Indian politician and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa passed away. She had suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday and stayed critical till she breathed her last. Her demise brings an end to an era in Tamil political landscape.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa has breathed her last at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. She was undergoing treatment since September 22 at the hospital and reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening. The most recent bulletin issued by the hospital informed the nation of her passing away.
With news about the leader’s deteriorating health condition after her cardiac arrest becoming public yesterday, party workers and supporters of Jayalalithaa gathered outside the hospital leading to an increased police deployment in and around Greams Road where the hospital is located. Around 1,000 personnel were on duty outside the hospital around midnight yesterday and the police reportedly engaged in a mild lathicharge or baton-charge in order to control the swell.
The hospital had earlier tweeted, “She is on extracorporeal membrane heart assist device and is being treated by a team of expert doctors and critical care specialists. Dr Richard Beale from London has also been consulted and he has concurred with the line of treatment by our cardiologists and pulmonologists.”
Leaders in the country across political parties had wished Jayalalithaa a speedy recovery. The Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were among many who took to twitter to express their concern over Jayalalithaa’s health. After hearing news of her death, many took to twitter to share their condolences.
Extremely saddened about the passing of the honourable CM Jayalalitha. What an icon and what a life. Chennai will never be the same!
— dulquer salmaan (@dulQuer) December 5, 2016
As per the reports by local media, the government of Tamil Nadu has made a request to the central government to keep paramilitary forces and Rapid Action Force (RAF) teams on standby. Stating the possibility of an emergency situation arising in the state, the request has been made to ensure the presence of these forces immediately when and if required. Jayalalithaa’s cardiac arrest left her dependant on an Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation device, which is a life support system providing oxygen to the body when the patient’s lungs or heart are unable to do so.
Prayers unanswered, followers orphaned
Jayalalithaa was among the many leaders in the country whose personality in itself has had a huge impact on followers. Despite belonging to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which has had a long history in the state and beyond, the popularity of the former movie star has largely been a result of her personality, which can be reflected by the fact that she was serving her sixth term as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Let her soul RIP.. Iron Lady and lovable CM of Tamilnadu.Dr.Jayalalitha.. learned confidence from u Mam.Ur a great inspiration.
— Santhanam (@iamsanthanam) December 5, 2016
— Akshara Haasan (@AksharaHaasan1) December 5, 2016
Prayers were being held across the state and the country by supporters who fondly called her Amma or mother. The subsidies that have been a result of Jayalalithaa’s policies as well as her continual implementation of schemes that can be seen as pro-poor had resonated well with lower classes and helped in overcoming the growing income disparity within India. Nicknamed the Puratchi Thalaivi or ‘Iron Lady of TN’, she was widely known for her strong take on state-centre relations and assertive stance on keeping her state’s interests in mind. Experts and analysts also point out that in the absence of a successor, Jayalalithaa’s demise has left a looming sense of fear and apprehension of what lies ahead for the state.