Messages have started pouring in since the passing of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa Jayaraman on Monday, the 5th of December, at 11.30 PM, after a prolonged, 48-hour struggle with life. For her legions of followers and admirers across TN and even beyond its borders, this has been a day of profound grief and shock; even her detractors and political opponents have expressed grief and appreciation for what she managed to achieve. While discussions and debates about her legacy as both a corrupt, authoritarian leader as well as a powerful female figure navigating the murky, male-dominated bylanes of South Indian (or, indeed, Indian) politics and emerging victorious (repeatedly) will continue, today has largely been dedicated to a steady stream of tributes to the iconic figure.
Twitter, unsurprisingly, has become a reservoir of grief and respect for the beloved Puratchi Thalaivi (leader), as thousands of people tweeted their grief and/or respects, even as the procession marched towards her final resting place and she was eventually buried.
The sign of silence and calmness prevailed from yesterday till now shows the respect to her!! #Ripamma
— Saravana (@saravana_24) December 6, 2016
— akiraarunkumar(அருன்) (@akiraarunkumar) December 6, 2016
Inspite of watching the live coverage of her last rituals, still can't believe that she is gone.. the reality is yet to sink in #RIPAmma
— N (@adenwas_) December 6, 2016
its gng to be dark as sun is about to set and also d women politics era in TN. its gng to be hard to overcome this loss….#Ripamma
— shaik saheb (@shaiksaheb19) December 6, 2016
Condolence upon the passing away of iconic J Jayalalithaa. She fought to the end. Will be missed by friends. Salute the grand lady
— Salman Khurshid (@salman7khurshid) December 5, 2016
I express my grief and deep sorrow on the demise of Tamilnadu CM J Jayalalithaa
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) December 5, 2016
Saddened by the demise of Tamil Nadu CM J.Jayalalithaa ji. I extend my deepest condolences to her party and followers in this hour of grief.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 5, 2016
I will always cherish the innumerable occasions when I had the opportunity to interact with Jayalalithaa ji. May her soul rest in peace.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 5, 2016
Paid tributes to Selvi Jayalalithaa. pic.twitter.com/YtnwHdOSCt
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 6, 2016
Sad to hear of the passing away of Jayalalithaaji…May her soul rest in peace.
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) December 5, 2016
Rest in peace dear J Jayalalithaa.
You will be remembered.#Ripamma
(This childhood memory from when she was in my school.) pic.twitter.com/rzb91JItel
— Manasi Scott (@ManasiScott) December 6, 2016
Most beloved CM of India Dr. J. Jayalalithaa gone. She was a super star n then she became most successful politician. Rest in peace AMMA.
— KRK (@kamaalrkhan) December 6, 2016
J. Jayalalithaa had mastered the art of effectively using her charisma and charm as authority and acceptability . RIP
— PrabhuChawla (@PrabhuChawla) December 6, 2016
T 2463 – Jayalalitha ji the only CM of a State that celebrated 100 years of Indian Cinema .. from all regions .. most admirable ! pic.twitter.com/W2pcsVKhYL
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 5, 2016
Amma’s legacy will be felt for many years to come, both in how her party and her state now operate, and within the larger ambit of national politics, but what is clear from these tweets is just how high she had risen and how deeply her influence was felt.