Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar Statue
On July 26, 2017
Born on 30th October 1908 in Pasumpon in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, he was named as Ukkirapandi Muthuramalinga Thevar. He was an enlightened spirit who was a nationalist at heart and a revered political and spiritual leader. Interestingly, he was born and died on the same day at the age of 55 years.
His childhood was full of upheavals as his mother died before the age of one and his father remarried many times; this lead to his being brought up by his maternal grandmother. He was unable to complete his education due to various prevailing factors and he started delving into politics when he saw what he felt was the oppression of the marginalized people by the laws of the British rulers. He started a protest against the implementation of the insensitive ‘Criminal Tribes Act’ (CTA) in the southern districts of Ramnad, Madurai and Tirunelveli but wasn’t successful. This spurred him further into contesting for Madras Provincial Elections which he won, but he was still not successful in getting the CTA repealed. This further led to his having a grouse against the reigning National Congress party. He was however a staunch supporter of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose whom he helped get re-elected in the Congress presidential elections in 1939. When Bose felt the Congress party to launch his own party, ‘The Forward Bloc’, Muthuramalinga Thevar joined him and worked for this party’s ideologies till the time of his death in 1963, a hero of his own community.
There were many honors bestowed on MUthuramalinga post-humus; some of these included:
- Setting up the Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar College in Usilampatti in 1968
- His biography was included in the high school textbooks of Tamil Nadu
- A life-size portrait was installed in the legislative assembly hall of Tamil Nadu in 1980
- His cemetery was converted into his official Memorial in 1971
- A new district was named after him in 1984
- A commemorative postage stamp was released with his image in 1995
- Two important roads in Chennai, Greenways road and Chamier’s road were re-named after him
- His statue was installed at the intersection of Anna Salai with Chamier’s/Pasumpom Muthuramalingam Thevar road.
- His birth and death anniversary day is observed as ‘Thevar Guru Puja’ day by the members of his community.
The statue of this freedom fighter at his memorial in Pasumpon is adorned with a 13kg gold ‘Kavasam’ (ornamental plate) on October 30th, Thevar Jayanthi. This 4 piece kavasam is stored in the vaults of Bank of India’s Anna Nagar branch in Madurai and was commissioned by the then chief minister, Ms. Jayalalitha in 2014. After adorning him with the kavasam, Muthuramalinga’s statue is garlanded and a special puja is organized by his party men.
The 3-foot high statue is designed in the sitting position and adorned with the ornamental gold plate till October 31st amid heavy police protection, as members of the public flock to the memorial to pay their respects to this great nationalist. The kavasam is then taken back to the bank for safe custody on the 1st of November under heavy guard.