December 6, 2016
While glowing tributes for departed leader J Jayalalithaa continue to flow in from politicians, film personalities, bureaucrats, and other prominent citizens, the common man or the man in the street is numbed by her sudden demise. Expecting to hear of her recovery, people were left shell-shocked when they received instead the sad news of her death around midnight.
Covai Post spoke to a cross section of people, whose voice and interests the departed leader represented, and here is how she has touched them:
A headmistress at a government middle school, A Selvarani, said, “Jayalalithaa was like a ‘one woman army’, who waged and won many political battles; she stood for all woman in Tamil Nadu. The womenfolk in the State were lucky to have her as CM. Cruel fate had snatched her away from us, but her inspiring life story will continue to encourage women of all ages. Her life story will remain an inspiring tale for the generations to come.”
KR Krishnamurthy, who runs a restaurant in Rajaveedhi, said, “The departed leader was a chosen child of destiny and saviour of Tamils. Though confronted by many political challenges, she always stood up to them, never shying away. Her victory in the last Tamil Nadu Assembly elections will be etched in golden letters in the annals of history, for she took on the might of another Dravidian major and other strong parties to emerge victorious.”
“All of us know that she had it in her to bounce back from any hopeless situation. But death, the great leveller, has taken her away from our midst, without a warning. She was talented, intuitive and child-like; a bundle of energy and positivity. She excelled like a brave lioness in the jungle of party politics,” said A Sudha, an accountant working in Gandhipuram.
To Duraisamy, of Pannimadai near Thudiyalur, Jayalalithaa was truly the ‘iron lady of India’. “A trailblazer in Indian politics, she was a strong decision maker. She had completely identified herself with the downtrodden and brought many welfare schemes including ‘Amma canteen’, ‘Amma pharmacy’ and ‘Amma cement’ for the welfare of the people, which proved to be great hit with the people and guaranteed her return to power.”
Said young software engineer A Venkat, “Amma is known for the steadfast qualities she ably represented. She had proved to the world that if there is a will there is way. She was a heady cocktail of courage and practical wisdom.”
U Indira, wife of a State government official, living in Saibaba colony said, “Madam Jayalalithaa left her stamp in every sphere of activity she touched. She was a good student, dancer, actor and administrator.”
A student B Aishwarya, paying her rich tribute to the leader, said, “From bicycles to laptops, she helped the student community a lot; the rural students benefited immensely from her welfare measures.
For a daily wage earner C Valarmathi, “The self-help groups helped women like me a lot, we got into the habit of working and saving, and could help run the household.”
“Jayalalithaa madam may not be present physically to guide us all, but she will continue to inspire the masses, particularly womenfolk, from the heavens. She is peerless leader and a Tamil goddess. As her political arch rival M Karunanidhi has said in his tribute, ‘her fame will remain forever’,” said M Hema Ananthi, an engineering graduate of RS Puram, and an ardent Jayalalithaa supporter.