K Kamaraj birth anniversary: Remembering the 'Kingmaker' of Indian politics

K Kamaraj is widely known for his visionary thinking on the development of education, industries and irrigation in India.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, July 14, 2022, 04:20 PM IST
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K Kamaraj is widely known for his visionary thinking on the development of education, industries and irrigation in India. He has been the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu thrice. Fondly, he is also known as the first 'Kingmaker' of independent India.

Born in Nadar caste on July 15, 1903 in Madurai's Virudhunagar, he began his political journey from a lower level. He gained spotlight due to the 'Kamaraj Plan' for reforming the Congress Organisation in the sixties. He joined Congress at the age of 16 when he was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's ideas. He played a vital role in the Indian Independence movement, because of which he was sent to jail several times.

Kamaraj also participated in the 1920's Satyagraha that was led by George Joseph against the exclusion of Harijans from temples . Under his leadership, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was started for the first time in the independent India. Additionally, a free uniform scheme was introduced in Madras schools.

He has significantly worked for the development of poor sections. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, while praising him, once said that "Madras is the best-administered state in India and Kamaraj is behind it."

He passed away due to a heart attack on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, 1975.

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