The Info List - S. P. Adithanar

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Si. Balasubramania Athithan Nadar (also known as Si. Ba. Adithanar Nadar ) (சி. பாலசுப்ரமணிய ஆதித்தன் (சி.பா ஆதித்தனர் என்றும் அழைக்கப்படுகிறார்)) 27 September 1905 – 24 May 1981), popularly called as "Adithanar", was an Indian lawyer, politician, minister and founder of the Tamil daily newspaper Dina Thanthi. He was the founder of the We Tamils (Tamil: நாம் தமிழர்) party. He served as a member of the Madras Legislative Council for two terms and as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for four terms. He was the Speaker of the Assembly during 1967–68 and Tamil Nadu's minister for Cooperation in the M. Karunanidhi
M. Karunanidhi
cabinets of 1969 and 1971. In his memory, two Tamil literary awards were created and are awarded annually by his son, Sivanthi Adithanar Nadar ( former Director of the Dina Thanthi
Dina Thanthi


1 Early life 2 Publishing career 3 Political career

3.1 Naam Tamilar party 3.2 As Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 3.3 As minister 3.4 Later political life 3.5 Electoral performance in Assembly elections

4 Death and legacy 5 Bibliography 6 References

Early life[edit] Adithanar was born on 27 September 1905 at Kayamozhi
in Tiruchendur Taluk of Tuticorin
district to Sivanthi Adithanar Nadar and Kanagam Ammayar as the heir of the Adityans, the highest aristocratic family among the Nelamaikkarars.[1] His father, Sivanthi Adithanar Nadar, was a lawyer. Shiv's mother, Vamasundari Devi, and Adithan were siblings.[2] He completed his schooling at Srivaikuntam
and joined St. Joseph's College, Trichy. After obtaining a M. A, he went to Middle Temple, London to study law. He became a barrister in 1933 and practised in Singapore (during 1933–42) and later in his home town Srivaikuntam. He married Govindammal in 1933.[3][4][5] Publishing career[edit] Adithan returned to India
in 1942 when Singapore fell to the Japanese. He established a Tamil weekly magazine, Tamizhan, and a daily newspaper, Thanthi, in November 1942. He set out to found a Tamil daily along the lines of the English tabloid Daily Mirror, inspired by the Mirror's reach of a large audience. He established Dina Thanthi (lit. The Daily Telegraph) and it went on to become the flagship of his newspaper business. He expanded operations by opening additional editions in Tirunelveli, Madras, Salem and Tiruchirapalli
in the 1940s. By bringing out local editions, Dina Thanthi
Dina Thanthi
helped deliver news on the same day to the people in southern districts of Tamil Nadu, who until then had to read day-old newspapers printed in Madras.[6] The paper was popular and it was said that people learned to read the Tamil language
Tamil language
to read the newspaper.[7] The simplified language introduced by the paper helped it gain new readership.[8] Other publications from Adithan's Dina Thanthi
Dina Thanthi
group include the evening daily Maalai Murasu (lit. The Evening Drum), the weekly magazine Rani and the monthly novel imprint Rani Muthu.[4] Political career[edit] Adithan started the "Tamil Rajyam" party in 1942. During 1947–52, he was a member of the Madras
Legislative Council. He contested and won the 1952 election from Tiruchendur
as a candidate of T. Prakasam's Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party.[9] He was elected as an independent candidate in the 1957 election from Sathankulam.[4][10] Naam Tamilar party[edit] In 1958, Adithan founded the "We Tamils" (நாம் தமிழர் கட்சி) party with the platform of forming a sovereign Tamil state. The party's stand was more radical than the Dravida Nadu
Dravida Nadu
demand of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy's Dravidar Kazhagam. It wanted the creation of a homogeneous Greater Tamil Nadu
Greater Tamil Nadu
incorporating Tamil speaking areas of India
and Sri Lanka. The party's headquarters was named as Tamiḻaṉ Illam (lit. The Home of the Tamilian). In 1960, the party organised statewide protests for the secession of Madras
and the establishment of a sovereign Tamil Nadu. The protests were marked by the burning of maps of India
(with Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
left out). Adithanar was arrested for organising them. The party along with M. P. Sivagnanam's Tamil Arasu Kazhagam
Tamil Arasu Kazhagam
was also involved in the movement to change the name of the state from Madras
State to Tamil Nadu.[11] Adithan lost the 1962 election from Tiruchendur[12] and was elected to the Legislative Council in 1964.[5] The WT contested the 1967 election as an ally of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(DMK) under the DMK's "Rising Sun" symbol. It elected four members to the Assembly, including Adithan, who won from Srivaikuntam. The party merged with the DMK in 1967.[4][13][14] As Speaker of the Legislative Assembly[edit] On 17 March 1967, Adithan became the speaker of the assembly defeating the Swatantra Party
Swatantra Party
candidate K. S. Kothandaramiah, by 153 votes to 21. While he was the speaker he attended the DMK political conference held at Tanjore
in 1968 and also took part in political activities in his constituency. Due to these activities, the opposition parties accused him of partisanship. He defended himself as:[15]

I am as much as a politician as leader of the opposition is and as such, I can not refrain myself from the party activities of the DMK with whose support and under whose symbol I have been elected to the Assembly. But it does not mean that i am partial and partisan.

