In 1991 the University of Madras honoured her by conferring the degree of Doctor of Literature;In 1992 the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University conferred the degree of Doctor of Science on her;
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Real/Other Names:: Jayalalithaa Jayaram, Komalavali
Date of Birth:: February 24, 1949(Age-61)
Place of Birth:: Mysore, Karnataka

Family and Relations

Mini Biography

Early life:
She was born in Mysore as Komalavali. After losing her father at the age of two, her family fell into poverty. She was educated at the Bishop Cotton Girls High School in Bangalore but later she moved to Madras State (now Tamil Nadu) along with her mother Sandhya, who ventured as an actress into Tamil cinema.She was then schooled at Sacred Heart Matriculation School (popularly known as Church Park) of Presentation Convent in Chennai. She excelled in academics and is claimed that she was offered a scholarship for higher studies from Government of India, but with the guidance from her mother, young Jayalalitha moved into film industry.

Film career:
Prior to her venture into politics, she had a successful career in the Tamil film industry as an actress. She debuted in the English language movie Epistle released in 1961 produced by Shankar Giri, son of former president of India Dr. V.V. Giri. Chinnada Gombe, her first film (in Kannada) was a major hit. Her first Telugu film Manushulu Mamathalu made her a famous personnel. In 1972, she was honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with the award Kalaimamani. She has acted opposite Dharmendra in Hindi Movie Izzat. Her last film was Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal 1980.

She has sung the following songs in her film career:

'amma yendraal anbu' from adimaippeN (1969) Sung by J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Vaali Music by K.V. Mahadevan
'Oh meri dilruba from sooriyakaanthi (1973) Sung by TMS & J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Vaali Music by M.S. Viswanathan
naan endraal adhu from sooriyakaanthi (1973) Sung by SPB &J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Vaali & Randor Guy Music by M.S.Viswanathan
kangalil aayiram from vandhaale maharaasi (1973) Sung by TMS & J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Vaali Music by Shankar-Ganesh
iru maangani pol from vairam (1974) Sung by SPB & J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Kannadasan Music by T.R. Papa
chithira mandabathil from anbai thedi (1974) Sung by TMS &J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Kannadasan Music by M.S. Viswanathan
thirumangalyam kolluam murai from thirumangalyam (1974) Sung byP.Suseela & J. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Kannadasan Music by M.S.Viswanathan
ulagam oru naaL pirandhadhu from thirumangalyam (1974) Sung byJ. Jayalalitha Lyrics by Kannadasan Music by M.S. Viswanathan
madrasu mailu from unnai sutrum ulagam Sung by J. Jayalalitha & L.R. Eswari Lyrics by Vaali Music by Shankar-Ganesh
maaRi varum ulaginilE Sung by J. Jayalalitha Music by Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan

In 1981, she joined the AIADMK and was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1988, marking her entry into the Parliament of India. Her association with politics grew from her affair with M. G. Ramachandran(popularly known as M.G.R), movie star and then Chief Minister.According to well documented media reports and several publications,including books and journals, Jayalalithaa and M. G. Ramachandran had a long period of extramarital relationship, and her position as MGR's mistress helped her to become his political heir., On M.G R's death, she was alienated by a faction of the party who chose to support M.G R's wife Janaki Ramachandran.
Drawing on her massive popularity and her image as the "wronged woman",in 1989, she won the elections to the Tamil Nadu legislative assemblyincidentally, becoming the first woman to be elected Leader of the Opposition. She accused that the then ruling party, the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam- Dravidian People's Party), who allegedly tried to assault her in theassembly, and there, she reportedly took an oath to enter the assemblyhouse only as chief minister.
In 1991 following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, just days before the elections, her alliance with Indian National Congresspaid off as a sympathy wave propelled the coalition to a massivevictory. She was re-elected to the legislative assembly and became thefirst elected woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu (Janaki Ramachandrantechnically became the first woman chief minister following herhusband's death, but she was unelected and presided over a transitional'caretaker' government) serving the full tenure (June 24, 1991 - May12, 1996). However, due to an anti-incumbency wave,and several allegations of corruption and malfeasance against her andher ministers, she lost power to the DMK in 1996, in a landslidedefeat.
All the ministers in her erstwhile cabinet, including her, weredefeated in the elections and six of them even lost their deposits,indicating that they did not even secure the minimum number of votesexpected of them. She returned to power with a huge majority in the 2001 elections, having mustered a bigger coalition and defying many pre-poll predictions. In the last assembly elections held in 2006, her party had to relinquish power to the DMK government.
During the years out of power, she had to face a number of criminallawsuits related to her first term rule, mostly dealing withembezzlement and monetary fraud. In 2001, a specially designated courtconvicted her of criminal breach of trust and of illegally acquiringgovernmental property belonging to TANSI, a state-run agency, and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment. She appealed against the sentence to the Supreme Court of India.While the appeal was under judicial consideration, the convictiondisqualified her from contesting the 2001 elections. However, havingled her party to victory, she controversially became the Chief Minister as a non-elected member of the assembly.
On September 21, 2001, a five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of Indiaruled that "a person who is convicted of a criminal offence andsentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than two yearscannot be appointed the Chief Minister of a State under Article 164 (1)read with (4) and cannot continue to function as such". Thereby, thebench decided that "in the appointment of Ms. Jayalalithaa as ChiefMinister there has been a clear infringement of a Constitutionalprovision and that a writ of quo warranto must issue".
In effect, her appointment as Chief Minister was declared null andinvalid. Therefore, technically, she was not the Chief Minister in theperiod between May 14, 2001 and September 21, 2001.O. Panneerselvam,a minister, was subsequently installed as the Chief Minister. However,his government was widely believed to have been puppeted andmicro-managed by Jayalalithaa. In 2003, the Supreme Court acquitted herin the specific case, for lack of conclusive evidence to convict her.This cleared the way for her to contest a mid-term poll to the Andipatticonstituency, after the elected representative for the seat, gave uphis membership.
Winning the election by a handsome margin, Jayalalithaatook over the Chief Ministership again. She is still a party to a fewcriminal litigations from her first term rule in the courts in theneighbouring Karnataka state.
After the 2006 assembly elections, O. Panneerselvam was elected the AIADMK legislature party leader and hence the Leader of the Oppositionin the assembly, after she decided not to attend the assembly except if"absolutely necessary". However she, by virtue of her strong controlover her party, was considered to be the de-facto leader of theopposition in the state. Later that month when all the attending AIADMKMLAswere suspended, she started attending the assembly. She was elected thelegislature party leader and now (as of 2006) leads the opposition inthe assembly.

