New Delhi, Sep 15: Today marks the 110th birth anniversary of CN Annadurai (September 15,1909 - February 3, 1969) popularly known as Perarignar Anna - a name that has been the driving force behind the Tamil Nadu politics ever since 1967.
Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai, popularly called 'Anna' (elder brother), or Arignar Anna was born in a small brick house on September 15, 1909 in a Hindu lower-middle-class family at Kancheepuram, the city famed for its of temples near Chennai.
There was little in his birth to indicate that he would grow up to be the Chief Minister of his state or the mentor of two other Chief Ministers - K Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran.
Annadurai was well known for his oratorical skills and was an acclaimed writer in the Tamil language. He scripted and acted in several plays. He was the first politician from the Dravidian parties to use Tamil cinema extensively for political propaganda.
Born in a middle-class family, Annadurai first worked as a school teacher, then moved into the political scene of the Madras Presidency as a journalist. He edited several political journals and enrolled as a member of the Dravidar Kazhagam. As an ardent follower of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, he rose in stature as a prominent member of the party.
With differences looming with Periyar, on issues of separate independent state of Dravida Nadu and on inclusion in the Indian Union, he crossed swords with his political mentor. The friction between the two finally erupted when Periyar married Maniammai, who was much younger than him. Angered by this action of Periyar, Annadurai with his supporters parted from Dravidar Kazhagam and launched his own party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
The DMK initially followed ideologies the same as the mother party, Dravidar Kazhagam. But with the evolution of national politics and the constitution of India after the Sino-Indian war in 1962, Annadurai dropped the claim for an independent Dravida Nadu.
Various protests against the ruling Congress government took him to prison on several occasions; the last of which was during the Madras anti-Hindi agitation of 1965. The agitation itself helped Annadurai to gain popular support for his party. His party won a landslide victory in the 1967 state elections. His cabinet was the youngest at that time in India. He legalised Self-Respect marriages, enforced a two language policy (in preference to the three language formula in other southern states), implemented subsidies for rice, and renamed Madras State to Tamil Nadu.
However, he died of cancer just two years into office. His funeral had the highest attendance of any to that date which had also been mentioned in Guinness world of Book Records. Several institutions and organisations are named after him. A splinter party launched by M. G. Ramachandran in 1972 was named after him as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
In order to remember his birth anniversary, #HBDAnna111 was one of the trending topics on Twitter and by morning multiple topics related to his birth anniversary were trending on the social media site.
Here are some of the tweets:
"If Hindi were to become the official language of India, Hindi-speaking people will govern us. We will be treated like third rate citizens" ~ C. N. Annadurai#HBDAnna111 #StopHindiImposition pic.twitter.com/fN4yn2UjkW— நித்யா (@nithya_shre) September 15, 2019
Jawaharlal Nehru hailed him as one of the great parliamentarians for speeches in Rajya Sabha— Sudharagunathan (@Sudharagunatha1) September 15, 2019
"There is no doubt that this powerful orator is the single-most popular mass figure in the region"#அண்ணா111#HBDAnna111 pic.twitter.com/7g6zpfGYth
To know the history of today’s Tamil Nadu, one has to know the biography of Anna. But for Anna, Tamil Nadu would not have come to be called by her own name.— Sudharagunathan (@Sudharagunatha1) September 15, 2019
Anna was born in Tamil Nadu-, Tamil Nadu as it is to-day was born on the 15th September 1909#அண்ணா111#HBDAnna111 pic.twitter.com/QqZZdXivzd
In 1969, About 1.50 Crs (15 Million) people attended #ArignarAnna 's funeral - Making it the largest funeral attended by people in the world and made it to the #Guinness Book of World records.. #HBDAnna111 pic.twitter.com/P90A2bp3VO— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) September 15, 2019
Several places are named after after Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai— Sudharagunathan (@Sudharagunatha1) September 15, 2019
Anna Nagar, Anna Salai, formerly Mount Road,Anna Flyover,Anna University,Arignar Anna Zoological Park,Anna Centenary Library,Anna Square,Anna Terminal, Chennai International Airport#அண்ணா111#HBDAnna111 pic.twitter.com/42wx20drH8