உலகப் படிப்பை படிக்கவேண்டும் என்பதற்காகாத்தான் தன் பள்ளிப் படிப்பை பாதியிலேயே நிறுத்தினாரோ என்னவோ? காமராஜர் படித்தது வெறும் ஆறாம் வகுப்புதான். ஆங்கிலம் தெரியாமலும் 6 ஆண்டுகளே கற்ற கல்வியுடனும் முதல் அமைச்சர் பதவியேற்ற அவர் தான் தலை சிறந்த தலைமைத்துவத்தை 9 ஆண்டுகளாக தமிழ் நாட்டுக்கு வழங்கினார். காமராஜர் பட்டபடிப்பு படிக்காதவராக இருந்தாலும் அவரைச்சுற்றி எப்போதும் படித்த மேதைகள் இருப்பார்கள்.
அவர் முதல் அமைச்சர் ஆன உடன் நாட்டு மக்களின் கல்வியில்தான் முதல் அக்கறை செலுத்தினார். உணவின்மையால் மாணவர்களின் கல்வி கெட்டுப்போகக்கூடாது என்பதற்காக பள்ளிகளில் இலவச உணவுத்திட்டத்தை அறிமுகம் செய்தார். "நாம் பெறத் தவறிவிட்ட படிப்பை, வரும் தலைமுறையாவது பெற்று, வளர்ந்து வாழட்டும். அன்னதானம் நமக்கு புதியது அல்ல. இதுவரை வீட்டுக்கு வந்தவர்களுக்குப் போட்டோம்.
இப்போது, பள்ளிக் கூடத்தை தேடிப்போய் போடச்சொல்கிறோம். அப்படி செய்தால் உயிர் காத்த புண்ணியம், படிப்பு கொடுக்கும் புண்ணியம் இரண்டும் சேரும்.......என் மனதில், எல்லோர்க்கும் கல்விக் கண்ணைத் திறப்பதை விட முக்கியமான வேலை இப்பொதைக்கு இல்லை. நான் இதையே எல்லாவற்றிலும் முக்கியமானதாகக் கருதுகிறேன். எனவே மற்ற வேலைகளையும் ஒதுக்கி வைத்து விட்டு, ஊர் ஊராக வந்து, பகல் உணவுத் திட்டத்திற்க்குப் பிச்சையெடுக்கச் சித்தமாக இருக்கிறேன்" என்று பேசியவர் பெருந்தலைவர்.
எழுத்தறிவு இன்மையை போக்க 11 ஆம் வகுப்பு வரை இலவச கட்டாய கல்வியை அறிமுகப்படுத்தினார். அனைத்துப் பள்ளி குழந்தைகளுக்கும் இலவச சீருடை வழங்கினார் .
அரசியலில் தன்னை எதிர்த்தவர்களையே தன்னுடன் சேர்த்துக்கொண்டார் . அவர் முதலமைச்சர் ஆனவுடன் அதே பதவிக்கு தன்னை எதிர்த்து போட்டியிட்டவர்களையே அமைச்சர் ஆக்கினார். தான் முதல் அமைச்சராக இருந்த போது வறுமையில் வாடிய தன் தாய்க்கு சிறப்பு சலுகைகள் தராதவர் . அவரது காலகட்டத்தில்தான் இந்தியாவிலேயே மிகச்சிறந்த முறையில் நிர்வகிக்கப்பட்ட மாநிலம் என்ற பெருமையை தமிழ் நாடு பெற்றது .
தமிழுக்கு நல்ல அங்கீகாரத்தை பெற்று கொடுத்தவர் காமராஜர். நீதி மன்றம் அரசு அலுவலகம் அனைத்திலும் தமிழை கொண்டுவந்தார்.
மூத்த தலைவர்கள் அரசியலில் பதவி வகிக்ககூடாது,பதவி விலகி கட்சி நலனுக்காக செயல்ப்பட வேண்டும் என்று கூறியதோடு நிற்காமல் தானும் பதவி விலகி முன் உதாரணமாக இருந்தார்.
இரண்டு முறை பிரதமராகும் வாய்ப்பிருந்தும், லால்பகதூர் சாஸ்திரி, இந்திரா காந்தி ஆகியோரை பிரதமராக்கிய கிங்மேக்கர் அவர். சினிமா என்றால் காமராஜருக்கு எட்டிக்காய். சினிமாவில் நாம் பார்த்து ஆச்சரியப்படும் ஹீரோக்களைப் போல அல்லாமல் ரியல் ஹீரோவாக வாழ்ந்தவர் அவர்.
