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Karunanidhi

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"Kalaignar" redirects here. For the television channel, see Kalaignar TV.

   
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M Karunanidhi

 

ம கரணணநநதந

3rd, 4th, 10th, 12th, 14th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

 

In office

 
  • 13 May 2006 – 15 May 2011

Preceded by

Succeeded by

J. Jayalalithaa

Constituency

 

In office

 
  • 13 May 1996 – 13 May 2001

Preceded by

J. Jayalalithaa

Succeeded by

J. Jayalalithaa

Constituency

 

In office

 

27 January 1989 – 30 January 1991

Preceded by

Succeeded by

J. Jayalalithaa

Constituency

In office

15 March 1971 – 31 January 1976

Preceded by

Succeeded by

Constituency

In office

10 February 1969 – 4 January 1971

Preceded by

Succeeded by

Constituency

 

Personal details

Born

Nationality

Indian

Political party

Spouse(s)

Padmavathi (deceased) Dayalu Rajathi

 

Children

M.

M.

M.

K. Tamilarasu

M.

K. Selvi

M.

Residence

Religion

Atheism

 

Signature

Signature

Website

In this Indian name, the name Muthuvel is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Karunanidhi.

Muthuvel Karunanidhi (born as Daksinamoorthy on 3 June 1924) [1][2] is an Indian politician who has served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions. He is the head of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), [3] a Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969. [4] He holds the record of winning his seat in every election in which he has participated, in a political career spanning more than 60 years. [5][6] In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he led the DMK-led DPA (UPA and Left Parties) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to win all 40 Lok Sabhaseats. In the following 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, he was able to increase the number of seats for the DMK from 16 to 18 seats, and led the UPA in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, to win 28 seats, even with a significantly smaller coalition. He is also a playwright and screenwriter in Tamil cinema. He is popularly called Kalaignar. [7][8][9] Since 1975, Karunanidhi has published six volumes of his autobiography, Nenjukku Neethi. [10]

 

Contents

[hide]

 

Personal life[edit]

M.Karunanidhi was born as Dakshinamoorthy [2] in Thirukuvalai, Nagapattinam district [11][12] on 3 June 1924 to Muthuvel and Anjugam. [1] He married three times; his wives are the late Padmavathy, Dayalu Ammal and Rajathi Ammal. [13][14] Karunanidhi's first wife Padmavathy was a sister of Chidambaram S. Jeyaraman, notable Tamil musician, music director and playback singer. She died young. Karunanidhi's sons are M. K. Muthu, M. K. Alagiri, M. K. Stalin, and M. K. Tamilarasu. His daughters are Selvi and Kanimozhi. Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP. M. K. Muthu, his eldest son was born to Padmavathy, who died at a young age. Alagiri, Stalin, Selvi and Tamilarasu were born to Dayalu,

while Kanimozhi is the only daughter from his third wife, Rajathi. He has donated his house, that is to be converted into a free hospital for the poor after the lifetime of him and his wife Dayalu . [15][16] He is an atheist. [17]

Screenwriting[edit]

Karunanidhi began his career as a screenwriter in the Tamil film industry. [18] Through his wit and oratorical skills he rapidly rose as a popular politician. He was famous for writing historical and social (reformist) stories which propagated the socialist and rationalistideals of the Dravidian movement to which he belonged. He first began using Tamil cinema to propagate his political ideas through the movie Parasakthi. [19] Parasakthi was a turning point in Tamil cinema, as it espoused the ideologies of the Dravidian movement and also introduced two prominent actors of Tamil filmdom, Sivaji Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran. [20] The movie was initially banned but was eventually released in 1952. [20] It was a huge box office hit, but its release was marred with controversies. The movie was opposed by orthodox Hindus since it contained elements that criticized Brahmanism. [21] Two other movies written by Karunanidhi that contained such messages were Panam and Thangarathnam. [19] These movies contained themes such as widow remarriage, abolition of untouchability, self- respect marriages, abolition of zamindari and abolition of religious hypocrisy. [20] As his movies and plays with strong social messages became popular, they suffered from increased censorship; two of his plays in the 1950s were banned. [20]

Karunanidhi rose to fame as a scriptwriter for the Modern Theatres Studio in Salem about 350 kilometers from Madras or present day Chennai. T R Sundaram, the owner of Modern Theatres Studio at Yercaud foot hills, was instrumental in honouring the talents of Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa and M G Ramachandran. Even today, whenever Karunanidhi visits Salem, he takes a ride through Modern Theatres ( now a gated community of exclusive bungalows)and goes up to the first hair pin bend on the Yercaud hill road to relive nostalgia.

