Amma's left Tamil Nadu craving for blockbuster politics

Shalini Lobo
Shalini LoboFeb 22, 2017 | 20:05

Amma's left Tamil Nadu craving for blockbuster politics

Nothing can get as dramatic as Tamil Nadu politics given the love people here have for the reel and the real.

While legends like MGR and Jayalalithaa danced before the cameras, Karunanidhi was known for the dialogues actors delivered on screen.

Looking at the turn of events, it is clear you don't need to step out of the silver screen to make your debut as a politician.


And I say this keeping in mind superstars VK Sasikala and Deepa Jayakumar, the blue-eyed boy of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam and golden boy MK Stalin.

Throwback to the theatrics since Amma died. The lead heroines, Sasikala and Deepa, even dress like her now.

The hair in a neat low bun, bindi on the forehead with a little vermillion above it, long-sleeved blouses and simple sarees. They even do a decent job imitating the way the former chief minister used to speak, smile and nod when she acknowledged her supporters.

Some say BJP backing forced OPS to open up while others credit Amma’s spirit and blessing. Photo: PTI
The theatrics of Sasikala's fist bump at Amma's memorial was not lost on TN. Photo: Twitter 
Stalin swag followed Assembly ruckus. Photo: PTI

Imitation is one thing, but manipulating people an entirely different ball game. Each one has come up before the people and narrated her/his tale on how they are carrying on Amma’s legacy.

I don’t have a favourite. I have been covering the Tamil Nadu turmoil for a while now, but if I had to choose the best debutante, I would give a shiny golden award to VK Sasikala, for the sole reason that I enjoyed every bit of her drama.

From the way she dresses up, to abducting the AIADMK MLAs, the tears and thumping the Amma Memorial at Marina beach, taking an oath in public with tears in her eyes over J Jayalalithaa’s body to having her convoy drop her off to jail in her luxury SUV.


While the one above is a video store owner-turned CM aspirant, the other great actor who stole the show was the quiet tea stall owner-turned CM O Panneerselvam.

OPS, the man who always prostrated before Amma and never said a word suddenly found a word too many to share with the people. One place you could always find him was the Jaya Samiti at Marina.

It was actually everyone’s adda if I could say so. He has prostrated before the memorial the exact same way he used to before Amma’s luxury SUV.

Some say it is the BJP backing that forced this quiet man to open up while the others credit Amma’s spirit and blessing.

The reason we’ll never know but yes, he has done a fantastic job when it comes to making people believe he was Amma’s blue-eyed boy. He is the right heir to Amma’s legacy and he is the only one who can do justice to her name and people.

MK Stalin cannot be left behind. A hunger strike today from 9am to 5pm. As sarkaari as the current government.

But what I loved about him was the swag when he stormed out of the Assembly. It was straight out of a Tamil movie. White shirt and white mundu. His buttons undone revealing his vest and chest.


Calling out to the media and talking to them. Was it the right thing to do or the right decorum to maintain in the Assembly? Of course not! But well as Cho Ramaswamy rightfully once said, "You can take away politics from cinema, but not the cinema from Tamil Nadu’s politics."

Last updated: February 23, 2017 | 11:51
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