Her followers fondly call her “Amma”, meaning mother, and “Puratchi Thalaivi”, meaning revolutionary leader. Jayalalitha, as she is commonly referred to, was a famous South Indian film star before she joined politics. She had appeared as a lead actress in various films in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages.


Awards and Honours won by Ammu..

  • In 1972, the Government of Tamil Nadu honoured her with the Kalaimamani Award.
  • A degree of Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) was conferred upon her by the University of Madras in 1991.
  • A degree of Doctor of Science was conferred upon her by Dr. M.G.R. Medical University in 1992.
  • A degree of Doctor of Letters was conferred upon her by Madurai Kamaraj University in 1993.
  • A degree of Doctor of Science was given to her by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 2003.
  • A degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris causa) was conferred upon her by Bharathidasan University in 2003.
  • She was invited by the House of Lords, London, in 2004 to receive the “Woman Politician of the Decade” Award from the Asian Guild Awards.
  • The Golden Star of Honour and Dignity Award was conferred upon her in 2004 by the International Human Rights Defence Committee recognising her services in protecting the weaker section of society and in the field of gender equality in Tamil Nadu and India.
  • In 2011, a resolution was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly to appreciate her exemplary excellence and dedication as a leader and in service to the people of Tamil Nadu.

 Jayalalitha’s schemes:



Amma Unavagam (Canteens)

Amma Unavagam or Amma Canteens are a chain of highly subsidized government run restaurants or canteens that allow the common man of Chennai to procure quality food at very cheap prices (about INR 13 for two meals). With pricing as low as INR 1 per idli, INR 5 for a plate of sambar rice and INR 3 for a plate of curd rice, the amma unavagams come as a blessing to the city’s teeming population of laborers and lower income group families. Jayalalithaa launched four canteens in 2014 and added 203 more in 2015. She is planning to add 45 more canteens to the city by end 2016. Amma unavagams have now opened up in other cities of the state such as Coimbatore.

Amma Marundagam (Pharmacies)

Cost of medicines often punches a hole in the poor man’s pocket. In June 2016, Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) Jayalalithaa launched an initiative called the Amma Marundagam. The AIADMK government rolled out over a hundred pharmacies in Chennai and other districts such as Cuddalore, Erode, Kancheepuram, Madurai, Salem, Sivagangai, and Virudhunagar where medicines are sold at a discount of about 15 percent over market price. These pharmacies are a great hit around Tamil Nadu. Despite draining the state of about INR 20 crores, this seems to have been one of Jayalalithaa’s most beneficial schemes yet. The pharmacies are estimated to have skyrocketing revenues and are open all through the week from 7 am to 11 pm.

Amma Kaipesi Thittam (Mobile Phone Scheme)

In 1991, Jayalalithaa set up the system of self-help groups (SHG) for women aimed at their social empowerment and economic emancipation. Today there are about 6.08 lakh Women SHG in the state with some 92 lakh members. Many of these groups supply manpower resources to the government and have even become a self-sustaining economic force. In 2015, Jayalalithaa launched the Amma Kaipesi Thittam – a scheme under which about 20,000 SHG trainers would be provided “computerised mobile phones” with special Tamil software to help them supervise the SHG workers. The scheme was estimated to cost the government about INR 15 crore at the time of launch.

Amma Kudineer Thittam (Mineral Water Scheme)

In September 2013, on the occasion of the 105th birth anniversary of CN Annadurai, Jayalalithaa launched the Amma Kudineer Thittam – a scheme that allows the people of Tamil Nadu to procure purified mineral water at a low price. The lowest priced 1 litre bottle at the time was on sale by the Indian Railways and cost about INR 15. Other brands cost about INR 20 a litre. Amma Mineral Water is sold at about INR 10 a litre.

Amma Seeds

Back in 2014, Jayalalithaa had proposed a scheme under which certified, high-quality Amma seeds would be available at subsidised prices for farmers across the state. The launch of the scheme came through in January 2016 but since then, there has been an allocation of INR 5.37 crore for the scheme.

Amma Cement Scheme

Pongal is a time for exchanging gifts and goodies in Tamil Nadu, nut nothing comes close to the Amma Cement Scheme that Jayalalithaa launched in January 2015. Under the scheme people from the lower and middle income group become eligible to procure cement at a highly subsidized rate from government godowns for building houses. While the market price of a 50 kg bag is between INR 370 and INR 390, this scheme provides the same bag for about INR 170. Under the scheme such Amma Cement could be bought by submitting a copy of the government approved building plan. Those eligible will be able to procure a maximum of 750 bags for new house constructions and 100 bags for renovations.

Amma Master Health Check-up

The latest launches of Jayalalitha are a set of three health checkup schemes – Amma Master Health Check- up, Amma Special Master Health Check-up Scheme for Women and Amma Arokia Thittam – for those who cannot afford regular health screening tests. The first is a master health check scheme for all, the second a women health diagnostic scheme and the last is a set of basic health tests that can be undertaken at state government health centres. All these come at heavily subsidised rates. The subsidies are likely to cost the government about INR 207.33 crore.

She was admitted to hospital on September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration, suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. On Monday, Jayalalithaa continued to be very critical and was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and life support systems. And the end came at Dec 5th at.11.30pm.

Plesantlife.com offers tribute to Dynamic Lady Legend Hon’ble CM of Tamilnadu  ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ Jayalalitha Jayaram.


May her soul rest in peace.