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Amma rays

J. Jayalalithaa has played more roles in real life than in movies. The Caped One a.k.a. ?Amma? has now been reincarnated as the Goddess Anna-poorani.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2006 01:46 IST
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J. Jayalalithaa has played more roles in real life than in movies. The Caped One a.k.a. ‘Amma’ has now been reincarnated as the Goddess Anna-poorani. Or that’s what posters at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu will have us believe. Clad in full ‘goddess’ attire, she is seen seated in the lotus posture, holding a pot of rice and a ladle to feed her state’s hungry and huddling masses.

Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker must be turning in his grave. The great social reformer and founder of the Dravidar Kazgham was a self-professed atheist and Buddhist (no contradiction here as Buddhism is non-theistic).

His movement gave birth to the great Dravidian political parties that have dominated Tamil Nadu politics since the Fifties — the Dravida Munnetra Kazgham (DMK) and JJ’s AIADMK. While the former still genuflects to its anti-Brahmin and anti-religion antecedents, the latter has, to put it mildly, gone renegade. JJ herself was born to a Brahmin family and in the Seventies, she was the reigning star of the Tamil and Telugu screen. Then came the first reincarnation as Puratchi Thalaivi or companion revolutionary leader to her mentor M.G. Ramachandran, the AIADMK’s founder. Then came another rebirth as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. And now, she’s a goddess. Whoever said that progress is linear?

First Published: Feb 24, 2006 01:46 IST