KAMARAJAR

Kumaraswami Kamaraj (15 July 1903 – 2 October 1975, was the founder and the president of the Indian National Congress (Organisation), widely acknowledged as the “Kingmaker” in Indian politics during the 1960s. He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress for two terms i.e. four years between 1964–1967 and was responsible for the elevation of Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of Prime Minister of India after Nehru’s death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri’s death. Kamaraj was the 3rd Chief Minister of Madras State (Tamil Nadu) during 1954–1963 and a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha during 1952–1954 and 1969–1975. He was known for his simplicity and integrity. He played a major role in developing the infrastructure of the Madras state and worked to improve the quality of life of the needy and the disadvantaged.

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. As the chief minister of Madras, he was responsible for bringing free education to the disadvantaged and introduced the free Midday Meal Scheme while he himself did not complete schooling. He was awarded with India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously in 1976.