Literature[edit]

Karunanidhi is known for his contributions to Tamil literature. His contributions cover a wide range:

poems, letters, screenplays, novels, biographies, historical novels, stage-plays, dialogues and movie songs. He has written Kuraloviam for Thirukural, Tholkaappiya Poonga, Poombukar, as well as many poems, essays and books. Apart from literature, Karunanidhi has also contributed to the Tamil language through art and architecture. Like the Kuraloviyam, in which Kalaignar wrote about Thirukkural, through the construction of Valluvar Kottam he gave an architectural presence to Thiruvalluvar, in Chennai. At Kanyakumari, Karunanidhi constructed a 133-foot-high statue of Thiruvalluvar in honour of the scholar.

The books written by Karunanidhi's include Sanga Thamizh, Thirukkural Urai, Ponnar Sankar, Romapuri Pandian, Thenpandi Singam, Vellikizhamai, Nenjukku Needhi, Iniyavai Irubathu and Kuraloviam. His books of prose and poetry number more than 100.

Karunanidhi's stage plays include: Manimagudam, Ore Ratham, Palaniappan, Thooku Medai, Kagithapoo, Naane Arivali, Vellikizhamai, Udhayasooriyan and Silappathikaram.

Films[edit]

At the age of 20, Karunanidhi went to work for Jupiter Pictures as a scriptwriter. His first film, Rajakumaari, gained him much popularity. It was here that his skills as a scriptwriter were honed. He wrote 75 screenplays including: Rajakumaari, Abimanyu, Manthiri Kumari, Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi, Manamagal, Devaki, Parasakthi, Panam, Thirumbi Paar, Naam, Manohara, Ammaiappan, Malaikkallan, Rangoon Radha, Raja Rani, Pudhaiyal, Pudhumai Pithan, Ellorum Innattu Mannar, Kuravanji, Thayillapillai, Kaanchi

Thalaivan, Poompuhar, Poomalai, Mani Makudam, Marakka Mudiyuma?, Avan Pithana?, Pookkari, Needhikku Thandanai, Paalaivana Rojakkal, Pasa Paravaikal, Padadha Theneekkal, Niyaya Tharasu, Pasakiligal, Kannamma, Uliyin Osai, Pen Singam,Ilaignan and Ponnar Shankar

Ilaignan (2011)

Pen Singam (2010)

Uliyin Osai (2008)

Kannamma (2005)

Paalaivana Rojakkal (1985)

Kaalam Pathil Sollum (1980)

Poomalai (1965)

Poompuhar (1964)

Kuravanji (1960)

Pudhaiyal (1957)

Raja Rani (1956)

Panam (1952)

Manohara (1952)

Manamagal (1952)

Parasakthi (1952)

Abimanyu (1948)

Rajakumaari (1947)

Politics[edit]

Entry into politics[edit]

Karunanidhi entered politics at the age of 14, inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party, and participated in Anti-Hindi agitations. He founded an organisation for the local youth of his locality. He circulated a handwritten newspaper called Manavar Nesan to its members. Later he founded a student organisation called Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, which was the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement. Karunanidhi involved himself and the student community in social work with other members. Here he started a newspaper for its members, which grew into Murasoli, the DMK party's official newspaper.

