Chennai: Tamil Nadu's iconic leader and former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who passed away on Monday night after battling for her life at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for nearly 75 days, was laid to rest with full state honours at Chennai's Marina Beach on Tuesday.
She was buried next to her political mentor MG Ramachandran at Marina Beach.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik were among the VVIPS who paid rich tributes to 'Amma' before her final journey.
Contrary to speculations of her being cremated as per the Hindu rituals, the late AIADMK supremo was buried at the Marina Beach.
Among various theories which are doing the rounds in this regard, one suggest that the departed leader was a cult figure, beyond caste and religious identity. Although, she was born in Tamil Iyengar family where deceased are cremated, it is believed that 'Amma' had once expresed her desire to be buried after her death.
It's probably why the Dravidians wanted to bury her with sandalwood and rose water instead of cremating her mortal remains.
However, some others believe that Jayalalithaa was buried because her mentor Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran, popularly known as 'MGR' was also buried on Marina Beach.
Importantly, Jayalalithaa was also laid to rest near MGR’s memorial site on Marina Beach.
Some Dravidians even claim that they can still hear the sound of MGR’s watch ticking near his memorial site on Marina Beach.
Many in Tamil Nadu believe that Jayalalithaa was introduced to politics by MGR, who, apart from being a renowned actor, director and producer, had served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms. Both MGR and Jayalalithaa went on to star in whooping 24 films together.
Another possible reason of her being buried could be that Jayalalithaa did not have any blood relative to light the funeral pyre apart from her niece Deepa Jayakumar.
Sources claim that Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala was against Deepa Jayakumar getting involved with the final rites because she could be a “potential challenge”.
Deepa, the daughter of the Chief Minister’s only brother late Jayakumar, who had tried to meet Jayalalithaa several times when she was undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, was denied permission for unknown reasons.
Iconic leader Jayalalithaa was given a tearful adieu by millions of her ardent supporters who accompanied her during her final journey till she was buried with full military honours on the Marina Beach.