Chennai: AIADMK members tonsure heads at Jayalalithaa burial site

Chennai, Dec 7 :  Several AIADMK activists on Wednesday tonsured their heads on the Marina beach where J. Jayalalithaa was buried in a bid to show their affection to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

“She was like a mother to me. It was Amma who christened my two children. We tonsure our head when we lose our mother, isn’t it?” A. Manoj, a young member of the ruling AIADMK, told IANS.

A resident of Theni district, Manoj said he was unable to accept that Jayalalithaa was no more.

The veteran actor-turned-politician died just before midnight Monday, a day after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was buried at the Marina beach on Tuesday evening.

A vegetable farmer, Manoj joined the AIADMK while he was in college. He said he was attracted by Jayalalithaa’s boldness.

Another men who tonsured his head was 45-year-old K. Mariappan, a worker in a cool drink making company in Tirunelvelli district.

“When I heard Amma had passed away, I came here by car with five friends,” he told IANS. “Amma was like my mother. So I decided to tonsure my head.”

Barbers who had parked themselves at the beach charged anything between Rs.100-200 to tonsure a head. The normal charges are Rs.50-100.

Another group of AIADMK members from Sivaganga district also underwent the ceremonial tonsure.

Some women members of the AIADMK were seen sobbing.

All of them insisted that the AIADMK would remain united despite the absence of the towering Jayalalithaa.

A group of mentally challenged persons was brought by a NGO to the beach to pay homage to the departed leader.

The burial site on Wednesday received hundreds of people right from the morning.

Jayalalithaa was buried a few metres behind where her mentor and AIADMK founder and Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran or MGR was buried.

Snack vendors did brisk business catering to the visitors.

In Chennai city, while shops, hotels, offices and petrol bunks opened on Wednesday, there were few government-owned buses on the roads.