The first major protest that aided Karunanidhi in gaining ground in Tamil politics was his involvement in the Kallakudi agitation in Kallakudi. Original name of this industrial town was Kallakudi and it was changed to Dalmiapuram after a cement mogul who built a cement plant there. DMK wanted to

change the name back to Kallakudi. In the protest Karunanidhi and his companions erased the name Dalmiapuram from the railway station and lay down on the tracks blocking the course of trains. Two people died in the protest and Karunanidhi was arrested. [22]

Rise to power[edit]

Karunanidhi was first elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly in 1957 from the Kulithalai assembly of Thiruchirapalli district. He became the DMK treasurer in 1961 and deputy leader of opposition in the state assembly in the year 1962 and when the DMK came to power in 1967, he became the minister for public works. When Annadurai expired in 1969, Karunanidhi became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the first leader of DMK, since the leader post was left vacant for Periyar when Annadurai was alive (Annadurai was the general secretary only). He has held various positions in the party and government during his long career in Tamil Nadu political arena. However, he suffered multiple electoral defeats against his primary opponent M.G.Ramachandran's ADMK until the latter's death in 1987.

After a brief stint as Chief Minister during the late 1980s (his government was dismissed by the Central government on accusations of degrading Law and Order situation in the state), Karunanidhi became the CM of Tamil Nadu in 1996 following a sweeping electoral win in the preceding elections. Following a 5-year rule, his party again lost at the elections to J. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK in 2001. He was however back in power when he took over as chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 13 May 2006 after his coalition defeated his main opponent J. Jayalalithaa in the May 2006 elections. [23] He currently represents the constituency of Tiruvarur in the Tamil Nadu state Legislative Assembly. He has been elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 12 times and once to the now abolished Tamil Nadu Legislative Council. At the end of the 5-year administration, the DMK lost the majority of seats in the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu when elections were held in 2011, thereby ceding power again to the AIADMK under J. Jayalalithaa.

Editor and publisher[edit]

He started Murasoli on 10 August 1942. He was the founding editor and publisher of Murasoli during his boyhood as a monthly, then a weekly, and now a daily. He used his talents as a journalist and cartoonist to bring issues relevant to his political ideology before the public. He writes daily letters addressed to his party workers by name; he has been writing these for over 50 years. In addition he has served as editor for Kudiyarasu and gave life to the journal Mutharam. He is the founder of State Governments News Reel, Arasu Studio and also the Government Journal Tamil Arasu, published in Tamil and English.

World Tamil Conference[edit]

He delivered the special address on the inaugural day of 3rd World Tamil Conference held in Paris in 1970, and also on the inaugural day of 6th World Tamil Conference held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 1987. He penned the song "Semmozhiyaana Tamizh Mozhiyaam", the official theme song for the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, that was set to tune by A. R. Rahman. [24]

Awards and titles[edit]

Annamalai University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1971. [25]

He was awarded "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for his book "Thenpandi Singam". [25]

On 15 December 2006, the Governor of Tamil Nadu and the Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, Surjit Singh Barnala

conferred an honorary doctorate on the Chief Minister on the occasion of the 40th annual convocation.

In June 2007, [26][27][28] the Tamil Nadu Muslim Makkal Katchi announced that it would confer the title 'Friend of the Muslim Community' ('Yaaran-E-Millath') upon M. Karunanidhi.

In June 2016, Karunanidhi received the Distinguished Statesman award [29] from the Rocheston Accreditation Institute, New York.

Controversies[edit]

He has been indicted by the Sarkaria commission for corruption in allotting tenders for the Veeranam project. [30] Indira Gandhi dismissed the Karunanidhi government based on charges of possible secession and corruption. His Government was the first state Government in India to be dismissed on charges of corruption. In 2001 Karunanidhi, former chief secretary, K.A. Nambiar, and a host of others were arrested on charges of corruption in the construction of flyovers in Chennai. [31] He and his party members were also charged under Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, but no prima facie evidence was found against him and his son M K Stalin. [32][citation needed]

Desecrating Hindu Gods[edit]

