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Biography of Bharat Ratna “Kumaraswami Kamaraj” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Kumaraswami Kamaraj


A true democrat and a socialist, a product of the national movement, one who participated in it, from the age of eighteen, with his rich and valuable experience, huge popularity and tremendous influence, Kumaraswami Kamaraj played a leading role in shaping India’s destiny from the passing away of the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to the Indian National Congress-split in 1969. When the question, ‘After Nehru Who’, was on every one’s lips, Kamaraj took the platform and executed his statesmanship and became a ‘King-Maker’.

He was born poor in a backward tract of Tamil Nadu in a backward caste in the Hindu society at Virudhunagar (Virudhupatti) in District of Ramnad on 15 July 1903.

Kumaraswami Nadar, the father of Kamaraj was a petty coconut-shop owner. He died when Kamaraj was only six. Uncle Karuppiah Nadar, who was running a small cloth-shop, brought up Kamaraj, his sister Nagammal and mother Sivakami Animal.

Kamaraj was first named Kamakshi, after the family deity, and the name Kamaraj was later adopted in preference to the feminine name Kamakshi. He studied for six years only. At twelve he was a shop assistant in a cloth shop.

Kamaraj was barely fifteen when he heard of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (1919). He was shocked to know the tragedy and this was the decisive turning point in his life. Two years later when Kamaraj saw Mahatma Gandhi at Madurai, he chose his path. He became a member. of the Indian National Congress and soon became an active party volunteer worker.

It is evident from the records that Kamaraj was content for years to remain a rank and file Congress volunteer, working hard with sincerely and seriousness for the cause of the national movement, unmindful of his personal comfort or career. Though he did try for some time an insurance agency as a means of his earning, he gave it up after a few months. Political activity became his sole preoccupation.

He was eighteen when he responded to the call of Gandhiji for Non-Cooperation with the British. He carried on propaganda in the villages, raised funds for Congress work and took a leading part in organising meetings, first at Virudhunagar and then in the entire District of Ramnad.

At twenty Kamaraj was picked up by S. Satyamurthy, one of the greatest orators and a leading figure of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, who was to be Kamaraj’s political guru.

In April 1930 Kamaraj joined the Salt Satyagraha Movement at Vedaranyam and was sentenced to two years, his first term in prison. Jail going became a part of his life, and he had been to prison six times in British Tails. His last imprisonment was in 1942 during the Quit India Movement.

Kamaraj was Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee from 1936-1940. He was elected President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee in February 1940. This marked in a very real sense a turning point in the political career of Kamaraj. He held that post till 1954.

Kamaraj was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1937 unopposed. He was elected Chairman of the Virudhunagar Municipal Council in 1941, while in prison; and after release he took up the post for one day only and then resigned. He was again elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1946. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly of India in 1946. He was in the Working Committee of the A.I.C.C. from 1947 till the Congress split in 1%9, either as a member or as a special invitee. After the split, he had been a leading figure in the organisation of Congress.

He was elected to the Parliament in 1952. He resigned his seat in Parliament when he became the Chief Minister of Madras in 1954.

He was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1954, 1957 and 1962. He was defeated in Virudhunagar in the 1967 General Elections, when the DMK swept the polls. In January 1969, Kamaraj triumphed in the Lok Sabha by-election from Nagercoil. It was during the nine years of Kamaraj’s Chief Ministership that Tamil Nadu came to be known as one of the best administered States in India. As Chief Minister Kamaraj dedicated himself to the spread of education. Rural electrification was another field where tremendous achievement was recorded. New industries were set up with the active encouragement given by the State Government and thus Tamil Nadu State topped other States in social and economic development.

In 1963 Kamaraj suggested to Nehru that senior Congress leaders should leave ministerial posts to take up organisational work. This suggestion came to be known as Kamaraj Plan, which was designed primarily to dispel from the minds of Congressmen the lure for power and creating in its place a dedicated attachment to the objectives and policies of the organisation. The plan was approved by the Congress Working Committee early in August 1963, and was implemented within two months. It was implemented on October 2, 1963. Six Chief Ministers and six Union Ministers resigned under the Plan. Kamaraj was one of the six Chief Ministers. On 3 October 1963, Kamaraj was elected President of the Indian National Congress.

As Congress President Kamaraj visited the Soviet Union and the East European countries. But that was not his first foreign trip. In 1954 he visited Malaya and Ceylon to acquaint himself with the problem of Indian settlers there.

Kamaraj had built up a reputation for personal integrity. He was greatly respected throughout India. He was a true democrat and a socialist. He had literally grown with the Congress to which he has contributed his heart and soul. Twice he played a leading role in choosing the Prime Minister of India.

“For the progress of our country,” he says, “we must strive in two ways. We must raise our standard of living. Secondly, we must also raise our self-respect. This is the objective of the Congress”.

Kamaraj breathed his last on October 2, 1975. In recognition to his great services nation conferred upon him the highest honour, Bharat Ratna, on January 17, 1976, posthumously.


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