It was 1989, when in a commotion in the Tamil Nadu assembly, led to a scrimmage between the DMK and the AIADMK supporters. The then CM of Tamil Nadu saw his assembly papers snatched from his hand and torn into pieces.
To avenge the incident, a DMK supporter pulled and tore Jayalalitha’s pallu (saree) as she was leaving the assembly. She fell to the ground. But not her dignity. She swore that she wouldn’t return to the threshold of the assembly till she became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Two years later, she was sworn in as the CM.
An Iron Lady was born.
She held the office at a time when Tamil Nadu needed a female leader, who could represent the face of feminism with honour and respect. Results were evident. To eradicate female foeticide and infanticide, the ‘cradle baby’ scheme was launched, a brainchild of Jayalalitha.
In the following years, and still, hundreds of girl children were saved from ingress to death and discrimination. In true sense, it was beyond just a political scheme. It was a message to women of India, that they are safe. And even after her demise, we hope the scheme continues to help save girl child from such perfidy.
Thus she became ‘ Amma ‘ of thousands, and a mother to the nation.
The most popular freedom movement in British India, the Dandi March, began with the production of salt. The necessity of salt in everything we eat and the cheap price at which it can be obtained makes it the friend of people from all classes.
How could there not be an Amma salt being sold in the state? Manufactured by the Tamil Nadu Salt Corporation, it is cheaper than the salt sold by private companies. Sodium salt costs only ₹21 while other companies sell it for not less than ₹25.
The brand Amma.
The complicated and controversial life of the woman is astonishing, to say the least. A woman, who rose to a film star in a society latched in stereotypes, and then to a political being and a paramount figure to women in India, is something to be pondered upon.
What is it about this woman that has captivated people for over twenty years? A woman who is equally hated and loved, but not ignored. A stubborn politician. A symbol of morality. Whatever might have been her past, she had a conscience. All the good outweighs the bygone bickering times.
Rest in peace Amma, for where ever you may be.