An era ended as J Jayalalithaa was lowered into the ground in a sandalwood casket next to the memorial of her mentor, MG Ramachandran at Chennai's Marina Beach on December 5. The former chief minister was buried with full state honours. Ms Jayalalithaa, 68, died after she suffered a cardiac arrest. We take a look at Jayalalithaa's journey through the years.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, one of the country's most powerful and popular politicians, died at Chennai's Apollo Hospital at 11:30 pm on December 5, 2016 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. She was admitted in the hospital for treatment since September 22, 2016. Popularly known as Amma, Jayalalithaa (1948 - 2016) served five terms as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, for over 14 years between 1991 and 2016.
Jayalalithaa was born on February 24, 1948, in Mysore as Komalavalli in a Tamil Iyengar family.
She did her schooling at the Bishop Cotton Girls High School in Bangalore.
Her father died when Jayalalithaa was only two-years-old and the family fell into poverty. They moved later to Tamil Nadu where her mother Sandhya ventured into Tamil cinema as an actress.
The family saw worse times when Jayalalithaa's older brother Jayakumar died. Seen here in this picture is Jayalalithaa's mother Sandhya.
In Chennai, Jayalalithaa studied at the Sacred Heart Matriculation School of Presentation Convent and excelled in academics. With the guidance of her mother and aunt, young Jayalalithaa forayed into films and began acting at the age of 15. Her principal at the convent is said to have had a deep impression on the young Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa had a successful career in the Tamil film industry as an actress.
Chinnada Gombe, her first film (in Kannada) was a major hit.
She also acted in an English film titled Epistle that released in 1961. The film was produced by Shankar Giri, son of former president of India Dr. V.V. Giri.
She played a vampish lead in G. Krishna's James Bond-type hit Gudachari 116, which instantly shot her to fame.
Her first Telugu film was 'Manushulu Mamathalu' while her Tamil debut was with the film 'Vennira aadai'.
She was cast opposite MG Ramachandran, the Tamil superstar who later became the Chief Minister of the state, in a host of movies, including Kavalkaran, Adimai pen, Engal Thangam, Kudiyiruntha Koil, Ragasiya Police 115, Nam Naadu and many others.
Jayalalithaa also acted opposite Bollywood superstar of yesteryears Dharmendra in the Hindi movie Izzat.
After a successful run in films, Jayalalithaa retired from her film career after Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal in 1980.
Some of her popular movies are: Vennira Aadai, Aayirathil Oruvan, Kavalkaran, Pudhiya Boomi, Iru Deivangal, Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal.
Proficient in many languages - she spoke English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi fluently. Jayalalithaa also sang several songs in her own films.
In 1972, she was honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with the award Kalaimamani. These awards are given by the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram(literature, music and theatre) for excellence in the field of art and literature.
Trained in classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak and Manipuri, Jayalalithaa gave hundreds of performances all over India. She also started learning Carnatic Music from the age of 4.
Jayalalithaa was a voracious reader and read practically everything. Her favourite authors were Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and, among others, Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Pearl S Buck and James Hadley Chase.
Even as an actress, she would always carry books with her to the studio, and would sit quietly by herself in a corner and read in between shots. She had a large private library with a huge collection of books. She was thoroughly impressed by Wild Swans, one of her favourite reads.
Jayalalithaa never married, but she remained with her long-time partner, actor MG Ramachandran (popularly known as MGR), until his death in 1987. It was MGR who initiated Jayalalithaa into politics. He was then the Chief Minister of the state.
Following MGR's death, Jayalalithaa took over the All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagham (AIADMK), but was alienated by a faction of the party that chose to support MGR's wife Janaki Ramachandran. But due to the poor electoral performance of the Janaki Ramachandran-led faction, Jayalalitha later took over the leadership of the party.
The DMK was the only dominant force in Tamil Nadu's politics at that time and Jayalalithaa ensured that she became a force to reckon with. Drawing on her massive popularity, in 1989, she won the elections to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly - becoming the first woman to be elected Leader of the Opposition.
Around the same time, she charged a DMK leader, Durai Murugan, with assault. She said he had tried to pull her sari when she obstructed then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi while he was presenting the 1990 state budget.
