Monday, 3 February 2020

Important Events of February – 3 C. N. Annadurai Memorable Day

Important Events of February – 3

C. N. Annadurai Memorable Day 

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai was born on 15 September 1909.He popularly called Anna (“Elder brother”) or Arignar Anna (“Anna, the scholar”), was an Indian politician.

He served as first Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 and fifth, last Chief Minister of Madras until 1969 in the province of Tamil Nadu in South India.

He was the main individual from a Dravidian party to hold that post.

His qualities – simplicity, statesmanship, political acumen and concern for the poor and willingness for reconciliation.

Early life

In 1934, he graduated with a B.A. degree (Hons) from Pachaiyappa’s College in Chennai. He then earned a M.A degree in Economics and Politics from the same college.

He worked as an English teacher in Pachaiyappa High School. Later he quit the teaching job and began involving himself in journalism and politics.

In his college days, Anna was exposed to the non-Brahmin politics of the Justice Party and drawn towards Justice Party headed by the radical thinker Periyar E.V. Ramasamy.

One of the stalwart of the Dravidian movement, Anna attacked Brahminism and ‘Aryan’ values as the cause of Tamil political and cultural decadence.


Though Anna initially belonged to the openly atheist Dravidar Kazhagam he later announced his stance towards theism as “Only one race, Only one God” (Onre Kulam Oruvanae Devan).

Though secular to the core, he later described himself as a Hindu sans the sacred ash, a Christian minus the holy cross, and a Muslim without the prayer cap.

Entry into politics

Annadurai’s interest in politics made him join the Justice party in 1935.

Annadurai joined the Justice party, Periyar E. V. Ramasami was the party president. Annadurai served as the sub-editor of the Justice magazine.

He started his own journal Dravida Nadu (named after the Dravida Nadu – an independent state that the party called for).

Anna with Karunanidhi

Anna founded the most famous Dravidian party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK), in the year 1949, after a fall out with his mentor Periyar.

A great orator, script writer, theatre personality and journalist, Anna skilfully channelized the agitation against imposition of Hindi the official language of India.

In 1967, DMK’s swept assembly polls thus ending Congress dominance in the state and Anna was sworn in as Chief Minister of Madras state. Notably, his cabinet was the youngest in India then.

Annadurai is credited with renaming Madras state as Tamil Nadu in 1969. It was during his tenure as chief minister , the state assembly passed a bill renaming the state.

Protests in 1953

In 1953, Annadurai directed the DMK to undertake three protests:

Condemning Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, for describing the tarring of Hindi letters in railway station boards by DK and DMK activists as “childish nonsense”

Against C. Rajagopalachari (or Rajaji), the then chief minister of Madras State, for introducing a new educational system that indirectly encouraged traditional caste-based occupations called Kula Kalvi Thittam

Against renaming Kallakkudi, Dalmiyapuram as the name Dalmiyapuram symbolised north Indian domination. He was eventually sentenced to three months imprisonment in this protest.

Anna with Indira Gandhi, K. Kamraj
Once in Yale University, USA, a native speaker of English asked Anna a quirky question: Can you construct a sentence in English by using because three times in it?

The instantaneous response from Dr. C. N. Annadurai was: No sentence ends in   because, because, because is a conjunction

Anna’s famous ‘Two dogs Theory’ against imposition of Hindi as official language of India

“Since every school in India teaches English, why can’t it be our link language? Why do Tamils have to study English for communication with the world and Hindi for communications within India? Do we need a big door for the big dog and a small door for the small dog? I say, let the small dog use the big door too! All that is needed is the big   door. Both the big and the small dog could use it!”

Anna was never against the political unity of India but was a strong advocator for maximum autonomy to the States. The abdication of the secessionist demand in wake of the Chinese aggression was another example of his political acumen.


The largest funeral attendance in history is widely thought to have happened in 1969 when 15 million people reportedly took to the streets of Chennai for CN Annadurai.

He died on 3 February 1969
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