In a 2005 interview given to Karan Thapar, who was then hosting the BBC’s Hard Talk India, she says that she was misunderstood.

Watch Jayalalithaa give Karan Thapar a taste of his own medicine in a 2005 interview
Social Jayalalithaa Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 12:15

With the state Assembly polls just around the corner in 2005, Jayalalithaa was described as being irrational, vengeful, irresponsible and even dictatorial. For all this, the then embattled chief minister was still no pushover.

In a 2005 interview given to Karan Thapar, who was then hosting the BBC’s Hard Talk India, she says that she was misunderstood.

“The whole world is a stage and everyone is acting all the time. I like to be straight. Acting is not my forte. I am unconventional. The role of a politician requires play acting. In reality, I cannot act. I prefer speaking the truth. If I appear to be blunt, then so be it,” Jayalalithaa says.

Karan asks her about the policy changes her government made in the run up to the 2004 general elections. Jayalalithaa was criticised for those decisions, which were called populist measures aimed at winning votes by the media.

“The changes made in May 2004 were termed as roll backs. I was bequeathed with a shattered economy left behind by the DMK government and the state was reeling under severe drought. The state treasury was not making any payments. By 2003, all arrear bills were paid and by the end of the fiscal year 2003-04 Tamil Nadu was restored to financial health. The changes in the policy reflect that the farmers had to be insulated against the income shock caused by the drought,” she answered confidently.

As Karan posed tough questions, the late CM holds her ground with precise answers, her feathers unruffled.

At one point, the late Chief Minister, gave him a taste of his own medicine. 

Karan says ‘You’re a very though woman.” After a long pause, in which Jayalalithaa is visibly displeased, she fires back: “That’s because of people like you.”

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