அவர், இறக்கும்போது மிச்சம் இருந்தது பத்து கதர் வேஷ்டிகள், சட்டைகள் மற்றும் நூறு ரூபாய்க்கும் குறைவான பணம்தான். என்றைக்கும் தான் ஏழைப்பங்காளன்தான் என்பதை வாழ்நாளில் நிரூபித்துவிட்டு சென்ற உத்தமர் அவர். அவரது நீங்காத நினைவுகளை அவரது பிறந்தநாளில் நினைவுகூர்வதில் பெருமிதம் கொள்வோம். தமிழகத்தை ஆட்சி செய்யும் அரசியல் தலைவர்கள் பெருந்தலைவர் காமராஜரை கட்சி சார்பற்ற தலைவராக பார்க்காமல் அவரது பிறந்தநாளினை தமிழ்நாடு முழுவதும் சிறப்பாக கொண்டாட முன்வரவேண்டும் என்பதே சமூக ஆர்வலர்களின் கோரிக்கையாகும்.
இன்றைக்கு தமிழகம் கண்டுள்ள பல வளர்ச்சிகளுக்கும் பிள்ளையார் சுழி போட்டவர் இந்த கருப்புத் தங்கம்தான். நல்ல தலைவர் கிடைக்காமல் தத்தளித்து வரும் இன்றைய தமிழகத்திற்கு, உண்மையிலேயே பெரும் தலைவராக விளங்கியவர் காமராஜர் மட்டுமே. தமிழகத்தின் உண்மையான பொற்கால ஆட்சி என்றால் அது காமராஜரின் ஆட்சி மட்டுமே. மீண்டும் காமராஜரின் ஆட்சி வருமா... கண்ணுக்கு எட்டிய தூரம் வரை அது பெரும் கனவாகவே தோன்றுகிறது...
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"Kamaraj" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Kamaraj, Iran.
In this Indian name, the name Kumarasami is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, Kamaraj.
Kumaraswami Kamaraj (15 July 1903 –2 October 1975), was a leader of the Indian National Congress (INC), widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s. He served as INC president for four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Indira Gandhi turned down the same at the time of Jawaharlal Nehru's death. Kamaraj was the 3rdChief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) during 1954–1963 and a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha during 1952–1954 and 1967–1975. He was known for his simplicity and integrity.
He was involved in the Indian independence movement. As the president of the INC, he was instrumental in navigating the party after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru. In Tamil Nadu, his home state, he is still remembered for bringing school education to millions of the rural poor by introducing free education and the free Midday Meal Scheme during his tenure as chief minister. He was awarded with India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976.
Kamaraj was born on 15 July 1903 to Kumarasamy Nadar and Sivagami Ammal at Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu. His name was originally Kamatchi, but later changed to Kamarajar. His father Kumarasamy was a merchant. In 1907, four years after the birth of Kamaraj, his sister Nagammal was born. At age 5 (1907), Kamaraj was admitted to a traditional school and in 1908 he was admitted to Yenadhi Narayana Vidhya Salai. In 1909 Kamaraj was admitted in Virudupatti High School. Kamaraj's father died when he was six years old and his mother was forced to support her family. In 1914 Kamaraj dropped out of school to support his family.
He worked in his uncle's provision shop and during this time he started joining processions and attending public meetings about the Indian Home Rule Movement. Kamaraj developed an interest in prevailing political conditions by reading newspapers daily. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre was the decisive turning point in his life, and at this point he decided his aim was to fight for national freedom and to bring an end to foreign rule. In 1920, at the age of 18, he became active as a political worker and joined Congress as a full-time worker. In 1921 Kamaraj was organising public meetings at Virudhunagar for Congress leaders. He was eager to meet Gandhi, and when Gandhi visited Madurai on 21 September 1921 Kamaraj attended Gandhi's public meeting and met him for the first time in person. He visited villages carrying Congress propaganda.
In 1922 Congress was boycotting the visit of the Prince of Wales as part of the Non-Cooperation Movement. He came to Madras and took part in this event. In 1923–25 Kamaraj participated in the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha. In 1927, Kamaraj started the Sword Satyagraha in Madras and was chosen to lead the Neil Statue Satyagraha, but this was given up later in view of the Simon Commission boycott.
Kamaraj was jailed in June 1930 for two years for participation in the "Salt Satyagraha". led by Rajagopalachari at Vedaranyam; he was released early in 1931 in consequence of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact before he could serve his full term of imprisonment. In 1932, Section 144 was imposed in Madras prohibiting the holding of meetings and organisation of processions against the arrest of Gandhi in Bombay. In Virdhunagar, under Kamaraj's leadership, processions and demonstrations happened every day. Kamaraj was arrested again in January 1932 and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. In 1933 Kamaraj was falsely implicated in the Virudhunagar bomb case. Varadarajulu Naidu and George Joseph argued on Kamaraj's behalf and proved the charges to be baseless. At the age of 34, Kamaraj entered the Assembly winning the Sattur seat in the 1937 election.
