Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar

Pasumpon Ukkirapandi Muthuramalinga Thevar (30 October 1908 – 30 October 1963), also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, was an Indian political leader. He became the leader of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) in Tamil Nadu, and was national deputy chairman of the party from 1952 onwards. He was elected thrice to parliament.

Childhood and family life

Muthuramalingam (30 October 1908 - 1963) was born in the village of Pasumpon, Ramnad district. Muthuramalingam was the only son of Ukkirapandi Thevar and Indiraniammal. His mother died before his first birthday and his stepmother the next year. From 1910 onwards he was in the custody of his maternal grandmother Parvathiammal in the neighbouring village of Kallupatti. Parvathiammal was furious on Muthuramalingam's father for having taken two new wives shortly after the death of his second wife. During his youth, Muthuramalingam was aided by Kuzhanthaisami Pillai. Pillai was a close family friend of Muthuramalingam's father. Pillai took responsibility for arranging Muthuramalingam's schooling. First he was given private tuition and in June 1917 he began attending classes at an elementary school run by American missionaries in Kamuthi. Later he joined the Pasumalai High School (near Thirupparankundaram) and then he shifted to the Union Christian High School in Madurai. Muthuramalingam would, however, not complete his studies. In 1924, he missed his final examinations due to an outbreak of a plague epidemic. The following year he also missed his chance to attend the final examinations, as he returned to Pasumpon to fight a legal battle over issues of inheritance of family property. The case would linger and was not settled until 1927, when the court ruled in Muthuramalingam Thevar's Muthuramalingam's father, Ukkirapandi Thevar, died on 6 June 1939.

Anti-CTA struggle

One particular issue would have special impact on Thevar's political career. Since 1920 the Criminal Tribes Act had been enacted by the government of the Madras Presidency and began to be implemented in the Madurai, Ramnad and Tirunelveli districts. After his entry into politics, Thevar began to mobilize resistance to the CTA. He toured villages in the affected areas and led protest rallies for the rights of the individuals registered under the CTA. In 1929 the Maravars of 19 villages in Appanad were forced to registered under the CTA. Thevar led a massive campaign in the villages, urging the people to defy the CTA. The authorities partially withdrew, and reduced the number of CTA registrations in the concerned areas from around 2000 to 341. In 1934 Thevar organised a convention at Abhiram, which urged the authorities to repeal the CTA. A committee consisting of Thevar, Dr. P. Varadarajulu Naidu, Perumal Thevar, Sasivarna Thevar and Navaneethakrishna Thevar was appointed by the convention to carry on the efforts to persuade the government to revoke the Act. The CTA was, however, not revoked. On the contrary, its implementation was widened. Thevar again led agitations and awareness-raising campaigns against the Act. At the time the Justice Party was governing the Madras presidency, and their refusal to revoke the law created a strong animosity on Thevar's behalf towards the Justicites

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