There have been times when the whole of Karnataka cursed her but there hasn’t been a day where we haven’t envied our neighbors for having as firm a leader as her to represent them. She hurt her state of birth and upbringing many a time but her solid stances in favour of states (would) have helped all states, especially Karnataka which can otherwise only meekly submit itself to centralization.
She was the only Indian leader who stood against a highly popular GST Bill till the very end since she was certain its passage would serve a huge blow to states’ taxation powers, one of the only aspects in Indian polity where balance was rightfully in favour of states. Her demise will considerably weaken the already cornered federalism lobby in India which required to be extra strong especially at a time when India has a popular majority Government at the Centre.
She was one of the very few leaders outside the Government who believed more in action and results than in theatrics and drama. She would have helped in holding the Central Government under check without antagonizing its support base against herself as much as her noisier counterparts. Her presence would have proved especially useful at a juncture when a crucial policy decision affecting the lives of Indians all over has been implemented by the Centre.
She has gained supporters and critics alike in her long, controversial, roller-coaster like political life, but even her staunchest critics will vouch for the firmness with which she led and represented her people when she did. Not just Tamil Nadu, India has lost a very powerful leader and unfortunately at a very wrong time.
Hope Tamil Nadu mourns her death in peace and will give themselves and India, another champion of states’ and people’s rights as soon as possible. RIP Jayalalithaa!