Special Correspondent

VELLORE: The birth centenary of C.N. Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and founder of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), was celebrated by the Students’ Forum of Voorhees College, Vellore, at a function on the college premises here on Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion, Durai Murugan, Law Minister, said that the leadership provided by Annadurai to the DMK brought about a political transformation in Tamil Nadu, with many commoners such as petty shop owners, small traders and servants in palaces becoming MLAs and MPs unlike in the pre-Annadurai period, when only landlords, descendants of princes, big industrialists and merchants could become MLAs, MPs and Ministers. Annadurai created a political resurgence and a social awakening in Tamil Nadu. While Annadurai could not succeed in his efforts at changing the name of the erstwhile Madras State as Tamil Nadu, he could accomplish it after becoming the Chief Minister. When he proposed the name change in the Assembly, all the 234 MLAs, including those who earlier opposed the move, welcomed it, he said. Mr. Durai Murugan said that when there was a question on whether Annadurai was going to take up a job to solve the economic problems in his family by using his educational qualifications or join public life, he opted to join public life since that would give him the opportunity of eradicating the poverty of the masses. As far as the freedom movement was concerned, Annadurai felt that the national revolution of freedom struggle should be accompanied by a social revolution, in order to emancipate the oppressed classes from the clutches of the upper castes. Annadurai thought that a national revolution would fetch freedom from the British rule, but that would enable the upper castes who were waiting in the wings to occupy the posts left vacant by British officers, denying the same to the people from the lower castes. Therefore, Annadurai desired that the national revolution should be accompanied by a social revolution, he said. Rev. Y. William, Bishop of Vellore and chairman of the Governing Council of Voorhees College presided. D. Daniel Ezhilarasu, Principal, Voorhees College, welcomed the gathering. P. Karthikeyan, Mayor of Vellore and R. Gandhi, Ranipet MLA spoke. E. Stanley Jones, Professor of Tamil, Voorhees College, proposed a vote of thanks.