Articles About ANNA


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Anna was born to educate the illiterate,
To enlighten also the idle literate

He toiled and toiled all day and night
And the toiling millions ‘worshipped’ him

No leader had ever so great an influence
Despite possession of tempting affluence

Anna was born not with a spoon of silver
Yet with the mightier means, the silver tongue

Millions of audience were taken captive
By his power of oration so attractive

Anna penetrated all the Spheres to an extreme
Like drams, story, screen and all the arts so supreme

He was the son of the Tamil Land
And the father of her modern fame all grand

The youths he held so spell-bound,
And the students flocked to him all around

To the teeming millions he was a brother elder
And their guiding friend, philosopher and leader

Death may take Anna’s body away,
But not his spirit that bolds its sway

Anna was a worthy ‘son’ of Thanthai Periyar
And actualized his ideals all superior

Anna Christened this land ‘Tamil Nadu’
And made the Legislature unanimously applaud

So great a son was our Elder Brother,
Who, in history, ever named his ‘Mother’
( ‘TAMIL ARASU’ Monthly, September 1989. Publication of Govt. of Tamil Nadu.)


“History is itself the biographies of great men”, it is said.

The Life of PERARIGNAR ANNA is an illustration of this saying. To know the history of today’s Tamil Nadu, one has to know the biography of Anna. But for Anna, Tamil Nadu would not have come to be called by her own name.

Anna was born in Tamil Nadu-nay, Tamil Nadu as it is to-day was born on the 15th September 1909.

It was Anna who roused the slumbering Tamils to realize their past history and glory and it was Anna who named the Madras State Tamil Nadu and helped Tamil Nadu to be known to the world by her own historical name high-lighting the glory and grandeur of Tamil and Tamil Land.

The term ‘Anna’ in Tamil means elder brother. The very name ‘Anna inspired millions of people. He was also known by another term ‘Perarignar’ meaning great genius. He was an erudite scholar, an astute politician, a wise statesman, powerful Orator, revolutionary writer, fine novelist, noted playwright, great social reformer, an ardent rationalist, a staunch socialist, a great diplomat, a true democrat, an eminent leader and, above all, an affectionate elder brother (Anna) to the Tamils in and outside Tamil Nadu.

After taking his M.A.Degree, instead of seeking the usual refuge in the white-collar profession, Anna entered the political scene devoting himself to mouldingthe destiny of the masses. He became a staunch follower of Thanthai Periyar E.V.Ramaswamy, the most revolutionary social reformer India has ever seen. Anna boldly took to the hard path of social reform. The Self-Respect Movement started by Periyar attracted him. He make use of all the media of Propaganda namely the press, the stage and the screen to propagate his ideals.

Anna gave a vivid picture of the glorious past and the degraded later state of Tamil Nadu. In his words:

“Our literature, art and architecture are fine specimens of human intelligence, but they bear the ravages of time and also the effect of currents and crores-currents so that today, we have to listen to the foreign historian or scholar in order to realize that glory and grandeur of Tamil nadu. Our culture and civilization are hoary but we have allowed scars and wrinkles to disfigure them. It is our duty, therefore, to rediscover and reconstruct what is ourt. Truly great have been our achievements in the field of literature. To be able to announce to the world that we, Tamilians, do possess great literature and to represent to the world and the entire humanity, great Thirukkural is something about which we can have pardonable pride.”

Portraying the picture of Tamil Nadu in his unique style, Perarignar Anna make a clarion call to the young graduates in the following words:

“Graduates, please carry on the crusade against caste which cannot co-exist with democracy; against superstition which cannot co-exist with science and against tyranny of various dimensions which cannot co-exist with liberty, equality and fraternity.

Anna’s call attracted a continuous stream of zealous young men with a spirit of service. Anna was the only leader which knew best about the youth and channeled their energy of constructive purposes.

Anna was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; instead, he was born with a silver tongue’. He was equally proficient in Tamil and English. With the gift of the gab, Anna attracted-rather hypnotized, any kind of audience, young and old literature and illiterate. His speeches were interesting, instructive and inspiring.

As a writer, Anna has been compared with Bernard Shaw, Ibsen and Galsworthy. The pen is mightier than the sword. Anna’s tongue was mightier than the pen. As an orator, Anna was verily a combination of Demosthenes, Ingersoll, Winston Churchill, Edmund Burke and Macaulay. All his speeches are there in volumes. Euphonic alliterations and rhymes, apt and arresting similes and revolutionary thought are the special features of his speeches and writings.

Anna moved his tongue and the whole Tamil Nadu moved behind him. It obeyed his orders.

Anna is the fore-runner of Renaissance in Tamil Literature and art. He developed a style of his own. His way of writing and speeches are emulated by a host of wirters and speakers. His oratory is inimitable.

Anna translated his ideals into action. He ushered in a new era. Apart from the social changes, Anna brought about a glorious, revolution in Tamil Nadu, the least violent and the most beneficent change.

After ascending the seat of power, Anna encouraged Inter-caste Marriages through state awards. No other State in India has done it and it was greatly appreciated by Thanthai Periyar. Anna gave legal recognition to self-Respect Marriages to the satisfaction of Periyar.

His amiable disposition, his tact, sobriety, statesmanship, brotherly feelings for all and magnanimity towards his political opponents endeared him to all. He was an embodiment of all the faculties.

Anna regbuilt Tamil Nadu, and he presented a vivid picture of the grandeur of Tamil Nadu before the foreign delegates on the occasion of the Second International Conference Seminar of Tamil Studies held in Madras in 1968.

It is a matter of pride and pleasure of record that the Yale University in the U.S.A. HONOURED Anna by conferring on him the Chubb Fellowship. Anna was given that unique honour. Anna was the first non-American to have received that honour. This shows his greatness in the inter-national plane.

At the time when Anna was born, the Tamils had not realised the greatness and depth of their history.

When he left, the Tamils had come to realize their history and feel pround of it. Anna made them feel proud of it.

Anna proposed in the Legislative Assembly the naming of the Tamil land, which was previously known as Madras State with her own historical name “Tamil Nadu”, and the whole Assembly unanimously seconded and echoed his voice. The Credit of Christening Tamil Nadu goes to Anna and it was his life’s ambition to name Tamil Nadu. He roused the people of Tamil Nadu to identify Tamil Nadu and to demand for her naming, and he himself accomplished it.

Anna discovered Tamil Nadu and named her. He identified his ‘mother’ and ‘christened’ her. He was the only son who in history, ever named his mother. And the story of Anna’s life is itself the History of Tamil Nadu.

Souvenir, Conference of Word Federation of Tamils, at Kualalumpur, Malaysia, December 1990.

The funeral of C.N.Annadurai, (Died 3rd Feb. 1969) Madras Chief Minister was, according to some press reporters attended by 15 million. The longest funeral in Britain was probably that of vice admiral Viscount Nelson on Jan. 1806. Ticket holders were seated in St. Paul’s Cathedral by 8.30 p.m. many were unable to leave until 9 p.m.


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