1. Thiruvalluvar (30 BC)
  2. T.Chennaiah (1912-1985)
  3. C. Iyodhee Thass Pandithar (1845-1914)
  4. Ayyankali (1863-1941)
  5. Chinnaswami Subramanya Bharathi (1882-1921)
  6. Mock Questions

Thiruvalluvar (30 BC)

  • Tiruvallaur was a Tamil weaver by profession and Poet-Saint-Philosopher by heart.
  • He wrote “Tirukkural (Sacred Couplets)” on human thoughts and ethics. It is considered a masterpiece similar to John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
  • In this book, He classified problems of life under 3 parts: (1) Virtue (2) Wealth (3) Love and wrote 133 chapters on them.
  • And yes, one chapter is entirely dedicated to evils of desi liquor alone.

Notable Quotes from Tirukkural:

  1. The wounds made by fire will heal, But the wound made by tongue will never heal. (Curiosly, UPSC asked essay on similar theme in Mains-2014!)
  2. Before badgering a weak person, imagine yourself before a more powerful man.
  3. Real kindness seeks no return; What return can the world make to rain clouds?
  4. Even the ignorant may appear very worthy, If they keep silent before the learned.
  5. Determined efforts result in prosperity; Idleness brings nothing.
  6. Learning is the true imperishable wealth.
  7. Let thoughts be always great and grant.

Why is Thiruvalluvar in news?

  1. HRD ministry Smriti Irani says she’ll introduce Tirukkural in school syllabus and essay competition on his birthday in 2015.
  2. January 15th – His birthday is a public holiday in Tamilnadu and Puducherry
  3. His statue is to be installed in Moscow, Russia. We’ll reciprocate by installing statue of Russian Poet Aleksandr Pushkin in Chennai.
  4. While setting up Niti Ayog, Government said It’ll be guided by principles of Thiruvalluvar, Ambedkar, Vivekanand et al.
(1)Thiruvalluvar (2) Chennaiah (3) Iyodhee Pandithar (4) Ayyankali (5) Subramanya Bharathi

(1)Thiruvalluvar (2) Chennaiah (3) Iyodhee Pandithar (4) Ayyankali (5) Subramanya Bharathi

T.Chennaiah (1912-1985)

Why in news: 16th November 2012 was his 100th Birthday. But government took no initiative to celebrate. So His followers decided to observe the birth centenary in 2014.

  • T.Chennaiah was a Dalit freedom fighter from Kolar region, Karnataka
  • He was member of Constituent assembly, Worked closely with Gandhi and Ambedkar.
  • He was part of the Vidurashwattha protest- infamously called “Jalianwallabagh of the South” because 9 people were killed in police firing.
  • Chennaiah actively campaigned for Goa Liberation, Karnataka unification
  • He served as a minister in Mysore Government; later Rajya Sabha MP.
  • Worked for Kolar region Development- irrigation reforms, hostels for poor students etc.

C. Iyodhee Thass Pandithar (1845-1914)

Why in News? 100th Death Anniversary in 2014.

  • C.Iyodhee Pandithar was a dalit Social reformer of Tamilnadu. He ran a weekly – “Tamilan”, and supported Theosophical society’s founder Colonel H.S. Olcott.
  • Pandithar reinterpreted Indian history and believed that Dalits were originally Buddhists, but Brahmins stigmatised them as ‘untouchables’ by after those Buddhists denounced caste system.
  • He called them “Adi Dravidars”- original Dravidans and began “Dravid Buddha Sangam”.
  • He criticized Indian National Congress as “Brahmin Congress”. Later Dr. Ambedkar and E.V. Ramasamy Periyar too had similar stand.

Ayyankali (1863-1941)

Topic in news because 152nd Birth Anniversary and Modi gave speech.

  • Ayyankali belonged to Pulaya agricultural labor community of Kerala
  • Was a labour leader and social reformer.
  • Fought for dalit rights in Tranvacore kingdom.
  • But never allowed bitterness to creep into the social fabric.
  • Ayyankali formed Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham and Kayal Sammelan.
  • Gandhi was impressed with his work, and came to meet him.
Modi Local leaders:
  • Ayyankali also formed Kayal Sammelan- to hold meetings in boats (1913)
  • Because the Travancore King did not allow Dalits to organize meetings on land.
  • This was turning point in Dalit movement, similar to Gandhi’s Dandi march.
No, Ayaankali did not form that organization. It was KP Kurrupan.

Chinnaswami Subramanya Bharathi(1882-1921)

Q.write a 100 words note on the contribution of Chinnaswami Bharathi,in india’s struggle for independence.

  • Freedom fighter, Poet, social reformer from Tamilnadu.
  • 1907: During “Surat split” he joined the extremist wing led by Tilak and Aurobindo. (in other words, did not like the moderates’ ideas of prayer and petition)
  • Through his poem, he advocated women empowerment, caste reforms, social equity and equality.
  • 1908: French gave him political asylum in Puducherry (1908-1918). Composed patriotic songs and revolutionary poems for Aurobindo’s journals.
  • Also called “Mahakavi Bharathiyar”
  • Person in news because BJP wants his Varanasi house to be converted into a national monument.

Mock Questions

Q1. Who was Thiruvalluvar?

  1. He co-authored “Manimekhlai” along with Tolkappiyam.
  2. He wrote a treaties on ancient astrology and medicine, titled “Tirrukal”.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q2. Which of the following pairs are matched correctly?

  1. T.Chennaiah: Tamilnadu
  2. Iyodhee Thass Pandithar: Kolar region
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q3. Which of the following had joined the Extremist group of Congress after Surat Split?

  1. Iyodhee Pandithar
  2. Chinnaswami Bharati
  3. Aiyyankali
  4. T.Chenniah

Mains examination:

  1. (GS4) Discuss in brief, relevance of Thiruvalluvar’s teachings for ethics in Modern India.
  2. (GS1) Write a note on notable Dalit freedom fighters to South India.

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