The Tamil Nadu government has the history of nationalizing books of prominent authors, scholars and political leaders from the state. Recently, the works of late general secretary of the DMK, K. Anbazhagan were nationalized marking his birth centenary. The works of the late Dravidian movement leader V. R. Nedunchezhian were also nationalized recently. From 1963 when modern Tamil pioneering poet Bharathi’s writings were nationalized till now, oeuvres of 164 writers and men of letters have been made the country’s intellectual assets.
Following is a bird’s eye-view of the politicians whose works were nationalized in Tamil Nadu.
M. P. Sivagnanam
The founder of the outfit Tamilarasu, M. P. Sivagnanam, was the chairman of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council. His love for and scholarship in Tamil classical work ‘Silappathikaram’ earned him the sobriquet of ‘Silambu Selvar’. During the demarcation of States on linguistic lines, Telugus demanded Chennai as part of Andhra Pradesh. It was MPS (Ma. Po. Si in Tamil) who relentlessly fought for retention of Chennai in the then called Madras State. It was thanks to his tireless struggle that Tamil Nadu got Tiruttani, Sengottai and Kanyakumari . In 1984, his work titled ‘Tamil Nadu in Freedom Struggle’ (‘Viduthalai Poraattatil Tamilagam’) and in 2006 his other works were nationalized.
C. N. Annadurai
Fascinated with Periyar E.V. Ramaswamy’s ideology, C. N. Annadurai joined the Justice Party in 1935 which was later rechristened as Dravida Kazhagam and propagated his mentor’s revolutionary principles. In the wake of a difference of opinion with the DK leader, Annadurai, fondly called ‘Anna’ (elder brother) by his followers, floated the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Sept. 17, 1949 in Chennai. The party had been relentless in its demand for creation of an exclusive country named ‘Dravidastan’ till 1963 when it gave up on the demand, one of its main planks, on the heels of the Indo-Chinese war. In 1967, joining hands with all anti-Congress forces, Anna’s DMK romped home to victory in the Assembly elections and he donned the mantle of Chief Minister. His controversial book ‘Aariya Maayai’ (Illusion of Aryanism) was banned during the Congress regime and later the ban was lifted. After the demise of Anna, all of his writings were nationalized in 1995.
From 1963 when modern Tamil pioneering poet Bharathi’s writings were nationalized till now, oeuvres of 164 writers and men of letters have been made the country’s intellectual assets.
One of the prominent Communist leaders, P. Jeevanantham, always remembered as Jeeva, was initially in the Congress party, participating in the freedom struggle, attracted towards Mahatma Gandhi. A leader who was hailed by Gandhi as the asset of India, Jeeva later joined the Communist party. In 1946 when the Communist outfit was banned, he went underground till Independence in 1947. As he had spent the most part of his life in agitations and jail, his followers used to wisecrack, saying, “If Jeeva goes up, it’s train and if he comes down, it’s jail.” He was the editor of ‘Janasakthi’ and in 1959, floated the Tamil literary magazine ‘Thamarai’. He was elected to the Assembly from Vaanarpet in 1952. He was an eloquent orator to boot. In 1998 his works were nationalized.
A communist leader, a freedom fighter and trade unionist, ASK (original name was Aviyur Seenvivasa Iyengar Krishnamachari) served a term in jail during the freedom struggle and afterwards. He has authored books such as ‘Ambedkar’s life and the problems of the suppressed’, ‘EVR, zenith of rationalism,’ ‘God is imaginary: history of revolutionary man’, ‘trade union,’ ‘The history of world communist movement’ etc. He had also written poems in English which were collected and published as a book. His works were nationalized in 1998.
Born at Tirupatur in Sivaganga district, he had identified himself with the DMK, rising from the humble position of local leader to the higher echelons in the party. He had the experience of being jailed for a year for participating in the anti-Hindi agitation and during Emergency. In 1989 he was elected to the Assembly from Tirupatur and was also a member of the Legislative Council. He had written books of short fiction and historical and social novels. His works were nationalized in 2007-08.