Member of Legislative Assembly

1989Elected fromBodinayakkanur
1991Elected fromBargur
2002Electedfrom Andipatti
2006Reelectedfrom Andipatti

Chief Minister

From 1991To1996 Tamil Nadu state assembly election
From 2002 To2006 Tamil Nadu state assembly election

Major successes of her government:

Banning of High interest private loans.
Completion of New Veeranam Water Supply Scheme for Chennai.
Banning lottery tickets to encourage savings.
Elimination of the much feared bandit Veerappan.
Introduction of Videoconferencing in Jails and Courts, thuseliminating the need to bring the accused to extend the remand everytime.
All women police stations.
Rain water Harvesting Scheme .
Rural Women Self Help Programme benefitting lakhs of ladies in villages.
Free cycles to all school students.
Thottil Kuzhandai Thittam initiated by J.Jayalalitha won her widespread accolades.

Shortcomings and failures:

H Ration Cards - subsequently withdrawn
Anticonversion law - where she passed a law to stop religious conversions there by suppressing freedom of religion.
Treated educated Government employees with contempt which reflected in the future elections.
Failure to bring Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu

Allegations of oppressive style of governance
Her detractors consider her style of Governance oppressive. Thefollowing incidents are a few which are popularly held against her, tojustify such claims.

In 2003, teachers of government-run educational institutions and employees of the state government declared an indefinite strike,demanding the repeal of an act that reduced their pension benefits.Jayalalithaa's government adopted a defiant stance maintaining thatthe reduction was necessary to strengthen the fiscal position of thegovernment. A hurriedly enacted legislation enabled her to declare thestrike illegal as it prevented the "maintenance of essential services"and terminate the services of the striking employees, numbering around170,000. There were widespread allegations of hyperaction andwitch-hunt, with the police being pressed into action to targetstriking individuals, sometimes to the extent of storming theirresidences and arresting them on flimsy grounds. The High Court and theSupreme Court of India,responding to appeals, ruled the government action legitimate butordered the constitution of a three member Committee of High CourtJudges to consider the appeals of the employees on an individual basis.The committee, deliberating over a period of six months, ordered thereinstatement of all but a little less than 4,000 employees, andrecommended minor punishment to around 6,000 employees. Later, afterher party suffered, Jayalalithaa reversed the decisions and reinstatedall the dismissed employees and withdrew the penalties imposed, despitethe Committee of Judges findings.This is widely believed to be in response to her defeat in the national elections in May, 2004.
Allegations have been raised over the veracity of claims in variouscriminal proceedings filed during her Chief Ministership against herdetractors, including her estranged son V. N. Sudhakaran, accusing themof possessing narcotics.
In 1992, Chandralekha, an IAS officer and the chairperson of state owned Industrial Development Corporation was brutally assaulted on the roads of Chennai, and acid thrown at her face. It has been alleged that this was due to her refusal to toe Jayalalithaa's line in the affair of disinvestment in SPIC,a joint sector company. An arrested suspect in this case, Surla,alleged that he did it under instructions from Jayalalithaa and herclose aide Sasikala Natarajan.
On May 30, 1995, R. Shanmugha Sundaram, an advocate belonging to DMK, was grievously injured in an attack Allegations have been levelled against Jayalalithaa .
She has constantly been at the heart of controversy over the numerous defamation suits filed against opposition leaders and members of the press, usingprivileges available to her in the official capacity and by usinggovernment funds. She has been accused of being highly intolerant tonegative criticism.
The action against Jayendra Saraswathi during her Chief-ministership, has been hailed in some quarters and condemned in some quarters.
Action initiated against the then opposition leader and the current Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi and union ministers Murasoli Maran and T.R.Baalu all belonging to DMK, in 2004 for the Flyover scam case. and this led to widespread criticism of the action.
orders were given to arrest the editors of The Hindu, a leading newspaper based in Chennai, for publishing an editorialentitled 'Rising Intolerance' that criticized her as "crude use ofstate power". The editor of "Murasoli" - which reprinted the piece -was also arrested and sentenced to 15 days in prison.

Many people and the media feel that Jayalalitha believes innumerology and astrology; they point to her name change from"Jayalalitha" to "Jayalalithaa" as being directly borne out of such abelief. Press reports too have mentioned her faith in astrology and numerology, stating that she consults astrologers before taking important political decisions.