Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey From Movie Star To Political Queen Paperback – 29 Aug 2016
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Description for Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey From Movie Star To Political Queen
About the Author
Vaasanthi is one of Tamil Nadu's best known writers. Her books include Cut-Outs, Caste and Cine Stars: The World of Tamil Politics and several novels. She was editor of the Tamil edition of India Today for nearly ten years.
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Other than minor nuggets on the political leader’s childhood, her evolution as a box office super star, her on-off relationship with the ageing AIADMK leader MGR, her entry into politics, her torturous struggle to wrest control of the party and finally emerging as an autocratic, welfare oriented politician / CM – the book offers nothing. Just a series of events in her life written about in a sequential manner.
Here was a subject who was a multifaceted personality and led a complicated life. A Brahmin Iyengar girl who ruled over a party founded on caste politics which was pronouncedly anti Brahmin, a woman who made it on her own in a decidedly chauvinistic male dominated party, an autocrat who brooked no dissent - She would be an author’s delight if someone had taken the trouble to research and presently a scholarly tome of a shy, diligent girl and her transformation to a Czarina…with the political transformation of the Dravidian parties in the back-drop. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost.
The book seems to have been written based more on gossip and hearsay. Even the not so known details of her life like her relationship with a Telugu super star are only briefly alluded to.
I may not agree with Jayalalithaa’s politics and her style of governance…but one has to admit…that she was remarkable….and she deserves a better book on her…..possibly someone can tempt Ramachandra Guha to write about her.
Could she not get a detailed perspective from journalists like Cho, Sekhar, Shyam ?
Read the first line again before you buy the book.
But overall I think Vaasanthi did a good job in bringing about various stories of Jayalalitha's life and put them together in one place. It is a one time read.
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