Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa resembles the talented, educated and mature leader of masses while Fidel castro resembles the age-old image of a crusader for his people to lead a revolution and life-long respect in turn.
Unfortunate but Fidel Castro lived up to see his promise for a revolution dwindle once his health deteriorated a decade ago but Jayalalithaa remained steadfast in her pitch for making the poor and middle class women happier.
Fidel Castro not only challenged the US hegemony in Americas but remained the sole leader dreaded by any US President even to shake a hand until Bill Clinton accidentally did. He was behind the Cuban revolution that threw balance of power in Americas off guard and kept Washington on its toes always. He was even accused of masterminding JFK killing though it never stood the test of time or reason.
Fidel Castro was an eloquent speaker who could address his people for over 10 hours at a stretch, yet commanded their audience. His people braced poverty but never belied their leader. He remained an epoch in an era when socialism triumphed and capitalism remained in the periphery in world politics. A friend of Indira Gandhi, he had apparently warned of her of a plot to assassinate her about six months before it happenned. Though a non-alignment player, his presence in NAM Meetings during the Cold War had distanced many seen as US allies. Finally, it was his brother who succeeded him to the reins of power to make Cuba see the reason and adjust to the realities of capitalism as it is the most-acknowledged reality now.
On the other side of the globe, Jayalalithaa too mesmerized millions with her glamourous roles and sought to be a leader throughout. From filmdom to politics, her journey remained as cushioned as her films were. With MG Ramachandran (MGR) on her side, she saw no reason why she should not aspire for the top post. So did she when MGR died and resisted insults and insinuations for over two years to ramp home with a united party behind her charisma.
When cadre-based DMK party threatened her safety and self-respect with physical assaults in the Assembly, she swore to return as chief minister and teach her opponents a lesson and she did clinch the victory, thanks to her alliance tactics with the Congress at the apt time. Soon, she had groomed her own ilk in the state and her chosen target group of women always proved her right in her outreach strategy.
Finally, notwithstanding the corruption charges and the jail term, she used all her adversities into accomplishments as proved by her second-straight victory in Assembly elections. If Fidel Castro was excellent in his charisma-centric speeches, Jayalalithaa was equally adored for her tactful and matured personality among the most-hated politicians in Tamil Nadu.
Her speeches lacked triumphant exhortations but her deeds stood before the voters glaringly to decide during the hustings. She knew her fans are far more important than her rivals and she proved them right again and again with her women-centric freebies. She never groomed any greater-than-thou personality within the party but tolerated even adhoc impurities. Whether her aide Shashikalaa or her trusted man Panneerselvam, she showed them who the boss would be but relented their mistakes to make them realise her mastery over inter-personal relations.
finally, both of them died within one week gap but both will remain the most-cherished personalities in the annals of history. Both will be missed by their followers forever. Both will be leaving behind void that cannot be filled by anyone else so easily.