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News Entry# 287851
Dec 07 2016 (08:42)  Life comes to halt in south TN (
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 287851     
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Posted by: rdb*^  133024 news posts
Numbness set in and life paused in south Tamil Nadu since the midnight of Monday when the announcement, which the people never wanted to hear, was made. The region that sent Jayalalithaa to the Assembly thrice – from Bodinaickanur in 1989 and Andipatti in 2002 and 2006 – had abundantly demonstrated its affection for her in the past. It was in Madurai that she was given a hero’s welcome on her first visit outside Chennai after the 2001 election.
The reception was in appreciation of the Phoenix act she pulled off after a humiliating defeat in the earlier election held in 1996. On the day she died, the region mourned her in spontaneous grief. As the day dawned, shops and business establishments
did not open. Even small vendors chose to forego their daily earnings as a mark of respect to the Chief Minister. Roads wore a deserted look as vehicles, including buses, did not operate. In the countryside, women were seen mourning in groups in front of portraits of Jayalalithaa. In many places, AIADMK men tonsured their heads as if a member of the family had passed away. People were also glued to their television sets since daybreak. All-party and inter-faith silent processions were taken out in all the southern districts to condole her death even as posters mourning the demise of ‘Amma’ sprang up in many places.
In whatever they did, peopledemonstrated a sense of maturity in the hinterland notorious for untoward incidents during mourning in the past. Even those who had assembled in front of television sets in places like K. Pudur bus-stand in Madurai gave vent to their feelings in the form of tears.
Muslim organisations cancelled their protest rallies on the anniversary of demolition of Babri Masjid. Ferry services to the Rock Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Statue in Kanniyakumari remained suspended and movement of pilgrims to Sabarimala temple was curtailed in all the temple towns of the region. Prices of flowers sunk in the Dindigul markets as there were no buyers. Railway stations too wore a deserted look as there was not much patronage for trains to Chennai.
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