Pujas, suicide bids, tears: 5 ways ‘Amma’ supporters pray for her recovery | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Pujas, suicide bids, tears: 5 ways ‘Amma’ supporters pray for her recovery

india Updated: Oct 06, 2016 15:15 IST
Aditya Iyer
Aditya Iyer
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Cadres from the AIADMK women’s wing eat off from the floor as a prayer for party supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa, at a temple in Chennai on October 4, 2016. (PTI)

Staunch supporters of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who has been in the hospital for a fortnight now, have taken to several unconventional methods to pray for her recovery. From public prayers and pujas to strange feats, fans of ‘Amma’, as the 68-year-old AIADMK leader is reverentially known, know no bounds when it comes to hoping for her well being.

1. Occupying Apollo Hospital

For the last 13 days, Greams Road and Greams Lane in Chennai have seen a flurry of activity, with hundreds of supporters initially gathering outside of Apollo Hospital to pray for Jayalalithaa. Though that number has considerably dwindled, cadres from the ruling AIADMK and party supporters are still maintaining their vigil.

2. Public pujas

Public pujas have been held since day one for the ailing CM, with party MLAs across Tamil Nadu using temples to show their devotion. It’s not confined to one religion either: Her Muslims supporters also prayed for her last week.

3. Self-immolation

One cadre took his devotion to Amma a little far when he attempted self-immolation in Virudhachalam of coastal Cuddalore district on Wednesday. The man sustained 30% burn injuries, according to a Tamil news channel. Last month, a former police constable and AIADMK supporter in Salem also attempted to set himself on alight.

4. Heights of devotion

A man, strung by hooks pierced into his back, was suspended from a crane for 45 minutes at Senniamman temple in RK Nagar, Chennai. (V Srinivasulu/HT Photo)

Monday’s procession in the chief minister’s constituency of RK Nagar saw something a little more different. Hundreds of workers assembled with pails of milk, while one even hung from a crane by means of hooks pierced into his back — an act usually done in devotion to Lord Murugan.

5. Support from all ages

Even children weren’t spared from the excesses of Jayalalithaa’s supporters, with multiple images of young girls and boys with their cheeks pierced with arrows (again, a common practice among Murugan devotees) being circulated across regional media.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed, however. On Wednesday, PMK leader S Ramadoss said it was “a human rights violation”.

“There were more than 20 children, from 5 to 12, who had their cheeks pierced. Children cannot be forced to do such things,” he said.