Where is South India in the Indian independence struggle of the early 20th century?

history : Where-is-South-India-in-the-Indian-independence-struggle-of-the-early-20th-century -1

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

I have already answered this multiple times What are some important contributions from southern India to India's independence movement? – and still ignorant questions like these keep coming.

People predominantly hear about those names that are closer to their state. If you are a Tamil you will hear primarily freedom leaders like Bharathi, C. Rajagopalachari, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, Muthuramalingam Thevar etc. In fact, most Tamils know a lot more about Bharathi than even Patel.

Does that mean north Indian freedom fighters didn't exist? No. It is just that every board gives the local leaders a bigger share of the books. For instance, Marathi board would give a lot of importance to Marathas and in north India you are more likely to study north Indian leaders.

 When you are ignorant about freedom fighters from an another part, it is likely that your board was more parochial. More likely, you are learning about freedom fight from Bollywood whose Tamil is as terrible as SRK's in Chennai Express.

Drafting the Indian Constitution

There were 7 people who together drafted the Indian constitution that was the biggest act for independent India. Ambedkar (Bombay), Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (Madras), Gopalswamy Iyyangar (Madras), TT Krishnamachari (Madras), KM Munshi (Bombay), Saadullah (Assam),  B L Mitter (Baroda) under the advice of BN Rau (Mangalore).

5 of 8 from south India? How come the Constitution drafters had so many southerners, when they were not supposed to have fought for freedom? Because of the lack of the participation in freedom fight is how 3 Madras folks became the first 3 recipients of Bharat Ratna?

South Indian Freedom Fighters you should know

  1. C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) – He followed Mountbatten as India's Governor General [the role of President before 1950]. Led the freedom struggle in Southern India and formed the bridge between Nehru and Patel. First person to get the Bharat Ratna.
  2. Sarojini Naidu – Another leader who most often came within top 5. Among the most recognized women in India. Played a key role in Civil Disobedience movement and many of Gandhian struggles.
  3. S Radhakrishnan – India's second President and a noted philosopher. He represented India in League of Nations, UN and other international bodies. He helped build foreign support for Indian freedom struggle. See Radhakrishnan's photo is decorating a famous American President's [Nixon] office. If even a foreigner knows so well, should not we too know about a person whose birthday is celebrated as the Teacher's day?

  4. C Subramaniam – Rajaji's protege who fought in Civil Disobedience and Quit India. He was a key member of the Constitution Assembly and later ushered the Green Revolution.
  5. K. Kamaraj – Offered Prime Minister role after Shastri's death and didn't take it. He participated in all the major satyagraha of Mahatma and spent over 3000 days in jail.

All of the above have won Bharat Ratna for their role in helping India get independent then helping it carry. Should not you know the Bharat Ratna recipients at the minimum? The state of history education in India leaves me sad.

Other noted people:

  1. Subramanya Bharathi: He was the equivalent of Rabindranath Tagore for the Tamils. His song set things on fire and was a great inspiration for people to fight.
  2. V. O. Chidambaram Pillai – Like Gandhi, Mr. Pillai knew that British empire has to be hit on the economic side. He created the first indigenous shipping company to break the monopoly of the British companies. He lost it all try to fight for India. But, he left a big impact.
  3. V. P. Menon – Without him there was no India that we know of now. This smart Keralite administrator helped stitch India. Both Patel and Mountbatten relied on him to get all the warring Princely states to come to India.

India was created from the blood of noble warriors from all over India. If you don't know about any of them, get educated.

Where is South India in the Indian independence struggle of the early 20th century?


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