WASHINGTON: The legacy of "Iron Lady" J Jayalalithaa will be remembered forever as she has left a huge void in Indian politics, Indian-American Tamils have said with the diaspora condoling her demise and grieving the loss of their beloved leader.

"The legacy of the Iron Lady, as she is fondly remembered by many, who had rocked Indian politics, will be remembered forever. None has shown the courage which Jayalalithaa evinced in her political life," Dr Rajan Natarajan, who served as the Deputy Secretary of State in Maryland and now serving as the Commissioner of Transportation, said.

"An authoritarian, a visionary and a leader full of guts and grit, she has left a huge void in Indian Politics. 'Amma' (mother), as she was always fondly referred to by the masses, she is indeed a mother of many comebacks in her political life," Natarajan, the first Indian-born Tamil American who served in the highest administrative position in USh istory, said yesterday.

"Jayalalithaa's demise signals the end of an era of celluloid image politics in Tamil Nadu where mass media access paved the way for colourful political careers for several decades," said Ram Mahalingam, associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

"Her appeal to women emboldened her to expand many popular social welfare programs, a legacy of the Dravidian parties, while resisting the pressures of neoliberalism. Her charisma and connection to people enabled her to achieve this.

"She was a firm and independent decision maker who was the supreme leader of her party. Her success will be an inspiration for women who aspire to become a leader in India," Mahalingam said.

Read the full article "'Iron Lady' Jayalalithaa inspiration for women: Tamils in US" at The Economic Times.