Early Life of Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa was born on 24th February 1948 at Melukote in Mysore, Karnataka in a Tamil Iyengar family. Her father Jayaram, a lawyer by profession, passed away when she was just two years old. Consequently, Jayalalitha and her brother had to shift to Bengaluru along with their mother. Her mother, Vedavathi, started working in Tamil cinema with the screen name of ‘Sandhya’.
Jayalalitha completed her schooling from Bishop Cotton Girls’ High School and Sacred Heart Matriculation School in Chennai. She was a very good student and received scholarship for higher studies from the Government of India after completing her matriculation in 1964.
Film Career of Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa was a famous South Indian film star before she joined Politics. She took up films shortly after her studies. She had appeared as a lead actress in various films in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages. She was also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and had proficiency in other dance forms like Kathak, Mohiniyattam and Manipuri as well. She also lent her voice as singer in some of her films. She appeared in 140 films from 1961 to 1980.
Political Career of Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa was nominated to Rajya Sabha in the year 1984 and served in this post till 1989. Due to her immense popularity she won the elections to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly in 1989. In 1991, she became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the youngest Chief Minister for the first time. She earned a reputation for a punishing work ethic and for centralising state power among her council of ministers. Her alliance with politics grew from her association with the Late M. G. Ramachandran.
In 1996 she lost due to corruption charges levelled against her and her ministers. However in 2001 she returned to power with a huge majority. In 2006 assemble election she had to surrender power to the DMK government. In the 2011 state assembly elections AIADMK led a 12-party alliance and won the elections. J. Jayalalithaa once again established power and her party retained its western bastion, captured its southern stronghold. She became the chief minister for the third time. Her cabinet of ministers was the largest ever since independence.
Major Initiatives in Administration:
Achievements of Jayalalithaa
In 1972, Jayalalithaa was awarded the Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu. She has received several honorary doctorates and other honours, beginning with an award from the University of Madras in 1991.
Death of Jayalalithaa
Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016 at the age of 68 years after suffering from a major cardiac arrest.