Jayalalithaa ; Gone Too Soon !!


2

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 08, 2016           02.30 A.M.

रहने को सदा दहर में आता नहीं कोई
तुम जैसे गए ऐसे भी जाता नहीं कोई

डरता हूँ कहीं ख़ुश्क न हो जाये समंदर
राख अपनी कभी आप बहाता नहीं कोई

इक बार तो खुद मौत भी घबरा गयी होगी
यूँ मौत को सीने से लगाता नहीं कोई

माना कि उजालों ने तुम्हे दाग़ दिए थे
बे-रात ढले शम्अ बुझाता नहीं कोई

अहबाब ने ये कह के संवारी हैं चिताएँ
आराम कहीं और तो पाता नहीं कोई

साक़ी से गिला था तुम्हे मैख़ाने से शिकवा
अब ज़हर से भी प्यास बुझाता नहीं कोई

हर सुबह हिला देता था ज़ंजीर ज़माना
क्योँ आज दीवाने को जगाता नहीं कोई

अरथी तो उठा लेते हैं सब अश्क बहा के
नाज़-ए-दिल-ए-बेताब उठाता नहीं कोई

-कैफ़ी आज़मी

Above mentioned ghazal was written by Kaifi Azmi in memory of Guru Dutt. I am re-producing it in memory of Jayalalithaa.

I am not writing this blog about Jayalalithaa, the AMMA or Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) because much has been written about her political journey and her feisty struggle after demise of her mentor MGR. There is nothing new for me to write.

I am writing about Jayalalithaa, the actor or Kalai Selvi ( artistic or work of art) of Tamil cinema.

As I watched the news of her death and her funeral procession, my thoughts went 48 years back. The year was 1968 and the place was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Fresh after my High School results, I went to Allahabad to pursue my academic career at the age of 15.

One day I saw the posters of a Hindi film Izzat and went to watch the movie in Pushparaj talkies. It had Dharmendra in leading role along with Jayalalithaa. Produced by A. K. Nadiadwala of Pushpa Pictures [ grandfather of now famous Sajid Nadiadwala ] and directed by T. Prakash Rao, Izzat has Lakshmikant Pyarelal as music director.

It was the movie in which Jayalalitha made her debut in Hindi films. She played a spunky Adivasi belle, Jhumki, in love with Dharmendra, who is far above her socially.

I knew Jayalalithaa’s name and reputation in Tamil film industry but was not a fan of her. When the film ended and I came out, I was a life-long fan. I became an ardent admirer of her dancing and acting talent. Just watch the famous dance scene of Izzat and you would be a fan too. My God ! what a fabulous dancer ! Posting the link.

1 – Jagi Badan Me Jwala, Saiyan Tune Kya Kar Dala ………..

The following 2 links showcase her naughty and lighter avatar, though in real life she was reticent and introvert.

2 – Ruk Ja Zara, Kidhar Ko Chala, Main Sadqe Tere Pe ………….

3 – Sar Pe Lamba Top Le Ke Aayega …….

It is sad that in her later years, she could barely move. It was heart-wrenching for me to see a feisty and fabulous dancer like Jayalalithaa in that condition. She was a woman any man could like , love and admire. She was vibrant. She was radiant. She was full of life. But during 2016 election campaign, she looked pale and lifeless. She could barely walk. I felt bad because she was only 4 years older than me. I thought that she will fight this battle too. But alas! that was not to be. She fell ill soon after her glorious political victory in elections and lost her battle of life after 75 days of struggle.

I am a fan but many Hindi film connoisseurs are not aware of her stupendous achievements in the field of cinema. For them she was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who was loved and feared alike.

For them I am placing some other facts of her career as a leading actress.

1 – Her acting career spanned 19 years. [ 1961 to 1980 ]

2 – She appeared in 140 films , primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry.

3 – She also acted in 1 Malayalam , 1 Hindi & 1 English film.

4 – As a child artiste, Jayalalithaa acted in the Kannada-language film Sri Shaila Mahathme (1961), which had Rajkumar and Krishna Kumari in lead roles.

5 – Jayalalithaa starred in English film Epistle ( 1961) .

6 – As a child artiste, she played Krishna in a three-minute dance sequence held on stage in the Hindi film Manmauji (1962)

7 – She made her debut as the lead actress in Kannada film Chinnada Gombe (1964) at the age of 15, while still in school.