Karunanidhi and senior party members reportedly [citation needed] participated in a rally in Villupuram on 15 September 2012, to celebrate the DMK founding day, where they were reportedly received by a group of dancers made up as Hindu gods. [citation needed] Dressed in costumes depicting Shiva, Parvathy, Murugan and Vinayaka, the dancers put up a show for this group of "atheist" leaders. [citation needed] This development has not gone down well with the Hindu leaders with the TN Hindu Maha Sabha president K. Srikandan sending a petition to the chief minister's cell and the director general of police, demanding the arrest of rally organiser K. Ponmudy and other office-bearers of the DMK under the National Security Act. Karunanidhi and the DMK leaders have been criticized by Hindu outfits and Casteist organizations for following the rationalistic principles of Periyar E.V.Ramasamy which emphasize on abolition of caste and religious superstitions. [33]

Ram Setu remarks[edit]

In response to the Sethusamudram controversy, Karunanidhi questioned the existence of the Hindu God Rama. He asked:

Some say there was a person over 1.7 million years ago. His name was Rama. Do not touch the bridge (Ramar Sethu) constructed by him. Who is this Rama? From which engineering college did he graduate? Is there any proof for this? [34]

His remarks caused a firestorm of controversy. BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Karunanidhi of religious discrimination when noting "We would like to know from Karunanidhi if he would make a similar statement against religious head of any other religion; chance are he may not." [35]

Nationalist Congress Party spokesman D. P. Tripathi said, "Where is the need of asking for evidence on the existence of Ram when lots of people have unreserved faith in him?" [36]

In response to these statements, Karunanidhi defiantly stated, "Anyway, neither Valmiki nor Ram is here now [to vouch for claims of Ram's existence]. There is only a group that thinks of people as fools. They will be proved wrong." [36]

Several days later, he commented:

I have not said anything more than Valmiki, who authored Ramayana. Valmiki had even stated that Rama was a drunkard. Have I said so? [37] Further adding: "Even my god is Ramasami"

Connections with LTTE[edit]

The interim report of Justice Jain Commission, which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, indicted Karunanidhi for abetting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [38] The interim report recommended that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the DMK party be held responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. The final report contained no such allegations. [39] In April 2009, in an interview to NDTV, Karunanidhi made a controversial remark stating that "Prabhakaran is my good friend" and also said, "India could not forgive the LTTE for assassinating Rajiv Gandhi". [40][41]

Allegations of nepotism [citation needed] [edit]

Karunanidhi has been accused by opponents, by some members of his party, and by other political observers of trying to promote nepotism [citation needed] . Many political opponents and DMK party senior leaders have been critical of the rise of M. K. Stalin in the party. [citation needed] But some of the party men have pointed out that Stalin has come up on his own. He has faced a lot of hardship since 1975, when he was jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and was beaten up in jail so brutally during the Emergency that a fellow DMK party prisoner died trying to save him. [42] Stalin was an MLA in 1989 and 1996 when his father Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister, but he was not inducted into the Cabinet. He became Chennai's 44th mayor and its first directly elected mayor in 1996. It was only in his fourth term as MLA that he was made a Minister in the Karunanidhi cabinet and then in 2009 was made the Deputy Chief Minister. His daughter Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha MP now.

Involvement in 2G Scam[edit]

As per the chargesheet filed by CBI, Kanimozhi has 100% stake in her family owned Kalaignar TV, her step-mother Dayalu Ammal owns 60% stake in the same channel. CBI alleges that Kanimozhi was an "active brain" behind the channel's operations[48] and she worked along with former telecom minister A. Raja to get DB Realty promoter Shahid Balwa to circuitously route 2 billion (US$36.2 million) to Kalaignar TV. According to CBI, Kanimozhi was in regular touch with A Raja regarding launching of Kalaignar TV channel and its other pending works.[49] CBI alleges that A Raja was further pursuing the cause of Kalaignar TV not only for getting registration of the company from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting but also for getting it in the DTH operator TATA Sky's bouquet. She was also summoned by the Income Tax Department, Chennai for alleged tax evasion

charges.[49] [citation needed]

On 3 July 2012, briefing the Joint parliamentary committee probing the scam, ED claimed that it has enough evidence to convict DMK chief Karunanidhi's wife and daughter Kanimozhi. [43][citation needed]

Elections contested and positions held[edit]

Yea

Constituenc

Result

Vote

percentag

 

Opposition

Opposition

Oppositio

n vote

r

y

Candidate

Party

percentag

e

 
   

e

     

K.

