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  • 142 th LKT Birthday Function Programme..on 14/01/2014
    At Sourashtra Boys School, Madurai
  • அவ்ராம் அமி டிரஸ்ட் மற்றும் அதிதி இணைந்து நடத்தும் எம்.வி.வெங்கட்ராம் நினைவுத் தமிழ்ச் சிறுகதைப் போட்டி நிறைவு விழா - 2014

M.V.Venkatram - 2013 (New)

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LKT Birthday Functions

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M.V.Venkatram - 2012

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THIRU L.K.THULASIRAM

                        Inspired with a missionary zeal he worked tirelessly and ceaselessly for the cause of education : General and Technological in Tamil Nadu.  He brought into being the “Dravida Polytechnic” (Later renamed as “Tamil Nadu Polytechnic) at Madurai through the efforts taken by him as a Member of the Legislative Council.
                        Thulasiram was also a Tamil Scholar and had won Raja Sethupathy’s Gold Medal for high proficiency in Tamil in College days.  He was an ardent lover of Tamil.  His addresses to the Jury in the sessions were couched in chaste Tamil and this was a wonder and astonishment to his brother vakils.
                        As a member of the senate of the University of madras he took active part along with Thiru. T.K. Chidambaranatha Mudaliar, an eminent scholar in Tamil and a close associate of his in the Senate, to bring out a Tamil Lexicon and Encyclopedia with technical terms translated into Tamil for the advancement of science and technology in the Regional Language.
Promotion of Industries in South India
                        Thulasiram’s ambition was to put Madras Presidency in a prominent place in the industrial map of the country.,  He made an extensive tour of the Industrial Centres of the Euroeon Countries twice in 1909 and 1919.  With the Experience he gained from these tours he did much for the Rejuvenation of the Languishing Industries of South India.
                        He started Red Dyeing Industry which made a Revolution in the filed of the textile Industry and laid the whole of Tamil Nadu under a deep debt of gratitude to hi.  Sir Alfred Chatterton, a great authority on technical matters, observes in his book “Industrial Evolution of India” page 131, “The commercial prosperity which Madurai now enjoys is largely due to the efforts of two men – the late Col. Penny Quick R.E. who brought the waters of the Periyar into the country to the immediate north of Madura and to Mr. L.K. Thulasiram who introduced the modern methods of dyeing now carried on by so large a proportion of the population.”  This rare Quality of Industrial Acumen was recalled by Hon’ble Thiru. V.V. Giri the then Minister for Industries in Madras presidency and later President of the India Union, while Inaugurating the housing Scheme for workers of Madura Mills at Thirupparankundram (Harveypatty) on 16th of March 1939.  So also, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Tamil Sangam held in Madurai on 30-05-1956 Sir P.T. Rajan (Whom Thulasiram had taken with him for admission to the Oxford University in England and whose mentor he was for a long time since then) in his presidential address emphatically stated that Thulasiram was one of the two persons responsible for the Industrial Development of Tamil Nadu, the other one being Thiru. G.D. Naidu of Coimbatore.
                        As a member of the Indian Industrial Commission of the Government of India he worked for the revival and Development of small scale and Cottage Industries in South India for the Economic uplift of the Rural Folk.
Civil Administration – maker of Modern Madurai
                        Apart from this devotion to the cause of Education and Industry which Thulasiram used to refer as the two eyes of a society, he evinced keen interest in Civic Administration.  He was a municipal councilor Consecutively for 36 years (1904-1940) and was twice elected as the chairman of Madurai Municipality in 1921 and 1930.  It is said to his credit that he was the only paid chairman of a big Municipality in its history ever Since its Inception in 1861.
                        It was he who brought electricity to the city and provided underground drainage to put an end to plague havocs.  He formulated various schemes for extension of the city’s limits with a farsightedness regarding the needs of the future.  He is Indeed the maker of Modern Madurai as one of the later Commissioners of the Municipality.  Thiru. J.P. Lasrado alias Shenoy I.C.S. (Shenoy Nagar named after him) has described Thulasiram in his book “Madurai the Temple City”.  The revenues of the Municipality showed appreciable increase during his tenure of office.
