JUST ABOUT three decades ago there lived here a selfless leader, an upright politician and a sacrificing son of the soil. Yet how many of us know of his greatness? It is to the credit of Ramana Communications that it has produced a film on K. Kamaraj, a diehard Congressman of the Nehru era. Making a film on the life of the distinguished personality, who remained a bachelor all his life and served the country till his last breath, surely allows no scope for any of the formula stuff that the filmgoer is so used to. And hence offers the investor absolutely no commercial guarantee. But undeterred by the risk, Ramana Communications has taken up such a venture.
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Kamaraj was ‘reluctant to accept’ the chief ministership but the circumstance prevailed upon him as there was no ‘alternative to the kingmaker himself ascending the throne.’ Kamaraj took the mantle from Rajaji, and formed his first cabinet, which did not contain a single Brahmin contrary to Rajaji’s first ministry in 1937, ‘dominated by Brahmins’. The elevation of Kamaraj as the chief minister on the wave of opposition to the Rajaji scheme of education, led to the development of closer ties between Kamaraj and E V Ramasamy. The Congress gained the support of E V Ramasamy and Kamaraj’s equation with the non-Brahmins was kept intact. E V Ramasamy was all set to endorse his solidarity with Kamaraj on the grounds that in all these years he was the first and only non-Brahmin with Tamil as his mother tongue to become the chief minister; and for the first time a full-fledged ministry had been formed without a single Brahmin headed! by Kamaraj.
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“Mr Kamaraj was not rich and has not grown rich; he is a bachelor and has no family ties. He has been and is a whole-time politician and has laboured to acquire personal knowledge of men and things all over the Tamil country and he knows all the leaders of his party from every part of India. He has also acquired facility in English and very considerable knowledge of world affairs. He is immensely popular for all these reasons and especially because he has no vices and leads a simple life. Above all he is the ‘representative’ Tamil as most Tamils imagine that figure. His ways of speaking, walking, eating and dress commend themselves to the many millions to whom these are familiar ways with nothing outlandish about them”
Kumaraswami Kamaraj played a leading role in shaping India’s destiny from the passing away of Jawaharlal Nehru to the Congress split in 1969. He was born humble and poor in a backward area of Tamilnadu on July 15, 1903. He was a Nadar, one of the most depressed castes of Hindu society. His schooling lasted only six years. At twelve he was a shop assistant. He was barely fifteen when he heard of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre which was the turning point in his life. Two years later when Kamaraj saw Gandhiji at Madurai the path was chosen. He became a member of the Indian National Congress.
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