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U.

MUTHURAMALINGAM THEVAR
Ukkirapandi MuthuramalingaThevar (Tamil: உக்கிரபாண்டி முத்துராமலிங்க ேதவர்)
(October 30, 1908 – October 30, 1963), also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalingam
Thevar was an Indian politician. He hailed from the Maravar community, the dominant warrior
caste group in his home district in southern Tamil Nadu. Thevar became the leader of the All
India Forward Bloc in Tamil Nadu, and was national deputy chairman of the party from 1952
onwards. He was elected thrice to parliament.

Childhood and family life

Thevar was born in the village of Pasumpon, Ramnad district. He hailed from
a wealthy landlord family. Thevar was the only son of Ukkirapandi Thevar
and Indirani. He had one sister, Janaki. His mother died before his first
birthday and his stepmother the next year. From 1910 onwards he was in the
custody of his maternal grandmother Parvathiammal in the neighbouring
village of Kallupatti. Parvathiammal was furious on Thevar's father for having
taken two new wives shortly after the death of his second wife. During his
youth, Thevar was aided by Kuzhanthaisami Pillai. Pillai was a close family
friend of Thevar's father. Pillai took responsibility for arranging Thevar's
schooling. First he was given private tuition and in June 1917 he began
attending classes at an elementary school run by American missionaries in
Kamuthi. Later he joined the Pasumalai High School (near
Thirupparankundaram) and then he shifted to the Union Christian High
School in Madurai.

. In 1924 he missed his final examinations due to an outbreak of a plague


epidemic. The following year he also missed his chance to attend the final
examinations, as he returned to Pasumpon to fight a legal battle over issues
of inheritance of family property. The case would linger and was not settled
until 1927, when the court ruling in Muthuramalingam Thevar's favour.
Thevar's father, Ukkirapandi Thevar, died on June 6, 1939.

Anti-CTA struggle

One particular issue would have a special impact on Thevar's political career.
Since 1920 the Criminal Tribes Act had been enacted by the government of
the Madras Presidency and began to be implemented in the Madurai,
Ramnad and Tirunelveli districts. After his entry into politics, Thevar began to
mobilize resistance to the CTA. He toured villages in the affected areas and
led protest rallies for the rights of the individuals registered under the CTA.
In 1929 the Maravars of 19 villages in Appanad were forced to registered
under the CTA. Thevar led a massive campaign in the villages, urging the
people to defy the CTA. The authorities partially withdrew, and reduced the
number of CTA registrations in the concerned areas from around 2000 to just
341. In 1934 Thevar organised a convention at Abhiram, which urged the
authorities to repeal the CTA. A committee consisting of Thevar, Dr. P.
Varadarajulu Naidu, Perumal Thevar, Sasivarna Thevar and
Navaneethakrishna Thevar was appointed by the convention to carry on the
efforts to persuade the government to revoke the Act. The CTA was,
however, not revoked. On the contrary, its implementation was widened.
Thevar again led agitations and awareness-raising campaigns against the
Act. At the time the Justice Party was governing the Madras presidency, and
their refusal to revoke the law created a strong animosity on Thevar's behalf
towards the Justicites.

U. Muthuralingam Thevar died on October 30, 1963, on his 55th birthday.