- Jayalalithaa ability to influence poor voters as well as impress the administrative bureaucrats did give her an edge over others in the Tamil Nadu politics.
- AIADMK itself is a byproduct of the Dravida movement that was led by non-Dravidian leaders.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, late J Jayalalithaa, was an enigmatic figure who kept the whole world guessing about everything associated with her, be it personal life or political move.
This Mysore-born Tamil Brahmin natural leader of the masses, fondly addressed as Amma, changed the course of Tamil Nadu's Dravida inclined politics by standing up against anti-Brahmin sentiments and male dominance in politics.
Jayalalithaa ability to influence poor voters as well as impress the administrative bureaucrats did give her an edge over others in the Tamil Nadu politics. On top of that, her unpredictable yet well-calculated political moves made her the omnipotent leader of AIADMK and Tamilians in general.
Briefly, late EV Ramaswamy Naicker formed Justice Party (formed in 1916) that fought against the dominance of Brahmins in Tamil Nadu. This party, later on, became Dravida Kazhagam (DK) from which DMK was born. Later on, Keralite MGR disassociated himself from DMK to form AIADMK.
In short, AIADMK itself is a byproduct of the Dravida movement against the dominance of Brahmins that was led by the Jayalalithaa, a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar by birth.
In fact, convent-educated, English speaking Jayalalithaa was an unconventional figure in Tamil Nadu politics who was able to survive in the male dominant political scenario of the state and emerge as one of the most influential politicians ever.
Under Jayalalithaa, AIADMK found its support system in farmers, women, and the Thevar community which are a big part of the Dravida movement. Jayalalithaa's closest associate Sasikala Natarajan and her chief political aid O Panneerselvam both are of Thevar community.
Jayalalithaa without abandoning her true identity that she inherited from being born in a Brahmin family became a leader of the masses in a state that stood against Brahmin dominance.
She also introduced multiple welfare schemes aimed at women and poor that helped her found a firm footing among the loyal population of the state. Jayalalithaa kept working for welfare of the masses while fighting her own political battles, court cases, and inter-party politics.
For a long time, Jayalalithaa will remain the strongest political figure among the people of Tamil Nadu.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:47 PM IST