                        He gave the city a clean an efficient administration in the midst of factions and groups among the councilors.  Mr. Christopher john Baker, Fellow of Queen’s college, Cambridge, observed in his book “Politics of South India” (1920-1937) page 145, “the Inspector praised the work of L.K. Thulasiram in 1931 for he had got the clogged wheels administration to begin to turn” he had been able to get through the business of the council with ease.
Voice of Backward classes in British Parliament Communal G.O.
                        Thulasiram was a champion of the causes of the downtrodden people and backward classes in South India.  Under the Leadership of Sir Arcot Ramaswami Mudaliar he tooks active part in the South Indian Liberal Federation (njd;dpe;jpa ey cupik rq;fk;) and as a member of its delegation went to England, and on the 25th of August 1919 submitted a Statement and gave evidence before the joint session of the House Commons and the House of Lords of the British Parliament in London for nearly one and a half hours, which was effective and instrumental to act as a fore a runner for the communal G.O in the then Madras Presidency.
Services to his Community :
            Being the first advocate in the Sourashtra Community he realized it was his duty to serve the community to which he belonged.  He analysed the conditions prevailing in the community, comprising mostly of illiterate and poverty stricken – weavers with a very small number of some what well to do people.  In 1893 he reorganized the Madura Sourashtra Sabha as a democratic Institution, getting the people relieved from the grip of old chieftains (Goundans and Soulis) who exercised a ruthless and autocratic control over the Conference held from 1897 onwards and contributed valuable suggestions for the welfare of the community in social, educational, economic and cultural spheres.
            He brought the management and control of private Educational Institutions run by Kenday (nfz;Nl) K.S.B. Nannusamy Bhagavather and others and the committee primary school started in 1886 in Thoppay Bellier Chatram Under the above said reorganized Sourashtra Sabha.  He was at the heim of affairs for their growth and development in 1903 and was at the head of a team of ten experts appointed under his leadership in 1906.  He obtained recognition and grant-in-aid from the Government for the Educational Institutions and Introduced free Midday Meals Scheme with the help of Philanthropists among whom Manicka Sankaranarayana Iyer and A.K.H.M.V. (Anna Family) trusts deserve special mention as pioneers.
            To cope up with the raising of the Institution to High School Level in 1904 and the ever increasing Strength of pupils he felt it necessary that a special body should be formed to concentrate on the fulfillment of the needs of the Institutions and as a result the Sourastra High School Council was setup in 1911 and rules and regulations were framed to elect an Executive Committee once in three years from 1912.
             Thulasiram is the founder president of the Sourastra High School. The Granite Stone Edifice with rich Architectural features housing Officers and class rooms is a child of his Imagination and Speaks volumes for the divine Inspiration he obtained from the Goddess of Learning  “Saraswathi” (whose emblem is inscribed in the fore front of the Entrance of the Building.)
            In the year 1906 he took pains to set up the Sourashtra Club in close Association with his Frriends – particularly V.S. Muthukrishna Iyer and N. M. Ramaiyer  for the relaxation and recreation of the mercantile class of the community.
            Thulasiram started A Co-operative Bank at the time of first world war on the 4th November 1918 to enable weavers and merchants of the community to get their requirements of raw materials like yarn, silk and dyestuffs etc., at reasonable prices to carry on their Industries and trade freeing themselves from the clutches of pawn brokers and touts engaged in ruthless price-hikes of these commodities which were in scarce supply in the market at that time. He worked for its development for some tine and left it to be managed by his trusted lieutenants.
            It was the recognized and commercial custom of the weavers of the community to stretch warps on the road side to process them for further works. When this custom was interfered with by the police, they were complaining against it ever since 1861, and got only temporary reliefs then and there. But when the matter was taken to the notice of the District Magistrate, Mr. A.G. Cardew by Thulasiram he was pleased to pass final orders in his proceedings R. Dis. 148/ M.G.L. of 1902 that warps may be spread on the roadside in accordance with manul.  The weavers were thus made to retain their Immemorial manual rights on a permanent footing.
