The man who designed the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol

P. Pandu, who designed the AIADMK flag and symbol.— Photo: S. R. Raghunathan   | Photo Credit: S. R. Raghunathan

The famed ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and the party flag — with Arignar Anna in it — that AIADMK members proudly show off are creations of an actor who has made us laugh in over 550 movies.

“On the day Chinnavar [MGR] announced the formation of the party the atmosphere was tense,” actor P. Pandu recalls.

“I was called to his house at night. He asked if I had eaten and ordered biriyani and chicken. I was taken downstairs to a room inside which I was locked in till I finished the work.”

The design he came up with was revised four times; even MGR pitched in with suggestions.

“He told me that the fact that we were Dravidians and the party was named after Anna should be prominent. As he spoke, I remembered the Anna statue on Mount Road and the arm action came. But MGR again said ‘Is it not enough that M.R. Radha shot me…why should Anna too shoot at me?’ So I pointed the finger upwards,” Mr. Pandu says.

Though it is something he is immensely proud of, Mr. Pandu says that back then he was so afraid that he didn’t tell a soul he had designed the flag. Just before the 1977 election, MGR called him again and asked him to design the party’s symbol.

“After the election, there was a meeting at the University auditorium. During the vote of thanks MGR called me onto the stage and presented a five sovereign gold chain in appreciation,” says the proud artist, whose association with the legendary actor-politician began when he designed stickers for Ulagam Sutrum Valiban .

His brother Selvaraj was an aide of the AIADMK founder for several decades.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 10:14:45 PM |

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