The queen of political comebacks has finally been laid to rest. The former chief minister was placed in a sandalwood casket next to the memorial of her mentor, MG Ramachandran at Chennai’s Marina Beach. Last rites were performed by Jayalalithaa’s friend Sasikala Natarajan. AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, aged 68 died at Apollo Hospital in Chennai after spending 74 days in treatment for various ailments. The end came after she suffered a massive cardiac arrest just a day before.
Lovingly called ‘Amma’ by her die-hard supporters, Jayalalithaa spent her last days battling her physical ailments just like she spent over 25 years battling her political opponents – her indomitable spirit to stay on the top and victorious was clearly at display. Only this time, she was fighting the inevitable fate of all humans – death.
Given below is a timeline of Jayalalithaa’s life as she donned multiple hats – from a stage actor to a stellar career in movies to her coronation as MGR’s successor in Tamil Nadu’s political arena.
1948 – Born in Mysore State, Karnataka
1952 – Attends Bishop Cottons High School and acts in plays under the name, ‘Sandhya’
1958 – Moves to Madras and joins Sacred Heart Convent School. Along with excelling in academics she was also trained in Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Carnatic Music
1964 – At the age of 16 she began her acting career by taking up the lead role in a Kannada film, Chinnada Gombe. She keeps aside her dreams to be a lawyer and pursues acting to support her mother
1965 – Acts in her first Tamil movie, Venniraadai, which was a hit. She also pairs with M G Ramachandran (MGR) for the first time in the film, Aayirathil Oruvan
1965 – 1980 – She acted in 140 films which included Izzat in Bollywood and Jesus in Mollywood. She ended her acting career with, Nayakudu Vinayakudu, a Telugu film. During this period, she held the record for being the only female actor to deliver maximum silver jubilee (85 out of 92 films she acted) hits in Tamil cinema
1982 – Starts her political career by joining AIADMK, a party founded by MGR
1983 – Became the party’s propaganda secretary and contests her first election from Tiruchendur
1984 – She was nominated to Rajya Sabha by MGR owing to her language skills in English. She remains an MP till 1989
1986 – A fall out with MGR as she attempts to gain more power in the party and was sacked of all party posts
1987 – As MGR dies, AIADMK splits into two factions – with Jayalalithaa leading one and MGR’s widow Janaki leading the other
1989 – By winning 27 seats, she become Leader of Opposition and takes forward MGR’s legacy. She is assaulted and molested by a senior DMK leader in a budget session after which she vows to return as Chief Minister
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1991 – Landslide victory in state and general elections in alliance with the Congress. Becomes the CM of Tamil Nadu – the youngest and first female CM of the state. She served as CM till 1996
1996 – Massive loss in election due to corruption charges and anti- incumbency
2000 – Convicted in Pleasant stay hotel case and Tansi Land Acquisition Scam. The courts bar her from contesting Assembly election
2001 – Despite controversies, AIADMK wins 196 / 234 seats and Jayalalithaa becomes second time CM as a non-elected member of state assembly. However, Supreme Court strikes down her appointment as CM and her close ally O. Panneerselvam takes up the role
2002 – Supreme Court acquits her of both the corruption charges and she assumes the CM’s role
2004 – AIADMK faces major loss in Lok Sabha Elections
2006 – AIADMK once again loses against DMK in Assembly elections
2011 – AIADMK alliance storms back to power by winning 203 / 234 seats. Jayalalithaa becomes CM again for the 3rd time and embarks on her populist politics
2014 – Becomes 3rd largest party in Lok Sabha following Congress, by winning 37 / 39 seats of Tamil Nadu. In September once again, she is disqualified by Supreme Court due to conviction in the disproportionate assets case
2015 – Karnataka HC acquits her in the disproportionate assets case and she takes charge as CM
2016 – In May 2016, wins election again and takes oath as CM
In September she is admitted to Apollo Hospital, Chennai pertaining to dehydration and fever. In October the hospital stated that she is responding well to treatment and in November it was reported that she has recovered and will be returning home. On December 04th, she faces a major cardiac arrest and was put on extracorporeal membrane heart assist device. On December 05th, at 11:30 pm the hospital stated that Jayalalithaa passed away succumbing to the cardiac arrest. She was laid to rest at Marina Beach next to the memorial of MGR, her mentor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.