Ex movie star and convicted politician still running her Indian state

by Annie Gowen

Former movie star Jayalalitha Jayaram, pictured in graffiti, was convicted on corruption charges and forced to step down. She continues to run the government even though she has not left her house since she was released on bail in October. Photo: Annie Gowen/The Washington Post

CHENNAI, India — Her chair in the state assembly room has been kept open, her office left undisturbed like a shrine.It’s been more than four months since Jayalalitha Jayaram, a former film star and three-term chief minister in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was convicted on corruption charges, briefly imprisoned and forced to step down, an event that caused statewide protests and shuttered shops and schools. A few of her most fervent supporters even lighted themselves on fire.