8 – Jayalalithaa starred in 28 box-office hit Tamil films with M.G. Ramachandran between 1965 and 1973. The first with MGR was B.R. Panthalu’s Aayirathil Oruvan in 1965 and their last film together was Pattikaattu Ponnaiya in 1973.

9 – Jayalalitha was paired opposite Sivaji Ganesan in 17 Tamil films.

10 – Jayalalithaa acted in 10 Tamil hit films with Ravichandran .

11 – Jayalalitha had 6 Tamil films with R. Muthuraman .

12 – Jayalalitha acted in 12 Telugu films as heroine opposite N. T. Rama Rao .

13 – Jayalalitha acted in 7 Telugu films with Akkineni Nageswara Rao .

14 – Jayalalithaa’s other Telugu films included 2 films with Krishna and 1 each with Sobhan Babu, Jaggaiah, Ramakrishna and Haranath.

15 – She made her debut in Malayalam films with Jesus (1973) and the film was huge hit.

16 – Her 100th film was Thirumangalyam (1974)  directed by A.Vincent.

17 – Her last film in Tamil was  Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal (1980) .

18 – The last film she worked on, in which she played the lead heroine, was a Telugu film Nayakudu Vinayakudu (1980) . It became the highest grosser of the year in Telugu.

19 – Jayalalithaa holds the record for having been the Tamil actress with maximum silver jubilee hits in her career – 85 hits of 92 Tamil films as main female lead heroine.

20 – she also has all 28 films in Telugu as silver jubilee hits.

21 – She had 119 box office hits of the total 125 films she did in various languages as the main female lead between 1961 and 1980 .

22 – She was the highest paid Indian actress from 1965–1980.

23 – She made guest appearances in 9 films and 6 of her films were dubbed into Hindi.

24 – She did double roles in eight films.

25 – Jayalalithaa wrote columns in the magazines like Bommai . She also wrote a column -Ennanga Selar in magazine Tughlaq in 1970s.

Need I say anything else for her accomplishments?

It is 2 days since she is gone. I am still numb. I am deeply saddened.

Farewell Kalai Selvi ! There will be no one like you ever.

img_8024

 

Vidur Acting Institute Logo

silver-jubilee

 

On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I pay my tributes to Kalai Selvi (work of art) of cinema and to Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) of political arena.

[ List of films, dates and other information about Jayalalithaa have been taken from Wikipedia .

I am indebted and I express gratitude. ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.viduractinginstitute.com

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Tamil Nadu : 25 Years Without M. G. R.


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 28 , 2012           05.35 P.M.

Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran or M. G. Ramachandran or simply M. G. R. needs no introduction in Tamil Nadu . Though he died 25 years ago , still his popularity refuses to wane . I always knew about his phenomenal sway over the masses in Tamil Nadu but I personally experienced it during my recent visit to the state .

English: MGR with Kerala politician K.Karunaka...

MGR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One morning when I came out of my room in Subam Lodge , Vaitheeswaran Koil , I noticed that arched are being erected on the streets and photos of M. G. R. are being garlanded everywhere . Old hit songs of the films of M. G. R. were being played . People in large number were queuing in front of his photos and paying respect .

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Rememberedin a Village of Thanjavur

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Remembered in a Village of Thanjavur

I was astonished . I was astounded by the fact that it is his 25th death anniversary and still people are remembering him . To know the height of his popularity , please go through the description of his death scene , which I am quoting from Wikipedia :

” M.G.R. died on December 24, 1987 after his prolonged illness. He was 70. His death sparked off a frenzy of looting and rioting all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Shops, movie theatres, buses and other public and private property became the target of violence let loose all over the state. The police had to resort issuing shoot-at-sight orders. Tamilians from Bangalore rushed to Madras in trains to see the mortal remains of MGR. Govt had announced free train facility for this visit. The violence during the funeral alone left 29 people dead and 47 police personnel badly wounded. This state of affairs continued for almost a month all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Around one million people followed his remains, around 30 followers committed suicide and people had their heads tonsured.

After his death, his political party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, split between his wife Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa; they later merged in 1988.

