Actress-turned-politician Roja has revealed that her entry into politics was hugely inspired by the courage and the never-say-die attitude of Tamil Nadu chief-minister J. Jayalalithaa.
One of the few heroines who have starred as heroines in more than 100 films in many languages, Roja was speaking to newsmen recently. The actress-politician is presently the YSR Congress party MLA from Nagari in Andhra Pradesh.
“I was born as Srilatha but it was director Selvamani who changed my name to ‘Roja’ when he introduced me in films in 1992 with the super-hit Chembaruthi. The name Roja got stuck with me forever.
“I wanted to become an air-hostess while my parents wanted me to become a doctor. Eventually, I became an actress and have become a politician now, representing Nagari in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
My brother Kumarasamy and husband Selvamani were instrumental in my growth in politics and films. Sivaprasada Rao, the Speaker of the Assembly, was the one who first invited me to campaign for the party.
“I was greatly influenced and inspired by the courage, self-confidence and the never-say-die attitude of the chief-minister when I took the decision to take the political plunge. Few can match Jayalalithaa madam when it comes to being courageous. Personally, I want to reach out and help the poor and remain in the company of people from my constituency,” Roja concluded.