Chennai: Yesteryear south Indian actress Gautami Tadimalla, who recently ended her long live-in relationship with veteran actor Kamal Haasan, has stirred a hornet’s nest by writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to unravel the truth about what happened to late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the days preceding her death.
Gautami, who a month ago had a 45-minute meeting with the Prime Minister, on Thursday wrote to him about the “unsettling” nature of Jayalalithaa’s health.
Hailing the late AIADMK leader as a “towering personality in Indian politics” and “a great inspiration for women”, Gautami said her death is all the more tragic and unsettling “because of the circumstances over the past few months and the sheer volume of unanswered questions about our late Chief Minister’s hospitalisation, treatment, reported recovery and very sudden passing.”
Pointing out that information on Jayalalithaa’s health was almost blacked out, the actress said, “Nobody had been allowed access to her (Jayalalithaa) and many dignitaries who visited her (at Apollo Hospitals) with deep concern were denied an opportunity to convey their wishes in person.” She demanded to know why the secrecy and isolation of a beloved public leader and the head of the Tamil Nadu government?
“What/whose authority restricted access to the late Chief Minister? Who were the concerned persons (sic) who were making the decisions about Selvi Dr. J Jayalalithaa ji’s treatment and care when her health was apparently in such a delicate state? And who is responsible for these answers to the people,” she asked adding that the people too were raising these questions and she was echoing their concerns.
According to her, citizens had a right to know about the state of health of democratically elected leaders and their ability to perform their duties. “A tragedy of such tremendous scale should not go unquestioned and definitely, not unanswered, under any circumstances,” she said in her letter to Modi adding she hoped that he would share her anxiety. Gautami incidentally had joined the BJP in 1998 under Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s leadership. However, she was not very active in the party subsequently. Reacting angrily to Gautami’s letter, AIADMK spokesperson C R Saraswathi said, “There is no secrecy surrounding our Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) death. The best doctors at the Apollo Hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr Richard Beale from London had given the world’s best treatment to Amma. There is nothing now to unravel about this.”