I can’t claim to have been knowledgeable about Jayalalitha but now that her life is being recounted I can’t help but notice one thing:
she was born a remarkable individual. Maybe she won’t made a ding in the universe but she most certainly made a massive one in her corner of our world.
To have a mind like hers, to have tasted the fruits and success of her intelligence, and to humbly obey her mother and go into films instead of furthering her dream to be a lawyer, is a mark of an early gallantry towards life. To have navigated a relationship with a much older man and a powerful professional presence is the second thing we must acknowledge as remarkable. And even in this relationship she was very much her own lady.
To have weathered his disfavor and a ugly campaign to sideline her, and to have persevered ….
To have sat by his head as his body lay in state, and calmly and with dignity bear the cheap, low, mean, ugly and gutter attempts to dislodge her from her chair with pinches, painful physical jabs and stabs, to have sat there in loyalty and grief for two days, is not the kind of strength a simple person can summon. To have been crudely and publicly pushed off the funeral vehicle, in full sight of the world…
To have been physically humiliated in the legislature and issue a challenge that she would only return as CM ….
and her entire political journey before and after…
This is one human being who lived her life as a tour de force of will and intelligence against overwhelming odds.
I am not all mindful of the recitations of her faults. I’ve voted for worse. Much worse. So have all of us, it now appears.