Jayalalithaa would have been seventy today. She dominated the politics of Tamil Nadu ever since she first became chief minister of the state in 1991. And today, fifteen months after her death, she dominates it still.
Chennai this evening is awash with wall posters in which just about every political faction - bar her sworn enemies (she had quite a few) - seeks to bask in her reflected glory.
She was a populist, but politically very shrewd and instinctively progressive. Alongside the carefully composed and party commissioned posters are simple street-side memorials, shrines almost, which are testament to the reverence in which she is widely held.
She presided over a monstrous cult of personality; she expected deference, slavish obedience indeed, from her supporters, acolytes and allies; she may have been right in saying that the corruption charges against her were politically motivated, but that doesn't mean that the jail sentences imposed were unjust. But many in Tamil Nadu continue to say that Jayalalithaa was a good leader, and it was those who surrounded her who tarnished her record and reputation.
The political tradition she represented is led today by chief minister EPS and his deputy OPS - I'm tempted to describe them as the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of Tamil politics. They don't have the popularity, the authority or the political guile of their prececessor.
There is a vacuum in Tamil politics. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK lacks charismatic leaders. The patriarch of the rival party, M. Karunanidhi of the DMK, is in his nineties and no longer an aspirant to political office, and his son and heir Stalin (born in 1953 just as the Soviet leader was on his deathbed - hence the at first sight startling name) remains politically unproven.
Sensing the absence of commanding political figures, and well aware of the tradition exemplified by Jayalalithaa and her mentor MGR of film stars turning to politics, two of the biggest figures in Tamil cinema - Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth - have, respectively, just launched or are about to launch their own parties.
Tamil politics is beginning to feel a little crowded.
And who should turn up in Chennai today but India's prime minister, Narendra Modi. He came to launch a scheme for scooters for women to mark Jayalalithaa's seventieth birth anniversary - not a giveaway but a 50% subsidy for poorer women buying low-powered scooters.
But the most politically astute of India's prime ministers will also be eyeing up options. Tamil Nadu is a big state with a population of 70 million. The AIADMK is the third biggest party in the Lok Sabha, the directly elected chamber of India's Parliament. And the trend in Tamil Nadu of the lead party winning emphatically means the choice of ally here is important.
The Hindu nationalist BJP is not strong in the Tamil heartland, though it's slowly gaining ground. Who should it look to as an election partner? The AIADMK? Or Rajnikanth's prospective party - he's talked of spirituality in politics in a manner which suggests a saffron hue? Or perhaps a broad alliance?
India's next general election is probably a little over a year away. It's Narendra Modi's to lose - but the volatility evident in some recent state election results will remind the BJP leader not to take anything for granted.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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