In 1989 Dr. M. G. R. Home and Higher Secondary School for the Speech and Hearing Impaired was established in the erstwhile Residence MGR Gardens, Ramapuram, in accordance with his will dated January 17, 1986. His official residence at 27, Arcot Street, T.Nagar is now MGR Memorial House and is open for public viewing. His film studio, Sathya Studios has been converted into a women’s college. “

English: New emblem for All India Anna Dravida...

New emblem for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Party, designed by B. Balamanigandan email:bbm@drmgr.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now non – Tamil people can understand his impact and popularity among the masses . It was well – crafted image with the help of his films . He was the first major film star of India , who became Chief Minister of any state and won 3 consecutive elections in 1977 , 1980 and 1984 . He became Chief Minister in 1977 and remained in office till his death in 1987 . In 1984 assembly elections , though he was in the hospital for treatment and could not participate in electioneering , still he led his party to unprecedented victory . His images , from his hospital bed in the U.S.A. , were broadcast through cinema halls . And his party A.I.A.D.M.K. got 56% of assembly seats .

How he created this larger – than – life political image ? You can watch the song  “…….. neenga nalla irukkanum ……… ” of his film ” Idhayakkani ” [ 1975 ] . In the  ……neenga nalla irukkanum ……… song , he pays homage to his mentor Annadurai , whose image is clearly visible on the screen . His party flag is also fluttering in air and you could see that in the song itself his screen character is doing his philanthropic work . ” Idhayakkani “ was released 2 years before he became the Chief Minister . His last released film was ” Madurai Meeta Sundara Pandian ” [ 1978 ] .  This was his 136th film .  It was released 1 year after he became the Chief Minister . So through his 136 films , he created this kind of image , which is unheard of anywhere in the world . After becoming CM , the ongoing project ” Anna En Theivam “ was stopped and later on it was released by Bhagyaraj with modified story in which Bhagyaraj was the hero.

Apart from M.G.R. , no one in India or in world could replicate this kind of success . He was the first and till date only actor turned politician , who got this kind of mass popularity and could generate mass hysteria of this magnitude . N.T.R. or Nandamoori Tarak Ramarao was also an actor in Telugu film industry and he did succeed in Andhra Pradesh but his success was short – lived as he was soon toppled by his own son – in – law . President of U.S.A. , Ronald Reagan was also an actor in Hollywood but he was not a major star.

On my previous visit to Chennai in 2011 , I visited memorial of M.G.R. at Marina Beach to show my respect . In December 2012 , when I visited Chennai again , I was again able to pay respect to him on his 25th death anniversary .

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

It is sad that he died when he was only 70 . And 70 is not the age to leave the world . Had he been alive he would have been a formidable Prime Minister of India . In these days of coalition politics it would have been a real possibility .

Alas ! We lost him too early and too soon .

I think it would be fascinating to tell his story to all the students of my acting academy , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . Who knows ? They might replicate M.G.R. story in their lives also .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 4 ]


DSC01182

CHENNAI – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 26 , 2012           11.55 P.M.

 

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

After four days stay , I left Vaitheeswaran Koil in the afternoon and reached Chennai in the night . Sitting in the room of my hotel Golden Tower , I am writing the 4th installment of ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” .

In my last 3 blogs I have tried to explain some of the misconceptions about Tamil Nadu , its leaders and general public . For the large sections of North Indian people the image of Tamil Nadu of 1965 is hard to forget . I think I have explained everything in detail about Tamil Nadu of 1965 .

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai , Muthuvel Karunanidhi , Marudhur Gopal Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa Jayaram have dominated the Tamil Nadu scene since 1967 . They all jointly left Dravid Kazhagam led by Erode Venkata Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” a.k.a. E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. D.M.K. in 1949 .

 

English: M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan...

M. G. Ramachandran, K. A. Mathialagan, C. N. Annadurai, C. Rajagopalachari, M. Karunanidhi at a private function in Jan 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai a.k.a. C. N. Annadurai led D.M.K. to victory in 1967 elections and became the first non – Congress leader to form a majority government in any Indian state . He left Dravid Kazhagam and formed a new party because he was not willing to be part of anti national forces . He was against vivisection of India and was in favour of fighting elections under Indian Constitution . Atheism and anti – Hindi sentiments were the only two things which he accepted and borrowed from Dravid Kazhagam . He was instrumental in dropping the demand of independent Dravid Nadu of Periyar and berrying it forever in the pious land of Tamil Nadu .

