Lesser known facets of Jayalalithaa

Updated - March 25, 2020 01:23 pm IST

Published - December 06, 2016 12:16 am IST

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at an event in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: DIPR

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at an event in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: DIPR

A dog lover, she later kept away from them

A  dog lover, Jayalalithaa stopped keeping them as pets after her favourite dog Julie, a Spitz, died in 1998. Julie had a special place in Jayalalithaa’s life. When she was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, she left a meeting half-way through, giving rise to speculation that she had fallen out with the BJP leaders. Later, it was revealed that she left the meeting only because Julie died. “Wherever I go, it would follow me and be near my feet when I sit to write something,” she had said. When a well-wisher suggested that she get another dog, Jayalalithaa politely rejected the idea, saying she could not bear the loss of another pet.

'Always a Tamilian'

Decades ago when Jayalalithaa was shooting for a film at Chamundi studios in Mysuru, a mob barged in and demanded an apology from her for calling herself a Tamilian. But Jayalalithaa was unperturbed. Recalling the incident, her former PRO ‘Film News’ Anandan said she told the mob in chaste Kannada, “I have not said anything wrong. Why should I apologise? I am a Tamilian and not a Kannadiga.

Sense of humour

Sometime in the last decade, when Anna University Vice-Chancellor E. Balagurusamy met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, she inquired about his unique hairstyle, with a parting in the middle. “Madam, I will tell you but you should not get angry,” he responded. She asked him to go ahead. Dr. Balagurusamy said his hairstyle was influenced by that of DMK leader M. Karunanidhi. She laughed heartily and commented, “Karunanidhi doesn’t have hair at all.” Mr. Balagurusamy explained he had copied the hairstyle sported by Mr. Karunanidhi in the 1960s.

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