February 24, 2021 2:37:43 pm
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday unveiled the portraits of three state freedom fighters in the Legislative Assembly to honour their services to the nation.
The life-sized portraits of V O Chidambaram, P Subbarayan and Omandur Ramasamy Reddiyar were unveiled to join the existing collection of portraits in the House, including Thiruvalluvar, Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, EVR Periyar, CV Rajagopalachary, K Kamaraj, Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, CN Annadurai, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, among others.
While unveiling the portraits, both EPS and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam paid tributes to the freedom fighters and hailed their contribution towards the freedom movement in the nation.
Who is VOC?
Referred to as Kappalottiya Tamizhan (The Tamil Helmsman), Vallinayagam Olaganathan Chidambaram Pillai (VOC) was a freedom fighter and barrister from Ottapidaram in Tuticorin. VOC was instrumental in launching the Swadeshi movement in Tirunelveli district.
Born on September 5, 1872 in Ottapidaram, VOC graduated from Tuticorin’s Caldwell College. He took his political plunge in 1905 following the partition of Bengal. By the end of the next year, VOC established the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company to counter British monopoly.
VOC is often remarked to be a forerunner to Mahatma Gandhi for championing the cause of Tamil Nadu’s working class through the Tuticorin Coral Mills strike.
VOC was also a prolific writer and had penned several works, including commentaries on the Thirukkural and Tholkappiyam. In January last year, a Chennai-based publishing company had announced that the completed works of the freedom fighter will be published in two volumes.
Paramasivan Subbarayan was a freedom fighter and diplomat. An alumnus of Presidency College Madras, he received his LLB from University of London and LLD from Dublin’s Trinity College.
Having started his political career with the Justice Party, Subbarayan joined the INC in 1933. Subbarayan has donned several diplomatic roles during his lifetime.
He was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from 1926 – 1930 and was a member of the Madras Parliament from 1921 to 1949. Subbarayan was the Ambassador of India to Indonesia for two years (1949 to 1951) and was also the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from 1938 to 1946. He later served as the Governor of Maharashtra in 1962.
Subbarayan worked actively on Dalit rights and introduced legislations to abolish untouchability during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency.
O P Ramasamy Reddiyar was born in Omandur near Tindivanam in 1895. Inducted into the Independence movement at a young age, Reddiyar served as the Chief Minister of the Madras Presidency from 1947 to 1949 and was in power the day India received her independence from the British.
Reddiyar was instrumental in passing the Madras Temple Authorisation Act in 1947 to provide rights to all classes of Hindus to enter temples and offer prayers. He also passed the Devadasi Dedication Abolition Act, 1947 to put an end to the prevalent devadasi custom.
(With PTI inputs)
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