Kamaraj was conducting a vigorous campaign throughout the state asking people not to contribute to war funds when Sir Arthur Hope, the Madras Governor, was collecting contributions to fund for the Second World War. In December 1940 he was arrested again at Guntur, under the Defence of India rules for speeches opposing contributions to the war fund, and sent to Vellore Central Prison while he was on his way to Wardha to get Gandhi's approval for a list of Satyagrahis. While in jail, he was elected as Municipal Councillor of Virudhunagar. He was released nine months later in November 1941 and resigned from this post as he thought he had greater responsibility for the nation.  His principle was "One should not accept any post to which one could not do full justice".
In 1942, Kamaraj attended the All-India Congress Committee in Bombay and returned to spread propaganda material for the Quit India Movement. The police issued orders to all the leaders who attended this Bombay session. Kamaraj did not want to get arrested before he took the message to all district and local leaders. He decided not to go to Madras and decided to cut short his trip; he saw a large number of policemen waiting for the arrest of Congress leaders in Arakonam but managed to escape from the police and went to Ranipet, Tanjore, Trichy and Madurai to inform local leaders about the programme. He reached Virdhunagar after finishing his work and sent a message to the local police that he was ready to be arrested. He was arrested in August 1942. He was under detention for three years and was released in June 1945. This was his last prison term. Kamaraj was imprisoned six times by the British for his pro-Independence activities, accumulating more than 3,000 days in jail.
On 13 April 1954, Kamaraj became the Chief Minister of Madras Province. To everyone's surprise, Kamaraj nominated C. Subramaniam and M. Bhakthavatsalam, who had contested his leadership, to the newly formed cabinet.
As Chief Minister, Kamaraj removed the family vocation based Hereditary Education Policy introduced by Rajaji. The State made immense strides in education and trade. New schools were opened, so that poor rural students had to walk no more than three kilometers to their nearest school. Better facilities were added to existing ones. No village remained without a primary school and no panchayat without a high school. Kamaraj strove to eradicate illiteracy by introducing free and compulsory education up to the eleventh standard. He introduced the Midday Meal Scheme to provide at least one meal per day to the lakhs of poor school children ((The Mid-day Meal Scheme, was first introduced in 1920 by the Madras Corporation with the approval of the legislative council, as a breakfast scheme in a corporation school at Thousand Lights, Madras for the first time in the world)) Later it was expanded to four more schools. This was the precursor to the free noon meal schemes introduced by K. Kamaraj in 1960's and expanded by M. G. Ramachandran in the 1980s.. He introduced free school uniforms to weed out caste, creed and class distinctions among young minds.
During the British regime the education rate was only 7 per cent. But after Kamaraj's reforms it reached 37% . Apart from increasing the number of schools, steps were taken to improve standards of education. To improve standards, the number of working days was increased from 180 to 200; unnecessary holidays were reduced; and syllabuses were prepared to give opportunity to various abilities. Kamaraj and Bishnuram Medhi (Governor) took efforts to establish IIT Madras in 1959.
Major irrigation schemes were planned in Kamaraj's period. Dams and irrigation canals were built across higher Bhavani, Mani Muthar, Aarani, Vaigai, Amaravathi, Sathanur, Krishnagiri, Pullambadi, Parambikulam and Neyyaru among others. The Lower Bhavani Dam in Erode district brought 207,000 acres (840 km2) of land under cultivation. 45,000 acres (180 km2) of land benefited from canals constructed from the Mettur Dam. The Vaigai and Sathanur systems facilitated cultivation across thousands of acres of lands in Madurai and North Arcot districts respectively. Rs 30 crores were planned to be spent for Parambikulam River scheme, and 150 lakhs of acres of lands were brought under cultivation; one third of this (i.e. 56 lakhs of acres of land) received a permanent irrigation facility. In 1957–61 1,628 tanks were de-silted under the Small Irrigation Scheme, and 2,000 wells were dug with outlets. Long term loans with 25% subsidy were given to farmers. In addition farmers who had dry lands were given oil engines and electric pump sets on an installment basis.
Industries with huge investments in crores of Rupees were started in his period: Neyveli Lignite Corporation, BHEL at Trichy, Manali Oil Refinery, Hindustan raw photo film factory at Ooty, surgical instruments factory at Chennai, and a railway coach factory at Chennai were established. Industries such as paper, sugar, chemicals and cement took off during the period.