            Thulasiram had close contacts with officials in the Government including Governors, Collectors, Judges and others and was in their good books and was the first person to be referred to by them on any problem related to the community. Because of hi honesty and sincerity he was able to improve the lot of his brethren socially, educationally and economically. It is therefore no wonder that he was held in high esteem by the Common Man and hailed as the Father of the Community. Mr. Eugene, F. Erschek, Full Bright Research Fellow of the University of California and a researcher in South Indian Politics, pertinently observes “The example of Sri. L. K. Thulasiram as a pioneer and as a social Innovator is something of which a community may be proud. His contribution to the renovation of the Sourashtra Commnity and his patticipation in the Movement to Enhance the position of Backward Classes in Tamil Nadu is one of enduring Importance”.
             Gibbon the Famous Historian Remarked about the Roman Emperor Augusts Caeser that “he found Rome out of bricks, but left it out of marble”. In that same spirit it may be said of Thulasiram that he found the Sourashtra Community in Shambles but tied his best to lead it to the Pinnacle of Glory.
Political Career:
            Thulasiram began his political career as a Justicite. The Justice party emerged in 1916 as an offshoot of the South Indian Liberal Federation to oppose Bramhin Domination in both the public services and political Associations in the Madras presidency. The party was awarded in 1921 the first Ministerships under the new “Dyarchy” Consitution and it retained control over the Ministry for the whole of the Dyarchy period except for a few months.
            At that time the party leaders formulated measures to improve the position of non-Brahmins in the public services and other Matters, while other party members equipped the non-Brahmin movements with a set of social and Political Ideas.
            Thulaisram played an active role in the party. He was taken into confidence by the Ministers belonging to the party Raja of Panagal, Raja of Bobbile, Dr. P. Subbarayan,  Sir.P.T. Rajan and others.
            The party however ignored Nationalism and came to be soon Faction-ridden; Rival groups engaged themselves in Capturing power in the Legislature, local boards and Municipal councils and in communal conflicts and collapsed in 1917 when Congress wept the polls and Rajaji assumed Office of Chief Ministership of the presidency as a Congress Man.
           The Indian National Congress began to grow stronger with the advent of Gandhiji in 1916 as a country wide mass organization, with nationalism as the main plank and agitational approach to the day to day problems of the people through Civil Disobelience, Non Cooperation and Satyagraha Movements. The Government on its part tried to put down the agitations through violent means like imprisonment of volunteers and even resorted to mass massacre as in Jalianwalabagh in Punjab.
            Thulasiram was attracted towards Gandhiji and visited him at Belgaum Congress in 1924 presided over by Gandhiji. He visited many more annual conferences of the Congress.
            When Gandhiji visited Madurai in 1927, he received him, gave him a warm welcome and arranged a public meeting over which he (Thulasiram) himsekf presided. However, when and alternative policy of entry into legislatures was mooted out by a section of Congress leaders under Pandit Mothilal Nehru and  Deshabandhu Chittiranjan Dass in the North and given impetus in the South by Sri. S. Sathiamoorthy  (The Guru and Mentor of Thiru. K. Kamaraj) under the name of “Swarajya party” the Congress organization began to gather further momentum. Thulasiram  swtitched over to the Congress sagaciously without antagonizing any of his friends in the opposition camp and he was elected as a member of the Madras Legislative Council in 1926 on a Congress Ticket. Thulasiram was an admirer of the patriotism of the National Poet “Subramania Bharathi” It was on 9th December 1928 when he gave vent to his feelings by singing his songs in Tamil (Verbation) on the Floor of the Legislature loudly and emotionally as follows while speaking on an adjournment motion moved by Thiru. Sathiamoorthy to lift the ban on Bharathi’s Songs.
           
