Parvathi Ammal is an Indian woman whose tragic real-life story inspired the Tamil blockbuster drama film Jai Bhim. She is the real person behind the character of Sengani played by South-Indian actress Lijomol Jose in the movie.
Parvathi Ammal’s date of birth is yet unconfirmed (age not known).
Hair Colour: White
Eye Colour: Brown
Ammal lives with her family of five.
Husband & Children
Parvathi’s husband Rajakannu passed away in 1993 due to police brutality following a major controversy. The couple had three sons and a daughter. Mariappan – the eldest son, Ravi – the second one, and Selvam, the youngest son who died at the age of 15.
Ammal belongs to the Kuravar tribe of Tamil Nadu, while her husband belonged to the Irula tribe.
Parvathi and Jai Bhim
The box office hit Tamil drama film Jai Bhim, featuring A-list actors like Suriya, is based on a landmark legal battle that was fought following a tragic incident in 1993, which destroyed Parvathi Ammal’s life. The film tells the 28-year-old story of the widowed Parvathi, who approached the now-retired Madras High Court judge, K. Chandru, to seek justice for her husband Rajakannu who was killed in police brutality. Reportedly, after watching the film Parvathi was down with a temperature for two days. When she was later interviewed, she said,
For 28 years, I have learned to work myself to exhaustion every day to keep my mind off the things that I saw and experienced. But in the past few weeks, my demons have returned with a vengeance. It brought back everything.”
The film managed to create enough uproar across the country such that various celebrities came forward to help Parvathi. In November 2021, Raghava Lawrence, a Tamil celebrity, publicly announced to build a new house for Ammal, and he added in an interview,
I have made a promise and assured Parvathi Ammal that I will build her a house out of my own expenses.”
A few days later, the leading actor and co-producer of the film Jai Bhim, Suriya, also announced to help Parvathi financially by giving her Rs. 10 lakh. On 17 November 2021, the actor officially presented Ammal with the documents that confirmed a fixed deposit of Rs. 15 lakh in the widow’s name. Reportedly, the total sum contains Rs. 10 lakh as Suriya’s contribution and the remaining Rs. 5 lakh are contributed by his production firm, 2D Entertainment.
The Controversial Incident
In 1993, Parvathi and her husband, along with their family lived in the Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu. Her husband, Rajakannu, belonging to a marginalised tribal community, was falsely accused and arrested by the police of a theft that had taken place in Gopalapuram. Following the arrest, Rajakannu, his brother, sister, and brother-in-law were brutally beaten up by the Kammapuram police, trying to force them to confess to the crime. According to reports, when Parvathi tried to intervene, she, along with her three sons were also thrashed. Ammal’s husband, who was framed by the police for absconding, was stripped naked and barbarically beaten at the police station, which killed him in custody. Apparently, the story didn’t come out weeks after the ‘murder.’ The bereaved widow recalled the events of the fateful day and said in an interview,
I grew thrice my size with swelling from the beatings. My youngest son died years later at 15, from the shock he could never come out of. And my eldest son, who lives back in the village, has turned completely deaf and aimlessly walks around like a mad man.”
Three years after the trial the Madras High Court passed its interim judgment in 1996, according to which Parvathi and her family were to be paid a compensation of Rs 2,65,000 and three cents of land by the government. The breakthrough judgement in the case came in 2006, which sentenced the policemen, Ramasamy, Anthonysamy and Veerasamy, to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment for murdering Rajakannu.
- In March 1993, at the time of the incident that killed her husband, Parvathi and her family of Kuravar tribals worked at a farmhand in Gopalapuram, a village in Mudanai in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district.
- Parvathi lives in a small rented hut in a dark, waterlogged, and remote area of Madha Koil slum in Mugalivakkam, which is a neighbourhood of Chennai. The widow lives there with her daughter, son-in-law named Saravanan, and two grandsons.