A.

Dharmalingam

 

INC

 
     

A.

   
 

INC

   

S.

G.

Vinayagamurthy

 

INC

 
 

N. Kamalingam

 

INC

50.1

G. Krishnamurthy

 

30.98 [44]

48.97

H.V.Hande

 

48.31 [44]

 

59.76

K.A.Wahab

 

Muslim

League

13.84

[45]

48.66

K. Suppu

 

47.26 [45]

77.05

N.S. Nellai Kannan

INC

17.24 [46]

51.91

R. Damodharan

 

INC

43.5 [46]

50.96

Dawood Miah Khan

Independent

38.25 [46]

62.9

M. Rajendran

 

33.93 [47]

Yea

 

Constituenc

 

Result

Vote

percentag

 

Opposition

Opposition

Oppositio

n vote

r

y

 

Candidate

Party

percentag

 

e

 
     

e

 

Won

R. Pannerselvam

Posts in legislature[edit]

 

Assembly

 

From

 

To

Position

Party - Number of seats /Seats contested

1962

 

1967

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

50/143 [48]

1967

 

1969

State Minister for Public Works

138/233 [49]

 

10

February

       

1969

 

5 January 1971

Chief Minister (1) [50]

136/233 [51]

   

31

January

   

15

March 1971

1976

Chief Minister (2) [50]

182/203 [52]

   

17

February

Leader of the Opposition

 

25

July 1977

1980

(1) [50]

48/230 [53]

   

18

August

Leader of the Opposition

 

27

June 1980

1983

(2) [50]

37/112 [54]

 

27

January

30

January

   

1989

 

1991

Chief Minister (3) [50]

150/202 [55]

         

13

May 1996

14

May 2001

Chief Minister (4) [50]

173/182 [56]

       
  • 13 May 2006

14 May 2011

Chief Minister (5) [50]

96/132 [57]

       
  • 16 May 2011

Present

MLA

23/124

See also[edit]

 

Notes[edit]

Jump up ^ Menon, Jeya (20 April 2005). "Karunanidhi's been nice, but his village not blind to Amma option". The Indian Express. Thirukuvalai. Retrieved 22 November 2013.

12.

  • 20. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Hardgrave, Jr, Robert L (1973). "Politics and the Film in Tamilnadu: The Stars and the DMK". Asian Survey. 13 (3):

Jump up ^ United News of India (4 June 2007). "Karunanidhi turns 84". news.webindia123.com. The Tamil Nadu Muslim Makkal Katchi has decided to confer 'Yaaraan-E-Millath (meaning friend of the Muslim community) title on Mr Karunanidhi to mark the occasion.

28.

|
|
title=
title=
44. ^ Jump up to: a b "Party wise comparison since 1977 in Anna Nagar constituency".
44.
^ Jump up to: a b "Party wise comparison since 1977 in Anna Nagar
constituency". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 10
November 2013.

References[edit]

Guneratne, Anthony R.; Wimal Dissanayake; Sumita S. Chakravarty (2003). Rethinking Third Cinema. Routledge. ISBN 0-

 

 

67" (PDF). Fort St. George, Madras: Legislative Assembly Department. June 1967.

 

 

70" (PDF). Fort St. George, Madras: Legislative Assembly Department. June 1971.

 

 

76" (PDF). Fort St. George, Madras: Legislative Assembly Department. June 1976.

 

 

80" (PDF). Fort St. George, Madras: Legislative Assembly Department. 1980.

 

"Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2011" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. 2011.

"Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 1980" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. 1980.

"Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 1989" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. 1989. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2010.

"Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 1996" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2010.

 

"Statistical report on Tamil Nadu Assembly general elections 2006" (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. 2006.

External links[edit]

 

 

Political offices

Preceded by

Vacant

First Tenure

1969–1976

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Jayalalithaa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In this Indian name, the name Jayaram is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Jayalalithaa.