"செந்தமிழ் நாடெனும் போதினிலே - இன்பத்
தேன்வந்து பாயுது காதினிலே - எங்கள்
தந்தையர் நாடென்ற பேச்சினிலே - ஒரு
சக்தி பிறக்குது மூச்சினிலே - எங்கள் (செந்தமிழ்)"

"விடுதலை விடுதலை விடுதலை
பறையருக்கு மிங்குதீயர் புலையருக்கும் விடுதலை
பரவரோடு குறவருக்கும் மறவருக்கும் விடுதலை
திறமைகொண்டு தீமையற்ற தொழில் புரிந்து யாவரும்
தேர்ந்த கல்வி ஞானமெய்தி வாழ்வமிந்த நாட்டிலே (விடுதலை)"


            A few excerpts from his speech are worth mentioning here “Bharathi’s Songs” are the precious gems of Tamil Literature, the assets of the Tamils just like Tirukkural or Sri Krishna’s Bhagavat Geetha. More than 60 percent of the school Children know these songs by heart, Bharathi, I classify him as a real divine poet. His books have really been a revelation; they are a message to the people of South India, especially the people of the Madras Presidency Sir, I am not a born Tamilian, but as an ardent student of  Tamil Literature, I have heard these songs in the streets, that touched my heart. Is there anything higher in your keats, Wordaworth, Tennyson or Browsing? Bharathi is not an ordinary individual. You cannot proscribe his songs. You may as well proscribe our dress, our manners, customs, but you cannot take away our culture. I would therefore appeal to the Government to withdraw the poisonous order and save the Reputation of  Tamil Nadu, Tamil Culture”. The whole House was Unaniamous on this matter and the ban was withdrawn.
            When the British Government sent a Commission under Sir John Simon in 1928 to study the public Reaction to the Constitutional Reforms envisaged under the Montagu-Chemsford Scheme in 1919, the commission met with stiff opposition in many places all over the Country. It was opposed Madurai, the political Capital of Tmilnadu by Thulasiram.
            Thulasiram boldly led a rally of National Volunteers which Included among others his own wife Tmt. Lakshiammal and daughter Janaki, and staged a massive black flag Demonstration in Front of Thirumalai Naicker Mahal shouting slogans “Go Back Simon, Simon go back” though Simon was a good old friend of  Thulasiram while he was in London in 1919. The place where the event took place has since been made “Chairman L.K. Thulasiram park”
Conclusion :
             Thulasiram was essentially a man of culture. As the intials L.K.T are expanded to denote Learning knowledge and Tact, he devoted much of his time to books, Newspaper and Magazines. He was very much interested in the Advancement of Science  and Technology and got up Several Volumes of  Receipes and Notes regarding preparation and manufacture of a variety of materials including even domestic Requirements, in his own hand writing. He Maintained a diary which contained valuable Information regarding his voyages to European Countries in 1909 and 1919 with clear description of day-to-day events.
            Eloquent in speech, he was a clever debator and many a time he converted hi oppornents to his ways of thinking by the magic power of his voice and the charm of his delivery. All the same, there was no parade of his knowledge, no show, no exhibition. His motto was to “Live for Others” he sacrificed much of his time and energy to serve the people. His great Natural Powers, his deep Erudition, his large Heartedness, Far-sightedes and Impeccable and Blameless Life Endeared him to his country men so much that he was honoured with the title and Affectionately called “Rashtrabandhu” meaning “Friend of the Nation”. Let the foot Prints left by our Rashtrabandhu show the path to peace, progress and prosperity for mankind.
AVRAAM AMI TRUST
9, Chairman Thulasiram 1st Lane, East Veli Street, Madurai – 625 001.  Tamil Nadu.

 

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