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B'day Special: 10 facts to know about great Tamil icon C.N. Annadurai

Dr. C. N. Annadurai, fondly called Anna by millions of Tamilians, was one of the most charismatic leader of modern India.Born on 15 sep 1909 into a weaving caste family in Kanchipuram, Annadurai rose to
India TV News Desk September 15, 2015 13:22 IST
India TV News Desk

Dr. C. N. Annadurai, fondly called Anna by millions of Tamilians, was one of the most charismatic leader of modern India.

Born on 15 sep 1909 into a weaving caste family in Kanchipuram, Annadurai rose to become a school teacher and journalist before switching into hard-core politics.

Anna was Chief Minister barely for two years (1967-69) but he is still remembered for his qualities – simplicity, statesmanship, political acumen and concern for the poor and willingness for reconciliation.

On his 106th birth anniversary, we have compiled 10 facts about the great Indian reflecting his iconic life

1) In his college days, Anna was exposed to the non-Brahmin politics of the Justice Party and drawn towards Justice Party headed by the radical thinker Periyar E.V. Ramasamy.

2) One of the stalwart of the Dravidian movement, Anna attacked Brahminism and ‘Aryan' values as the cause of Tamil political and cultural decadence.

Anna with Karunanidhi

3) Anna founded the most famous Dravidian party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK), in the year 1949, after a fall out with his mentor Periyar.

4) A great orator, script writer, theatre personality and journalist, Anna skilfully channelized the agitation against imposition of Hindi the official language of India.

5) In 1967, DMK's swept assembly polls thus ending Congress dominance in the state and Anna was sworn in as Chief Minister of Madras state. Notably, his cabinet was the youngest in India then.

6) Annadurai is credited with renaming Madras state as Tamil Nadu in 1969. It was during his tenure as chief minister , the state assembly passed a bill renaming the state.

Anna with Indira Gandhi, K. Kamraj

7) Once in Yale University, USA, a native speaker of English asked Anna a quirky question: Can you construct a sentence in English by using because three times in it?

 The instantaneous response from Dr. C. N. Annadurai was: No sentence ends in because, because, because is a conjunction

8) Anna's famous ‘Two dogs Theory'  against  imposition of Hindi as official language of India

“Since every school in India teaches English, why can't it be our link language? Why do Tamils have to study English for communication with the world and Hindi for communications within India?  Do we need a big door for the big dog and a small door for the small dog? I say, let the small dog use the big door too! All that is needed is the big door. Both the big and the small dog could use it!”

9) Anna was never against the political unity of India but was a strong advocator for maximum autonomy to the States. The abdication of the secessionist demand in wake of the Chinese aggression was another example of his political acumen.

10) The largest funeral attendance in history is widely thought to have happened in 1969 when 15 million people reportedly took to the streets of Chennai for CN Annadurai.