In 1991, following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu, her alliance with the Congress party propelled the coalition to a massive victory. She was re-elected to the Legislative Assembly and became the first elected woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu, serving the full tenure.
Since then, there was no looking back for Jayalalithaa.
Due to an anti-incumbency wave, and several allegations of corruption and malfeasance against her and her ministers, she lost power to the DMK in 1996. However, she returned to power with a huge majority in the 2001 elections, having mustered a bigger coalition and defying many pre-poll predictions.
During the years out of power, she had to face a number of criminal lawsuits related to her first-term rule, mostly dealing with embezzlement and monetary fraud.
In 2001, a specially designated court convicted her of criminal breach of trust and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment.
However, having led her party to victory, she controversially became the Chief Minister as a non-elected member of the assembly and in 2003 the Supreme Court acquitted her in the specific case for lack of conclusive evidence to convict her.
Her major legislative achievements include banning of high interest private loans, completion of New Veeranam Water Supply Scheme for Chennai, elimination of the bandit Veerappan, introduction of video conferencing in Jails and Courts, thus eliminating the need to physically bring the accused to court to extend the parole or remand every time.
She also introduced all women police stations, rain water harvesting scheme, and 'Rural Women Self-Help Programme' benefitting lakhs of women in villages.
Jayalalithaa was accused of creating a personality cult and even arranging for her opponents to be beaten up. Many of her partymen/ministers were seen prostrating at her feet.
There was also much controversy when police raided her premises and claimed to have found large quantities of diamond-studded gold jewellery, more than 10,000 saris and 750 pairs of shoes, exposing an extravagant lifestyle.
Throughout her political career, Jayalalithaa had faced a number of court cases, mostly over corruption allegations. She was in news also for her long-running political rivalry with DMK leader and incumbent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi.
In 1992, Chandralekha, an Indian Administrative Service officer and the chairperson of state owned Industrial Development Corporation was brutally assaulted on the roads of Chennai, and acid was thrown at her face. It had been alleged that this was due to her refusal to toe Jayalalithaa's line in the affair of disinvestment in SPIC, a joint sector company.(Source Wikipedia)
In 2002, activists from the National Human Rights Council shouted slogans and protested against Jayalalithaa's remarks aimed at Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, when Jayalalithaa called for a law banning people of foreign origin from becoming prime minister or assuming other high offices.
After losing the 2006 Assembly elections, Jayalalithaa decided not to attend the assembly except if 'absolutely necessary'. However she, by virtue of her strong control over her party, was considered to be the de-facto leader of the opposition in the state.
Awards: In 1991, the University of Madras honoured her by conferring the degree of Doctor of Literature.
In 1992, the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University conferred the degree of Doctor of Science on her.
In 1993, the Madurai Kamaraj University conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters on her.
In 2003, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University conferred the degree of Doctor of Science on her and the Bharathidasan University conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters on her.
She received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws conferred on her by The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai in 2005. Seen here with Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates.
According to media reports, Jayalalithaa believed in numerology and astrology; they point to her changing her name from 'Jayalalitha' to 'Jayalalithaa' as being directly borne out of such a belief.
Famous quote: 'One-third of my life was dominated by my mother, the other part - a major one - was dominated by MGR. Two-thirds of my life is thus over. One third remains and this part of my life remains for myself but there are some responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled'.
In this picture, Jayalalithaa with actor couple Surya and Jyothika, in Chennai.
Seen here with former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
With her around, the political scene in Tamil Nadu had never been devoid of dramatic moments. 2011 was the year of Jayalalithaa as bête noir Karunanidhi exited in electoral ignominy.
In September 2014, J Jayalalithaa was convicted in a disproportionate assets case which meant her disqualification from office. Massive protests erupted throughout the state. O Panneerselvam replaced her as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
On May 11, 2015, fireworks and celebrations filled the air outside the former Chief Minister's home in Chennai, where top AIADMK leaders showed up within minutes of the verdict which acquitted her. She said she had 'emerged as pure tested gold'.
Jayalalithaa met Governor K Rosaiah, who had invited her to be the chief minister of Tamil Nadu again. She was sworn in at the Madras Auditorium on May 23, 2016 along with 28 of her ministers.