Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa passed away at 11.30 pm IST on 5 December 2016, as per the press release of Apollo Hospital in Chennai. She was taken to the ICU after a cardiac arrest on 4 Dec 2016.
The state of Tamil Nadu has declared a seven-day mourning period. All schools and colleges will be closed for three days.
Jayalalithaa was admitted in September this year for infection and acute dehydration at Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Her condition was precarious and she was attended to by specialists from AIIMS, Delhi and Dr Richard Beale, an Intensive Care Specialist from St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. Though she was declared as fit to go home on 4 Dec, she was readmitted within a few hours after she suffered a cardiac arrest.
Many media outlets reported that she passed away around 5.30 pm IST on 5 December 2016. But the hospital has denied this.
Her condition is still grave as per Dr Beale’s statement. It is believed that her prolonged diabetes and pulmonary infection are also adding to the complications for her recovery.
Jayalalithaa was born on 24 February 1948. She started her career as an actor in South Indian cinemas with over 140 movies in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. She started her political career in 1982 with AIADMK, founded by actor-turned-politician M G Ramachandran. She first held the office as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1991. Her second term was in 2001, and the third term as the CM in 2011. In 2014, she was convicted in the disproportionate assets she amassed during her first term as the CM and sentenced to four years prison. But in May 2015, a special bench of the Karnataka High Court acquitted her and all others involved in the case. She was re-elected as the Chief Minister in May 2016.
No matter what one’s political affiliations and ideologies are, we can all agree that whether it was politics or films, Selvi Jayalalithaa succeeded spectacularly. Our heartfelt condolences go out to everyone at this time.
We also request everyone to honour her life and memories in a peaceful manner.