Jayalalithaa, Indian politician and actress, Died at 68

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Jayalalithaa Jayaram was born on February 24, 1948, and died on December 5, 2016.

She was an Indian actor and politician.

Jayalalithaa served five terms as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, for over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016.

Since 1989, Jayalalithaa served as the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a Dravidian party whose cadre revered her as their Amma (mother) and Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader), among other honorifics.

Initially, she came to prominence as a leading film actor in the mid 1960s.

And though she had entered the profession very reluctantly, only upon the urging of her mother to help support the family, Jayalalithaa worked prolifically.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram appeared in 140 films from 1961 to 1980, primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industries.

She has received praise for her versatility as an actor and for her dancing skills.

She frequent co-star with M. G. Ramachandran, or MGR, a Tamil cultural icon who leveraged his immense popularity with the masses into a successful political career.

During 1982, when MGR was serving his second term as chief minister, Jayalalithaa joined the AIADMK, the party MGR founded.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s political rise was rapid; within a few years she was made AIADMK propaganda secretary and was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s Parliament.

Following the death of MGR’s, 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.

Then, after the 1989 election, Jayalalithaa Jayaram became Leader of the Oppositon to the DMK government headed by Karunanidhi, her bête noire.

During 1991, she when on to become the chief minister, Tamil Nadu’s youngest, for the first time.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram 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.

She was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, on September 22, 2016, as she suffered from infection and acute dehydration.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram was also said to be suffering from severe pulmonary infection and septicaemia, which were cured.

Then, on December 4, she was re-admitted to the critical care unit after suffering a cardiac arrest around 16:45.

Jayalalithaa last rites were performed at 18:30 IST on December 6, 2016 and she was interred in the northern end of the Marina beach in Chennai, near the grave of her mentor M.G. Ramachandran.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram passed away at 68 years old.

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