Jayalalithaa’s acrobatics bodes ill for Sri Lanka

27 February 2014 03:24 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A






Among those jumping on the anti-Sri Lankan bandwagon, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram made world headlines last week with her decision to release those convicted of assassinating former Indian Prime Rajiv Gandhi in a May 1991 suicide bomb attack in Tamil Nadu.

Earlier on February 18, a three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam commuted the death sentence of those convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination on the grounds that the mercy petitions of the former LTTE cadres had been delayed for eleven years.

Jayalalithaa then swung into action, convening a special Cabinet meeting of the Tamil Nadu Government which decided to release the convicts using the powers vested in her as Chief Minister. She then stated that she would be “informing” the Indian Central Government of her decision.



Jayalalithaa is pandering to her Tamil Nadu electorate. The demand for the convicts’ release was first made by her arch rival Muthuvelu Karunanidhi, the 89-year old former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. By ordering the release of the convicts Jayalalithaa has stolen his thunder, months before the elections.



New Delhi was not impressed. It has obtained a stay order from the Supreme Court on the release of the convicts. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has deplored the move and Rajiv Gandhi’s son Rahul has expressed his dismay at the decision. The ‘pardon’ has also attracted international condemnation.

Jayalalithaa is pandering to her Tamil Nadu electorate. The demand for the convicts’ release was first made by her arch rival Muthuvelu Karunanidhi, the 89-year old former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. By ordering the release of the convicts Jayalalithaa has stolen his thunder, months before the elections. 

Playing such a daring role would not have been difficult for Jayalalithaa Jeyaram. A movie star turned politician, she honed her skills in more than 140 movies before taking to politics as a career. She has since been in the thick of controversy in the rough and tumble world of Tamil Nadu politics.

Born in Karanataka in 1948, Jayalalithaa began her movie career while still a schoolgirl at the age of thirteen acting in an English movie in 1961. She then switched to Tamil movies and her big break came when she co-starred with male heartthrob Sivaji Ganesan in 1972.



Karunanidhi was Chief Minister during the crucial final phase of the Eelam war and Jayalalithaa frequently blamed him for not doing more to urge the Indian Central Government to call upon Sri Lanka to halt the offensive against the LTTE. She used this as an issue in her 2011 campaign



Before long, she was a much sought after actress winning critical acclaim and many national awards. It also brought her in contact with M. G. Ramachandran, the actor turned politician who went on to become Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister. It was a path that Jayalalithaa was also to take.

Retiring from movies in 1980 at the age of 32, Jayalalithaa joined the party Ramachandran founded, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Three years later, she became propaganda secretary of the party. She was elected to India’s Upper House, the Rajya Sabha in 1984.

Ramachandran died in 1987 and the AIADMK split into two factions, one group supporting his widow Janaki Ramachandran and the other favouring Jayalalithaa. The former was defeated in the 1989 polls; Janaki Ramachandran retired from politics and Jayalalithaa was appointed leader of the AIADMK.

Jayalalithaa was elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly in 1989 and was appointed Leader of the Opposition. Ironically, in 1991, following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi days before the elections, her alliance with the Congress Party enabled her to ride the wave of sympathy and win the polls.

The AIADMK alliance with the Congress won 225 out of the 234 seats contested in Tamil Nadu. Re-elected to the assembly, Jayalalithaa became the first elected female chief minister and the youngest ever chief minister of Tamil Nadu, serving her full tenure of five years.

The Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK lost power in the 1996 elections when it won only four of the 168 seats that the party contested. Jayalalithaa was herself defeated in her constituency. Rampant corruption in the state government-for which she was later convicted-was seen as a reason for her loss.

Jayalalithaa was barred from standing as a candidate in the 2001 elections as she had been found guilty of criminal offences, including allegedly obtaining state property. Nevertheless, the AIADMK won the polls and Jayalalithaa returned to her position as Chief Minister a year later, being acquitted by the High Court.

Her current term as Chief Minister is her third where she succeeded her nemesis Karunanidhi, who held office for five years from 2006. The verbal sabre rattling between the two has been a hallmark of Tamil Nadu politics and often involves matters related to Sri Lankan Tamils, a volatile issue in Tamil Nadu.

Karunanidhi was Chief Minister during the crucial final phase of the Eelam war and Jayalalithaa frequently blamed him for not doing more to urge the Indian Central Government to call upon Sri Lanka to halt the offensive against the LTTE. She used this as an issue in her 2011 campaign.



Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK holds only nine seats in the current Indian Parliament and it does not support the ruling Congress Party-led alliance 




In her current role as Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa has maintained a high profile. Her love for the limelight and headline grabbing antics are well known. Once, the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped in Chennai en-route from Delhi to call on her.

Her antipathy towards Sri Lanka-and her support for the LTTE-is no secret. She has constantly been provoking Colombo going to ridiculous extents to do so. In September 2012, she refused to allow a football team from Royal College, Colombo to play a game in Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK holds only nine seats in the current Indian Parliament and it does not support the ruling Congress Party-led alliance. However with the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) expected to win most of the seats in the general elections scheduled for May, she could become a kingmaker in Delhi. If the BJP does not have an absolute majority and the AIADMK has a sizeable number of seats, Jayalalithaa’s support would be crucial to form the next Indian government and this bodes ill for Sri Lanka as she is likely to make many demands related to Sri Lankan Tamils in return for her support.

The AIADMK’s election manifesto released on Tuesday called for an international referendum of Sri Lankan Tamils for the creation of a State of Eelam. Impractical though the suggestion may be, it gives a hint of what to expect as Jayalalithaa Jeyaram continues her political acrobatics from across the Palk Straits.

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  Comments - 0

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Employees’ health and safety our top-most priority - Brandix

When inquired, Brandix Apparel Limited said that health and safety of employe

“Workers who fainted had water sprinkled on their faces and had to work again”

Health authorities believe the first reported Covid-19 infected worker from t

“Social media ruined us” - husband of Minuwangoda Brandix factory worker

The Minuwangoda Brandix factory worker who first tested positive for Covid-19

Last rites far from home

The body of the Sri Lankan migrant worker Bandu who died of coronavirus in Du

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.