A Book A Week Challenge – Week 45

No woman leader in the modern day Indian political system stamped their authority as powerful as Tamil Nadu previous chief minister Selvi Jayalalitha did.

“Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen” by Vaasanthi takes you through the life of a young girl who lost her father at the age of two and ventured into glamor filled cinema world that exaggerated the likes of success and failures.


Book #: 45

Title: Amma: Jayalalithaa’s Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen” by Vaasanthi

Pages: 200

Even for someone who watched a few of her movies, I would still categorize myself as an outsider and there are many like me who knew the impact the lady had on the Tamil Nadu political system only from the major media reports. But, the common citizens that visited Rajaji Park after she passed away and prayers held by them for 75 days of her hospitalization tells a lot about the admiration that the Tamilians had for her.

This 200 pages quick read is a delight for an outsider like myself to trace the path and to endeavor the hardships that she had to encounter in her lifetime. However the argument goes, a woman in a society and system that was dominated by sheer masculinity, to make everyone stiffen their backs only by her commands is no small feat.

The book takes you through the phases of her life which are important for everyone to know, not just as a guiding light to understand the journey, but the overall political history that the state of Tamil Nadu had to surpass.

The biggest success for Vaasanthi from this book is the excerpts of it being used by each and every major news media channel, both print, digital and visual, as a single point of reference.

There was no denying the fact about the corruption that she or her close aid, led by Sasikala  and her family, were involved with but as they usually put it -“When you pass away from the face of this earth, all it matters is the number of lives that you positively touched” and if that was a metric to define her good, she was an angel for many. But, the negatives were not to be overlooked as Vaasanthi made sure in her book as she didn’t shy away from dedicating enough pages for it.

Overall, earning the name “Amma” which is referred as “other form of God” in Indian cultural references, Jayalalitha had lived a life that is an inspiration to many. The book by Vaasanthi captures what you need to know about that life. 

As Jayalalithaa passed away on 5th December 2016, 11:30 PM according to official reports, may her soul rest in peace and the ideologies that she believed would be held by her devotional followers.



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