Kamaraj's council of ministers during his first tenure as Chief Minister (13 April 1954 – 31 March 1957):
|K. Kamaraj||Chief Minister, Public and Police in the Home Department|
|M. Bhaktavatsalam||Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, Cinchona, Rural Welfare, Community Projects, National Extension Scheme, Women’s Welfare, Industries and Labour, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary|
|C. Subramaniam||Finance, Food, Education, Elections and Information, Publicity and Law (Courts and Prisons)|
|A. B. Shetty||Medical and Public Health, Co-operation, Housing, Ex-servicemen.|
|M. A. Manickavelu Naicker||Land Revenue, Commercial Taxes, Rural Development|
|Shanmugha Rajeswara Sethupathi||Public Works, Accommodation Control, Engineering Colleges, Stationery and Printing including establishment questions of the Stationery Department and the Government Press|
|B. Parameswaran||Transport, Harijan Uplift, Hindu Religious Endowments, Registration, Prohibition|
|S. S. Ramasami Padayachi||Local Administration|
- Following the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, A. B. Shetty quit the Ministry on 1 March 1956 and his portfolio was shared between the other ministers.
Kamaraj's council of ministers during kamarajars second tenure as Chief Minister (1 April 1957 – 1 March 1962):
Kamaraj's council of ministers during his third tenure as Chief Minister (3 March 1962 – 2 October 1963):
|K. Kamaraj||Chief Minister, Public Planning and Development (including Local Development Works, Women's Welfare, Community Projects and Rural Welfare), National Extension Scheme|
|M. Bhaktavatsalam||Finance and Education|
|Jothi Venkatachalam||Public Health|
|S. M. Abdul Majid||Local Administration|
|N. Nallasenapathi Sarkarai Mandradiar||Cooperation, Forests|
|G. Bhuvaraghan||Publicity and Information|
Kamaraj remained Chief Minister for three consecutive terms, winning elections in 1957 and 1962. Kamaraj noticed that the Congress party was slowly losing its vigour.
On Gandhi Jayanti day, 2 October 1963, he resigned from the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Post. He proposed that all senior Congress leaders should resign from their posts and devote all their energy to the re-vitalization of the Congress.
In 1963 he suggested to Nehru that senior Congress leaders should leave ministerial posts to take up organisational work. This suggestion came to be known as the Kamaraj Plan, which was designed primarily to dispel from the minds of Congressmen the lure of power, creating in its place a dedicated attachment to the objectives and policies of the organisation. Six Union Ministers and six Chief Ministers including Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jagjivan Ram, Morarji Desai, Biju Patnaik and S.K. Patil followed suit and resigned from their posts. Impressed by Kamaraj's achievements and acumen, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru felt that his services were needed more at the national level. In a swift move he brought Kamaraj to Delhi as the President of the Indian National Congress. Nehru realized that in addition to wide learning and vision, Kamaraj possessed enormous common sense and pragmatism. Kamaraj was elected President, Indian National Congress, on 9 October 1963.
After Nehru's death in 1964, Kamaraj successfully navigated the party through turbulent times. As president of the INC, he refused to become the next prime minister himself and was instrumental in bringing to power two Prime Ministers, Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964 and Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi in 1966. For this role, he was widely acclaimed as the "kingmaker" during the 1960s.
When the Congress split in 1969, Kamaraj became the leader of the Indian National Congress (Organisation) (INC(O)) in Tamil Nadu. The party failed poorly in the 1971 elections amid allegations of fraud by the opposition parties. He remained as the leader of INC(O) until his death in 1975.
Kamaraj died at his home, on Gandhi Jayanti day (2 October 1975), which also the 12th anniversary of his resignation. He was aged 72 and died in his sleep.
Kamaraj was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976. He is widely acknowledged as "Kalvi Thanthai" (Father of Education) in Tamil Nadu. The domestic terminal of the Chennai airport is named "Kamaraj Terminal". Chennai's beach road is named "Kamarajar Salai", Bangalore's North Parade Road and Parliament road in New Delhi as "K. Kamaraj Road" and the Madurai Kamaraj University in his honour.in 2003 the government of India in his birthday commemorative coin was released
In 2004 a Tamil-language film titled Kamaraj was made based on the life history of Kamaraj. The English version of the film was released on DVD in 2007.
- ^ abRevised edition of book on Kamaraj to be launchedArchived 10 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine., The Hindu, 8 July 2009
- ^Crusading Congressman, Frontline MagazineArchived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine., hinduonnet.com. 15–28 September 2001
- ^ abHe raised the bar with simplicity, The Hindu 16 July 2008Archived 10 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^The commonsense politician, Frontline Magazine, 17–30 August 2002Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- ^"Padma Awards Directory (1954–2007)"(PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original(PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- ^Kapur, Raghu Pati (1966). Kamaraj, the iron man. Deepak Associates. p. 12. Archived from the original on 16 November 2014.
- ^Kandaswamy, P. (2001). The Political Career of K. Kamaraj. Concept Publishing Company. p. 23. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
- ^Kandaswamy, P. (2001). The Political Career of K. Kamaraj. Concept Publishing Company. p. 24. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
- ^ abFreedom Movement In Madras Presidency With Special Reference To The Role Of Kamaraj (1920–1945), Page 1[dead link]
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