"One-third of my life was dominated by my mother, Sandhya, who taught me everything about life, the other part a major one was dominated by M.G. Ramachandran as I had 28 hits with him and also followed his ideologies and dreams for Tamil Nadu. Two-third of my life is thus over. One third remains and this part of my life remains for myself but there are some responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled. Aim is to take Tamil Nadu to new heights as a Chief Minister"”, as quoted by Jayalalitha on the occasion of her 42nd birthday (1992).
J Jayalalitha, Indian actress turned politician, is an undeniable brand. The career graph of this enigmatic personality can be told as an inspiring story. The Journey of “AMMA” as fondly referred to by her followers, has seen success and failure through her long career as a politician and as an actress. At 68, she is the most controversial personality of India.
Born at Melukote in Mandya district in a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin family, Jayalalitha was given her grandmothers name Koamalavalli at the time of birth. Her personal name Jayalalitha was later adopted for school and college journals. She fondly referred as Ammu by her family and friends. She excelled at school and was also offered a government scholarship to pursue further education.
Jayalalitha who started her career as a child actor in a Malayalam film later on, did her debut as an actress at the age 15 in a English film titled ‘Epistle’ and starred in different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and English. During her filmy career, as a Tamil actress, she holds the record of maximum silver jubilee hits. She was also known for her exceptional dancing skills. She is often referred as the ‘uncrowned queen of Tamil cinema’. But, the fame she earned as an actress pales in contrast to her political fame and acceptance.
Jayalalitha who rose to political fame under the mentorship of M G Ramachandran, another actor turned politician, is idolized by her followers as goddess. At the age of 34, when she ventured into politics under her mentor, she joined AIADMK and was positioned as propaganda secretary of the party. In 1991, she became the second female Chief Minister in Tamil Nadu. As much as, she is idolized by many, she is also accused for chargers like corruption. In 2014, she was held guilty in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case by a trial court in Karnataka. During this period, her followers staged protests and mourned openly. She was acquitted of all her charges in 2015 after which she was elected as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the Fifth time in 2016 state general elections.
Jayalalitha has become the second Chief Minister after M G Ramachandran to be elected twice, after her win, in the State Assembly Elections 2016. One of the enigmatic figures in Indian Politics, Jayalalitha, undoubtedly is a personality who has a huge impact on the lives of people.