- MGR was also admitted, in October of 1984, to the hospital
- Then, it was widely speculated that he had died.
- Both the CMs fell sick in their third term, in their late sixties
Both Jayalalithaa and MGR mean a great deal to the political history of Tamil Nadu and have many similarities. Ironically their health conditions are 'similar' too.
There have been rumours about the death of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa since she was admitted to the Apollo hospital last month after her profound illness. It is quite identical to what happened to her mentor in 1987.
The then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran, popularly known as 'MGR', one of the biggest milestones in Indian politics and the strongest foundation of the AIADMK was also admitted to Apollo Hospital in similar circumstances - that too in the month of October - in 1984.
After this, the rumours of his death started surfacing, but he came out fit and fine.
There are some notable similarities in both the cases. If one looks at it closely, the sequence of events of these incidents indicates that the history may repeat itself.
When MGR was admitted in 1984, he suffered kidney failure and was also found to be severely diabetic. Soon after, he was shifted to a hospital in New York. Similarly, there have been rumours doing rounds all over the news that Jayalalithaa has also suffered a kidney failure and her diabetes is well known.
Another similarity in both the cases is that both the iconic chief ministers of Tamil Nadu were in their late sixties when they were admitted to the Apollo Hospital and were serving their third term in office.
Politically too, there is a minor mirror situation. After MGR's demise in 1987 VR Nedunchezhiyan had taken charge as the de-facto chief minister, but RM Veerappan became the party strongman with the backing of MGR fan clubs.
Currently, O Panneerselvam is the new de-facto CM, but it is popularly assumed that Sasikala will be pulling strings from the background as the party strongwoman.
Among the differences as the medical diagnosis. MGR was initially admitted after he suffered a mild asthma attack, fever and cold. Whereas the current Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, popularly known as 'Amma' among her followers, was admitted after she complained fever and dehydration, on September 22.
Another difference in both the cases is MGR’s health condition was not kept as a 'total secret', and the hospital kept on giving out press releases at regular intervals about the chief minister's health condition. Whether they were accurate or not is unknown.
On the contrary, not just Jayalalithaa's health status is maintained as an absolute secret but also Apollo Hospital in Chennai has been turned into a 'high-security zone', even restricting the visitors' entry since the day she was admitted last month.
MGR, for his part, recovered and reigned over Tamil Nadu for another three years.
In any case speculating about her health has actual serious consequences. Two persons, who allegedly circulated rumours on social networking sites on the health status of Jayalalithaa, have been arrested, police said.
Police have warned of stern action against those spreading rumours on the health of Jayalalitha and have registered 43 cases so far. Already, two persons have been arrested for spreading such rumours.
28-year-old, Mani Selvam, a bank employee, hailing from Ottapidaram Taluk, Tuticorin and 42-year-old Bala Sundaram hailing from Pammal, Chennai, were the latest to be arrested by the Central Crime Branch police, an official press release said.
The police have formed a team comprising private cyber experts to keep a watch on those who spread false information about the health and warned of strong action against those involved in such acts.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:59 PM IST