 

J Jayalalithaa

J Jayalalithaa Jayalalithaa in 2014 <a href=Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu In office 23 May 2015 – 5 December 2016 Preceded by O. Panneerselvam Succeeded by O. Panneerselvam Constituency Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar In office 16 May 2011 – 27 September 2014 Preceded by Karunanidhi Succeeded by O. Panneerselvam " id="pdf-obj-20-28" src="pdf-obj-20-28.jpg">
 

Jayalalithaa in 2014

 
 

In office

23 May 2015 – 5 December 2016

Preceded by

Succeeded by

O. Panneerselvam

Constituency

In office

16 May 2011 – 27 September 2014

Preceded by

Succeeded by

O. Panneerselvam

Constituency

In office

2 March 2002 – 12 May 2006

Preceded by

O. Panneerselvam

Succeeded by

Karunanidhi

Constituency

In office

14 May 2001 – 21 September 2001

Preceded by

Karunanidhi

Succeeded by

O. Panneerselvam

Constituency

Did not contest

In office

24 June 1991 – 12 May 1996

Preceded by

Succeeded by

Karunanidhi

Constituency

 

Personal details

Born

Komalavalli 24 February 1948 Mandya, Mysore State (now Karnataka), India

Died

5 December 2016 (aged 68)

 

Political party

Profession

Actress, politician

Religion

Jayalalithaa Jayaram [a] (24 February 1948 – 5 December 2016) was an Indian actress and politician who served five terms as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, for over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016. From 1989 she was the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a Dravidian party whose cadre revered her as their Amma (mother), Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) and Thanga Tharagai (golden maiden). Critics in the media and the opposition accused her of fostering a personality cult, and of demanding absolute loyalty from AIADMK legislators and ministers who often publicly prostrated themselves before her. [3]

Jayalalithaa first came into prominence as a leading film actor in the mid-1960s. Though she had entered the profession reluctantly, upon the urging of her mother to support the family, Jayalalithaa worked prolifically. She appeared in 140 films between 1961 and 1980, primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages. Jayalalithaa received praise for her versatility as an actor and for her dancing skills, earning the sobriquet "queen of Tamil cinema". [4] Among her frequent co- stars was M. G. Ramachandran, or MGR, a Tamil cultural icon who leveraged his immense popularity with the masses into a successful political career. In 1982, when MGR was chief minister, Jayalalithaa joined the AIADMK, the party he founded. Her political rise was rapid; within a few years she became AIADMK propaganda secretary and was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's Parliament. After MGR's death in 1987, Jayalalithaa proclaimed herself his political heir and, having fought off the faction headed by Janaki Ramachandran, MGR's widow, emerged as the sole leader of the AIADMK. Following the 1989 election, she became Leader of the Opposition to the DMK-led government headed by Karunanidhi, her bête noire.

In 1991 Jayalalithaa became chief minister, Tamil Nadu's youngest, for the first time. She earned a reputation for a punishing work ethic and for centralising state power among a coterie of bureaucrats; her council of ministers, whom she often shuffled around, were largely ceremonial in nature. The successful cradle-baby scheme, which enabled mothers to anonymously offer their newborns for adoption, emerged during this time. Despite an official salary of only a rupee a month, Jayalalithaa indulged in public displays of wealth, culminating in a lavish wedding for her foster son in 1995. In the 1996 election, the AIADMK was nearly wiped out at the hustings; Jayalalithaa herself lost her seat. The new Karunanidhi government filed several corruption cases against her, and she had to spend time in jail. Her fortunes revived in the 1998 general election, as the AIADMK became a key component of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 1998–99 government; her withdrawal of support toppled it and triggered another general election just a year later.

