The man who crucified himself for Jayalalithaa is starting a political party called ‘AMMA’

After meeting BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi, Shihan Hussaini announced the name of his party - Amma Makkal Munnetra Amaippu
The man who crucified himself for Jayalalithaa is starting a political party called ‘AMMA’
The man who crucified himself for Jayalalithaa is starting a political party called ‘AMMA’
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On February 23, 2015, Shihan Hussaini – a popular martial arts expert and artist from Chennai – crucified himself to pray for his Amma, the late CM of Tamil Nadu who was then in jail for the disproportionate assets case. He grabbed national headlines after his team nailed him to a cross and lifted it up, with cameras flashing away. He screamed in pain, but later said that it was no big sacrifice – all he wanted was that Amma be made the CM again.

Now, as the state of Tamil Nadu undergoes a major political churn following the death of J Jayalalithaa, Hussaini has announced the creation of a new political outfit – AMMA, ‘Amma Makkal Munnetra Amaippu’.

And his main aim? Avenge the death of Amma, he says.

The ‘sensationalist’

Hussaini is a colourful character, and has described himself as a ‘sensationalist’ in the past.

Twenty years ago, then known just as a karate expert in Chennai, he participated in an event that allowed 101 cars to drive over his right hand, after which he attempted to set a world record by using the same hand to break 5000 tiles and 1000 bricks.

Using his own blood after the event, he immediately went on to paint a blood portrait of then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, something that earned him Rs. 3 lakh cash and a state government grant of prime land for his karate school.

This bizarre act was just one of the many that feature in his list. He is a man of many trades, from archery and karate, to cookery classes and acting in films.

Since then, he has even taken on Jayalalithaa’s adversaries – by making statues of them with a pig’s blood or cow dung.

“I am always her follower, admirer, her fan and a fanatic,” he says.

Raging his way into politics

On December 23, 2016, Shihan met BJP leader and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi and took his blessings to start his political party. “Venkaiah Naidu is a friend of mine for the last 15 years,” he says, “His family is like family and his daughter is my student. It’s not just for the party that I came to meet him, but I got his blessings for the party.”

So, is his party going to be linked to the BJP? “There is going to be no such thing, not at all.”

Shihan says he never wanted to join politics, “I have always resisted entering politics. I met Amma first in 1993, and her first question to me during our 35-minute meeting was if I wanted to join politics. I said ‘no’, and I have said ‘no’ every time she asked me after that. I have always told her that I only wanted to be her dedicated follower, not a politician.”

But the death of Amma has forced him to take the step he says, “After her death, after seeing the way things are going on in Tamil Nadu, and the pathetic way in which politics is being played, I decided I will take the plunge.”

So, what does he intend to do with the party?

Shihan explains, “First of all, we need to establish in Tamil Nadu whether we have the right to ask what really happened with Amma.”

He asks if Jayalalithaa’s death was natural. “The takeover the party by the people who probably plotted her death, is so shocking. And if I don’t take the lead then nobody will take the lead.”

He has a seven-point agenda for the party.

“Do we have the right to ask questions about Amma or not? We need to establish that we do.”

“What exactly led to her death, what happened? How did she die? Was she murdered or was it natural death? Why was everything kept under wraps? We need to find out.”

“After her death, why is it that the people she hated so much, stood all around her body? Who engineered the entire thing? We need answers.”

“What is going to happen after her? Who is qualified to take over her mantle?”

“The next government which takes over should make sure that her policies and schemes are taken forward. She has to be immortalized.”

“How can people like you and me take part in the development in the state?”

“We need to create a corruption-free Tamil Nadu and rise up against the fear in the state.”

And not just that, he wants the government to create a museum for her, with all her belongings.

“I also want to build the world’s largest statue for her – for the iron lady of the world. 20,000 years from now people should know about her. I studied sculpture only to make her statue.”

And is he going to take on Sasikala? “Yes. If she stands for elections in RK Nagar, I will contest against her.”

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