By Amit Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tirunelveli
Ma’am Jayalalithaa was one of those few people who are feared, loved and respected in equal measure. She was imperious enough to make people tremble at the thought of incurring her wrath. But when one came in her presence, the thing one noticed most was her aura and charisma. She liked order and discipline. Possibly the reason the police department was one of her favourites. She prided herself on maintaining law and order and in not interfering in the functioning of the police. Any Tamil Nadu cop will bear testimony to the fact that she walked the talk. In an era where councillors and party cadre routinely interfere with policing in the country, under her, no one dared interfere. For the ‘police’ was Amma’s department. If any of her party cadre was acting wayward, all one needed to say was a report on his activities would be sent to the Chief Minister. That was more than enough to set things right. In case it wasn’t and a report was sent, that person would invariably find himself expelled from the party.
Though a quintessential ‘Iron Lady’ in life, the memories of her that remain after her passing are of a lady who exuded class and was the embodiment of courtesy. A salute to her always got the response of an equally respectful joining of hands. No matter whether the person offering the salute was a Constable, SP or DGP. No matter how many times she had to do it.