Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to rename the Madurai airport after Tamil Nadu’s most fearless Freedom Fighter Muthuramalinga Thevar. A three-time parliamentarian and the leader of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) in Tamil Nadu, he was also the national deputy chairman of the party from 1952 onwards.
Thevar rose to fame in Tamil Nadu, opposing the British Government enacted law restricting the activities of Indians of certain castes and Muslims, under the ‘Criminal Tribes Act’ of 1871/CTA, with further amendments in the years 1911 and 1924. Thevar protested against CTA in several southern districts of the Madras Presidency (comprising of modern day Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Kerala and Karnataka). In spite of Muthuramalinga Thevar’s intensive agitations against the ‘CTA’, the Justice Party, which had been the then ruling party of the Madras Presidency did not repeal the ‘CTA’.
In the 1937-Madras Provincial Assembly Elections, he campaigned against the Justice Party and in support of the Indian National Congress. The Congress formed the government in Madras under Rajaji but he too did not repeal the CTA. Then in 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose quit Congress to form The Forward Bloc and Thevar was one of the first to join the new party. He was elected under The Forward Block three times to the parliament, in 1952, 57 and 62 and died on his 56th birthday.
A copy of the letter is shown below:
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