Making this as my first article on ‘forgotten heroes of countries choose Kumar swami Kamaraj the first kingmaker of Indian politics. Let me first start this article by introducing him to you as the 3rd chief minister of then madras state is now known as Tamil Nadu, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha)under then prime minister Indira Gandhi, President of Indian National Congress till 1967, President of Indian national congress organization till 1975, President of the madras provincial congress committee. Awarded with Bharat Ratana and copper bond award. Such a huge political power yet not counted in national heroes or my young generation is yet not aware of him.
Let me just take you to his early life, Kamraj was born to Kumar Swami Nadar and Shivakami on 15th July 1903. His original name was Kamatchi, later changed to Kamraj. His father was a merchant he had a young sister named Nagammal. He was enrolled in the traditional school but his bad he lost his father at the age of 6 which force his mother to work to support the family and to support his family and mother he dropped education.
As a young boy working under his uncle in his shop, he started going for the Indian home-rule movement he gained much of his knowledge from the newspaper we can call the Jallainwala bagh massacre as his turning point he was inactive politics at the age of 18 and then a congress full-time worker. He started becoming popular among people in Tamil Nadu. He started organizing meetings and in this, he first met Gandhi. He actively took part in the non-cooperation movement, Nagpur flag satyagraha, Neil statue satyagraha, Simon commission.
Kamraj being a chief minister was a big surprise to everyone. He became chief minister on 13th April 1954 and nominated C. Subramanian and M.Bhaktavatsalam who had contested his leadership, to the newly formed cabinet. He removed the family vocation based hereditary education policy introduced by Chakrabarti Rajagopalachari (Rajaji). He introduced a mid-day meal scheme for the student to get one-time food (good quality)free during the British regime education rate was 7% but after Kamraj, it became 37% he established IIT Madras.
One of the biggest changes brought by Kamraj was KAMARAJ PLAN after winning the election and being chief minister for 3 times he noticed that the congress party was slowly losing its vigor On Gandhi Jayanti day 2 October 1963, he resigned from the post of the Chief Minister. He proposed that all senior Congress leaders should resign from their posts and devote all their energy to the revitalization of the Congress.
In 1963 he suggested to Nehru that senior Congress leaders should leave ministerial posts to take up organizational 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 organization.
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. Nehru wanted such a minister or politician at a national level and therefore Kamraj was shifted from Tamil Nadu to Delhi he was then elected as the president of the Indian national congress and even after the death of Nehru the party didn’t split and he could hold the ministers.
But why Kumar Swami Kamaraj was called a KINGMAKER?
South India politics especially Tamil Nadu has mostly been about leader or players like Ramchandram, J.Jailalitha, M.karunanidhi who has strong political influence in the state. But much before this trip. Tamil Nadu had a ‘kingmaker‘ Kumar Swami Kamraj a man anointing Lal Bahadur Shastri, prime minister of India after the death of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964 and then Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi in 1966.
When he installed Shastri as PM, dashing the Hope’s of Morarji Desai every senior official wanted Kamraj to accept the post himself. But his reason for refusal was that he neither knew Hindi nor English and a prime minister must know one of the languages. But while he chose not to accept the post himself, it didn’t mean he was ready to let go of the reins, always inclined to play the real power behind the throne.
He succeeded at the time of Shastri but he had to say that Indira had her own voice yet he was a kingmaker for the country. He died on 2nd October due to a heart attack and the country lost one of its great minds in 1975. So this was Kumar Swami Kamaraj a great leader, revolutionaries, a kingmaker, a change in the books of history.