The AIADMK returned to power in 2001, although Jayalalithaa was personally disbarred from contesting due to the corruption cases. Within a few months of her taking oath as chief minister, in September 2001, she was disqualified from holding office, and forced to cede the chair to loyalist O. Panneerselvam. Upon her acquittal six months later, Jayalalithaa returned as chief minister to complete her term. Noted for its ruthlessness to political opponents, many of whom were arrested in midnight raids, her government grew unpopular. Another period (2006–11) in the opposition followed, before Jayalalithaa was sworn in as chief minister for the fourth time after the AIADMK swept the 2011 assembly election. Her government received attention for its extensive social-welfare agenda, which included several subsidised "Amma"-branded goods such as canteens, bottled water

and salt. Three years into her tenure, she was convicted in a disproportionate-assets case, rendering her disqualified to hold office. She returned as chief minister after being acquitted in May 2015. In the 2016 assembly election, she became the first Tamil Nadu chief minister since MGR in 1984 to be voted back into office. That September, she fell severely ill and, following 75 days of hospitalization, died on 5 December 2016 due to cardiac arrest.

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Jayalalithaa was born on 24 February 1948 at Melukote, Pandavapura taluka, Mandya district, then in Mysore State (now Karnataka) to Jayaram and Vedavalli in a Tamil Brahmin(Iyengar) family. [5][6] [7] Jayalalitha was given her grandmother's name Komalavalli at the time of birth. [8] The name Jayalalitha was adopted at the age of one for the purpose of using the name in school and colleges. It was derived from the names of two houses where she resided in Mysore. One was "Jaya Vilas" and the other "Lalitha Vilas". Her paternal grandfather, Narasimhan Rengachary, was in the service of the Mysore kingdom as a surgeon, and served as the court physician to Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IVof Mysore. Her maternal grandfather, Rangasamy Iyengar, moved to Mysore from Srirangam to work with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. He had one son and three daughters – Ambujavalli, Vedavalli and Padmavalli. Vedavalli was given in marriage to Narasimhan Rengachary's son, Jayaram. The couple Jayaram-Vedvalli had two children: a son Jayakumar and a daughter, Jayalalitha. [9] Her mother, her relatives and later co-stars and friends referred her as Ammu. [10]

Jayalalitha's father, Jayaram, was a lawyer but never worked and squandered most of the family money. He died when Jayalalitha was two years old. The widowed Vedavalli returned to her father's home in Bangalore in 1950. [3] Vedavalli learnt shorthand and typewriting to take up a clerical position to help support the family in 1950. Her younger sister Ambujavalli had moved to Madras, working as an air hostess. She also started acting in drama and films using the screen name Vidyavathy. On the insistence of Ambujavalli, Jayalalithaa's mother Vedavalli also relocated to Madras and stayed with her sister from 1952. Vedavalli worked in a commercial firm in Madras and began dabbling in acting from 1953 under the screen name Sandhya. Jayalalitha remained under the care of her mother's sister Padmavalli and maternal grandparents from 1950 to 1958 in Mysore. [3][9] While still in Bangalore, Jayalalithaa attended Bishop Cotton Girls' School. [11] In later interviews, Jayalalithaa spoke emotionally about how she missed her mother growing up in a different city. She had the opportunity to visit her mother during summer holidays. [9]

After her aunt Padmavalli's marriage in 1958, Jayalalitha moved to Madras and began to live with her mother. She completed her education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School (popularly known as Church Park Presentation Convent or Presentation Church Park Convent). [9][12] She excelled at school and was offered a government scholarship to pursue further education. [11] She won Gold State Award for coming first in 10th standard in the state of Tamil Nadu. She appears not to have accepted the admission offer from Stella Maris College. [3] She was fluent in several languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam and English. [13]

Her brother Jayakumar, his wife Vijayalakshmi and their daughter Deepa lived in T.Nagar Chennai. Her brother died in 1995 in an accident. [14]

Film career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In Chennai, Jayalalitha was trained in Carnatic music, western classical piano [15] and various forms of classical dance, including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, Manipuri Kathak. [16] She learnt Bharatnatyam and dance forms under K.J.Sarasa.She had also learnt Kuchipudi under Padma Bhushan Guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam. She became an accomplished dancer and gave her debut dance performance at the Rasika Ranjani Sabha in Mylapore in May 1960. [17] The Chief Guest

at the Arangetram was Shivaji Ganesan , who expressed wish that Jayalalitha becomes a film star in future. [1