C. P. Chitrarasu
Born in Kanchipuram, C.P.Chitrarasu changed his original name of Chinnarasu to the presently known one under the influence of pure Tamil proponent K. M. Annal Thango. He had worked along with C.N. Annadurai when the latter was in the Justice Party and joined the DMK launched by him later. He had a stint in film writing too, having worked as a screenwriter in Modern Theatres and written dialogue for the film ‘Aada Vantha Deivam’. Among his works, the most noteworthy are ‘Good Men Who Changed the World,’ ‘Emily Zola,’ ‘The Empires that Collapsed,’ and ‘Father of Freedom Rousseau.’ He also wrote fiction and plays. He was the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly from 1970 to 1976 and edited the DMK’s mouthpiece ‘Nam Nadu’ daily. His works were nationalized in 2007-08.
Born in Virudhunagar, he was Virudhunagar town secretary, Ramanathapuram district secretary and a member of the State Executive Council of the Dravida Kazhagam. When the DMK was launched, he joined it and held the positions of a member of the General Council, Executive Council and the Property Protection Committee. Having written articles in the dailies ‘Kudiarasu’, ‘Dravida Naadu,’ and ‘Viduthalai’, he floated his own newspaper ‘Thaniarasu’ and ‘Dravida Cineam’ magazine. He wrote the dialogue in the Modern Theatres’ production ‘Sarvathikari’, an MGR-starrer, and for some scenes in the film ‘Valaiyapathi.’ Credited with showing his writing flair in detective stories, short fiction and political books, he wrote a booklet in 1950s titled ‘In order for Gandhi to attain ‘santhi’’ (Gandhiyar Santhiyadaiya), which earned a ban and imprisonment as well for him. Before he was released on bail, his head was tonsured. Seeing red in this episode, Annadurai in his article published in ‘Dravida Naadu’ heaped brickbats on the then Congress government, making insinuations to the Gandhian ideology of non-violence. Aasaithambi was elected to the Assembly from Thousand Lights in 1957 and from Egmore in 1967. He became a Member of Parliament from North Chennai in 1977. His works were nationalized in 2007-08.
C N Annadurai’s controversial book ‘Aariya Maayai’ (Illusion of Aryanism) was banned during the Congress regime and later the ban was lifted. After the demise of Anna, all of his writings were nationalized in 1995.
Hailing from Tiruchi, T. K. Srinivasan had stints in the Justice Party, Self-Respect Movement and Dravida Kazhagam before joining the DMK where he was a member of the Executive and General Councils. Fondly called a ‘Genius in Philosophy’ – a sobriquet that his series of lectures on the history of philosophy earned him, TKS was a member of the Rajya Sabha as well as the DMK leader in the Upper House. His novel ‘Goat and Buffalo’ published in 1952 became popular. He was also known for fiction and prose.
His works were nationalized in 2007-08.
Born at Komal in Nagapattinam district, Rama Arangkannal wrote the dialogue for the film ‘Senthamarai’ adapted from his short story, and for the films ‘Mahanae kael,’ ‘Ponnu Vilaiyum Bhoomi’, ‘Patchai Vilakku,’ ‘Anubhavi Raja Anubhavai,’ and ‘Thaai Mahalukku Kattiya Thaali’, an MGR-starrer, a film version of Annadurai’s story. Arangkannal was also a producer of films in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. He joined the DMK when it was launched in 1949 and was elected to the Assembly from Mylapore in 1962 and 1967 and from Egmore in 1971. He held the position of chairman of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board. Defecting from the DMK to the Makkal Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in 1976, he joined the AIADMK later when the MDMK merged with the latter. He returned to the DMK in 1984. He had several books to his credit, mostly of the genres of fiction, short fiction and prose. His works were nationalized in 2007-08.
One of the pioneers of the Pure Tamil Movement, M. Thamizhkudimagan a.k.a. Sathiah was Principal of Yadav College, Madurai. He was elected to the Assembly from Ilayankudi in 1989 and 1996. He was also Speaker in the Assembly from 1989 to 1991. During 1996-2001, he was the Minister for Tamil Development and HR & CE. As he was denied DMK ticket to contest the Assembly elections in 2001, he joined the AIADMK. His works were nationalized in 2018.