C. N. Annadurai's House in Kanchipuram

C. N. Annadurai’s House in Kanchipuram

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

Anna Durai Memorial at Marina Beach

After his death in 1969 the post of chief minister went to Muthuvel Karunanidhi a.k.a. M. Karunanidhi . He followed almost same principles of C. N. Annadurai and atheism and anti – Hindi rhetoric still continues to be his credo .

But he has participated in the N.D.A. as well as U.P.A. governments of centre and his earlier bellicose attitude does not exist any more . A five time chief minister of Tamil Nadu is not the same M. Karunanidhi of yore . He is a changed man .

English: K. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tam...

M. Karunanidhi, ex Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972 Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran a.k.a. M. G. Ramachandran split the D.M.K. and formed Anna D.M.K. It was later on rechristened as All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam a.k.a. A.I.A.D.M.K. He is the only chief minister of Tamil Nadu , who holds the record of winning three consecutive terms as the chief minister . Though he followed atheism initially , but he was a practising Hindu and a follower of Bhagawan Muruga . During his regime , animosity towards North India disappeared and he followed a policy of no confrontation towards centre .

MGR Memorial

MGR Memorial

His successor Jayalalitha jayaram is a Hindu Brahmin and though she has not said anything openly but she is not an atheist . She is the only leader of prominence from Tamil Nadu , who can speak fluent Hindi . In my personal opinion she is only leader from Tamil Nadu who is capable of becoming the Prime Minister of India . I must say that she could , rather she should become the Prime Ministar of this nation . That day will be a red-letter day in our history and it will be a final blow to some of the misguided policies of E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” .

Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, 2011

Jayalalithaa , Incumbent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus in Tamil Nadu of today a different picture emerges these days . Gone are the days of unnecessary bellicose attitude of Tamil politicians . Credit for this goes to Bharat Ratna M. G. Ramachandran . Again a personal opinion , but I think he would have been an excellent Prime Minister of India . But alas he died young . 70 is no age to go .

I will again say that Tamil Nadu is changing fast . Or it has already changed ?

I am waiting to narrate these findings to all the current students of  my acting school Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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Understanding Tamil Nadu – [ 3 ]


DSC01182

VAITHEESWARAN KOIL – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           DECEMBER 25 , 2012           10.55 P.M.

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was...

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After going through my two previous blogs on ” Understanding Tamil Nadu ” , I think that E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” and his various steps , which he took during his movements , would be properly understood out of Tamil Nadu also . His rationalism , espousal of self-respect , advocacy for women rights and eradication of caste system is epoch – making and has everlasting effect on Tamil people and Tamil Nadu .

English: http://www.periyarkural.com

A Young E. V. Ramasamy Naicker Periyar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His works among weaker sections of Tamil Nadu , his efforts for the uplifting of lower castes , long subjugated by Brahmins , would be always held in high esteem and would be considered exemplary .

His untiring efforts for the uplifting of women bears indelible marks on the social psyche of Tamil society . Widow marriage , in my opinion , is his most colossal work .

He tirelessly worked for the eradication of child marriage . He espoused inter – caste marriages and opened many educational institutions for the weaker section of society .

It is not for nothing that UNESCO citation in 1970 described Periyar as ” the prophet of the new age  , the Socrates of South East Asia , father of social reform movement and arch enemy of ignorance , superstitions , meaningless customs and base manners .”

His blind opposition of HINDI , HINDU , HINDUSTAN somewhat darkens his other exemplary and far – reaching social works . It is this aspect of his personality and work that brings suspicion and doubt in the minds of large sections of North India . To understand Tamil Nadu better , let us take all the three causes of Periyar , one by one .

HINDI : I closely followed politics since my Allahabad days . I went to Allahabad in 1967 and it was the year when anti – Hindi agitation started in Tamil Nadu . I read many wicked stories published in the Hindi newspapers and magazines of those days . One story said that if you are lost and approach a Tamil speaking person for asking the right route , you will be unable to get an answer if you ask in Hindi . Even if  a Tamil speaking person knows Hindi , he won’t answer and will go away saying ” HINDI ILLAI ” .

