J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu whose influence in the state has been unyielding ever since she assumed power in 2011, turned 68 today. Although her term was seen to be tumultuous including a stay for a few days in jail in the disproportionate assets case, her popularity has soared ever since she was acquitted in the case.
But in recent times, more often than her administrative decisions, the methods that AIADMK workers and leaders adopt to prove their loyalty to ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ (Revolutionary Leader) Jayalalithaa have given way to criticism. It is no secret that her order and discipline is gospel for the party, who possibly cannot imagine a future without her. Their attempts at sycophancy have always been derided in the mainstream media. Anyone raising a finger at ‘Amma’ often finds his/her future uncertain within 24 hours in the party and you can be assured, such instances are few and far between.
So as the leader celebrates her birthday today, we take a look at some of the instances in the past where AIADMK workers and leaders have displayed new levels of steadfast support to their leader.
1. When a ‘milk abhishek‘ ensued.
Perhaps the least crazy of their methods, AIADMK workers poured milk on a photo of the chief minister after she got relief from a trial court in the disproportionate assets case. Yes, in case you are wondering, many people do the same with Lord Ganesh during the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. By now, you would have understood what Jaya means to her party workers.
2. The ‘Amma’ headgear
Political leaders across the world are known to solemnise marriages and fund weddings of poor people. The same happens in Tamil Nadu as well under the tutelage of the AIADMK. But seriously, what’s with the headgear?
Ostensibly aimed at media cameras which cover such weddings, the couples as evident in the photograph above are seen wearing a curious kind of headgear emblazoned with the picture of a smiling Jayalalithaa. We dare you to find similar pictures from other states.
3. When the Crucifixion took place
This is most definitely one ritual nobody with a sane mind would approve. In a dangerous and stupid measure, a man actually allowed himself to be crucified because he wanted his leader Jayalalithaa to return to power. We assume this was during the time when she was locked up in jail for amassing assets that fall outside her income purview. Clearly, the man does not understand India’s legal system. And no, as the video confirms, this is not a mock attempt.
The video is graphic and therefore viewer discretion is advised.
4. Publicity at the time of floods?
Atrocious this… Relief Materials being Taken to Chennai stopped by AIADMK Thugs & Forcibly Struck with Amma Stickers pic.twitter.com/lRLnGPOckT
— Jairaj P (@jairajp) December 5, 2015
When Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu was ravaged by devastating floods, the stickling reminder to the antics of the AIADMK workers were perhaps the pictures that went viral on social media. The photos tweeted by many showed stickers of ‘Amma’ being pasted on relief supplies by workers of the AIADMK.
There were also complaints that trucks carrying relief supplies were deliberately stopped by party men in order to paste stickers on them. The party was later forced to issue a statement promising stern action against those involved in doing the same.
5. When they sacrificed their own hair for ‘Amma’
Stretching things onto a whole new level, more on the funnier side though, party workers and leaders went on to tonsure their heads for their beloved leader. We mean, what’s the use of having hair if its not sacrificed for your leader?
6. When loyalty precedes self-importance
For anyone to occupy the position that his/her leader once held is always a difficult proposition. In Tamil Nadu, for O. Panneerselvam, it was indeed a difficult time. And he took it quite literally.
When Jayalalithaa was disqualified from office, Panneerselvam was called upon to assume the oath of office and become the chief minister of the state. His loyalty so unnerving, that according to reports, he refused to occupy her office and did not even sit in Jaya’s spot in the state assembly.
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