I found this story false during my recent forays in the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu . If I approach a person for asking something and even if I ask the question in Hindi , I was not spurned . I get the answer in broken Hindi and that too with smiling face . Sometimes if the person genuinely doesn’t know Hindi , instead of running away , he tries to explain everything in fluent Tamil with lots of hand movements and facial expressions .

If Tamil people think that Tamil is an ancient language and it is older than Hindi , I think that we have to respect the sentiment . Tamil is used in every sphere of Tamil Nadu and you will hardly find signboards in Hindi but in my opinion that is absolutely fine . A particular language should be respected and should be used in the land of its origin . That’s the basis for the formation of linguistic states , which has been agreed by all the political parties .

HINDU : E. V. Ramasamy Naicker ” Periyar ” was atheist for sure . Through his organization Dravid Kazhagam , he started denouncing Hinduism . It started with denunciation of Iyers and Iyengars , Brahmins of Tamil Nadu and culminated in processions , where idols of Ram , Sita and Lakshman were garlanded with slippers .

I can understand his dislike for Brahmins . I am willing to fathom his opposition of Sanskrit language also . I am willing to accept his credo of atheism . We in India have accepted Charvak , the first atheist , as a saint . But you can’t force your belief of not believing in religion on others .

He organized a procession to the Marina beach in 1956 , to burn pictures of Rama , the God . His followers broke idols in the temples , banished Brahmins from the every section of tamil society and organized Ravan Leelas .

But in my recent visits to the state , I found to my surprise that in every temple of Tamil Nadu  a serpentine queue of devotees are visible . It has to be seen to be believed . People come in very large numbers and they pray and worship . Temples are well maintained in Tamil Nadu and I can vouch that Hinduism is thriving in the state much vigorously . Dravid Kazhagam is now a smaller force and Tamil Nadu is as religious as any part of India . In following the tenets of Hinduism they are much ahead and dogmatically strict . On EKADASHI , I found people thronging the temples . I am yet to see same enthusiasm on EKADASHI in North India . Moreover the Tamil Nadu state emblem tells it in a more fitting way .

English: Emblem of the State Government of Tam...

Emblem of the State Government of Tamil Nadu used by the state government for public notices in the press and for publicity purposes. The emblem of India is the image used on the India Wikipedia article. தமிழ்: தமிழ் நாடு அரசின் சின்னம். (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burning effigies of Bhagawan Ram and other Hindu Gods and the days of celebrating Ravan Leelas are over . Atheism can be accepted , as Charvak was accepted in olden times and he was even called a RISHI .

HINDUSTAN : One of the most disturbing legacy of Periyar was to give a call for Dravid Nadu . He wanted to unite all the four provinces of South India and wanted this entity to be an independent Dravid Nadu .

But majority of his supporters revolted against this demand . In the leadership of C. N. Annadurai , they formed Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam and fought elections . Since 1965 either D.M.K. or A.I.A.D.M.K. rules the state and the demand of so-called Dravid Nadu is thrown somewhere in the trash bins of history .

But demand for separation from India is there in Jammu & Kashmir and all the provinces of North East India . They are more palpable . In fact these provinces are waging armed struggle against the nation . Then why to blame only Tamil Nadu ? There was just a demand and that too by just one organization , Dravid Kazhagam . And today Dravid Kazhagam is not a major force .

A very interesting fact of Tamil Nadu and Dravid politics is that Periyar was himself a Kannada speaking Kannadiga . One of the most successful chief ministers of Tamil Nadu , M. G. Ramachandran was a Kandy , Sri Lanka born and Malayalam speaking actor turned politician . current chief minister Miss Jayalalithaa Jayaram is also a Kannadiga and the irony of the situation is that she is a Brahmin . And she speaks fluent Hindi . Present day superstar Rajanikant , incidentally , is a Maharashtrian .

English: , the Chief Minister of , India.

Jayalalitha , the current Chief Minister of , Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the fort of atheism and anti Hindi these days is held by Muthuvel Karunanidhi only . But even his family members have changed . M. K. Stalin and Kannimozhi are not that dogmatic .

English: K. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tam...

K. Karunanidhi, the ex Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I am stating with all my knowledge accumulated during this visit that Tamil Nadu is changing . Or it has already changed ?

After my return , I would love to share these findings with all the current students of my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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