Due to this controversy, Adithan resigned as speaker on 12 August 1968. As minister[edit] Adithan became the Minister for Cooperation in the M. Karunanidhi cabinet, which took power in February 1969. He was re-elected from Srivaikuntam
in the 1971 elections and continued as the Minister for Cooperation.[4][16] Later political life[edit] The DMK split in 1972, with M. G. Ramachandran
M. G. Ramachandran
forming the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
(ADMK). Adithan supported the ADMK.[6] He contested and lost the 1977 election[17] as an ADMK supported independent from Sathankulam.[18] He also lost the 1980 election from Srivaikuntam.[19] Electoral performance in Assembly elections[edit]

Year Status Constituency Party Votes Runner-up/winner Party Votes

1957 Winner Sathankulam IND 33,636 S. Kandasamy INC 22,429

1962 2nd Tiruchendur We Tamils (WT) 27,994 M. S. Selvarajan INC 39,994

1967 Winner Srivaikuntam DMK 41,828 R. Nadar INC 22,767

1971 Winner Srivaikuntam DMK 37,329 R. A. R. Annamalai NCO 27,724

1977 2nd Sathankulam IND 17,507 R. Jebamani JNP 18,362

1980 3rd Srivaikuntam IND 12,119 E. Ramasubramanian ADMK 26,502

Death and legacy[edit] Adithan died on 24 May 1981. In 2005, the then Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha
J. Jayalalitha
announced that his home in Srivaikuntam, built in 1928, would be converted into a memorial. He is survived by two sons. B. Ramachandran Adityan (founder of Devi Weekly) and B. Sivanthi Adityan.[20][21] On his birthday every year, the S. P. Adithanar Senior Tamil Scholar Award of Rs. 300,000 and the S. P. Adithanar Literary Award of Rs. 200,000 are awarded to Tamil scholars and people who excel in literature by Adithanar's son and the current director of the Dina Thanthi
Dina Thanthi
group, Sivanthi Adithan.[7] A road in Chennai, connecting Egmore
to Anna Salai, was named "Adithanar Salai" in his memory.[22] Bibliography[edit]

Tamiḻp Pēraracu (lit. The Tamil empire) (1942) Idhalalar Kaiyedu (lit. The Journalist's Handbook)


^ Robert Hardgrave. The Nadars of Tamil Nadu. University of California Press. p. 149.  ^ Harish Damodharan (16 September 2008). India's New Capitalists: Caste, Business, and Industry in a Modern Nation. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-230-20507-9.  ^ "Memorials coming up for Adithanar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Aiyangar". The Hindu. 28 September 2005.  ^ a b c d e "Tamilar Thanthai Si Pa Adithanar". Maalai Malar (in Tamil). 10 April 2009. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ a b Kaliyaperumal, M (1992). The office of the speaker in Tamilnadu : A study (PDF). Madras
University. pp. Appendices.  ^ a b Jeffrey, Robin (24 March 2000). India's newspaper revolution. C. Hurst & Co. p. 79,80,114,135. ISBN 978-1-85065-383-7.  ^ a b "Adithanar awards for Tamil scholar, poet". The Hindu. 24 September 2004.  ^ "Adithanar 100: A Tribute". www.thinnai.com (in Tamil). 15 January 2004.  ^ 1951/52 Madras
State Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ 1957 Madras
State Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ Ramaswamy, Sumathy (1997). Passions of the tongue: language devotion in Tamil India, 1891–1970. University of Chicago Press. pp. Chapter.6. ISBN 978-0-520-20805-6. OCLC 36084635.  ^ 1962 Madras
State Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ Ross Barnett, Marguerite (1975). Electoral politics in the Indian states: party systems and cleavages. Manohar Book Service. p. 86.  ^ 1967 Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ Kaliyaperumal, M (1992). The office of the speaker in Tamilnadu : A study (PDF). Madras
University. pp. 92–96.  ^ 1971 Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ 1977 Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ "AIADMK hopes to benefit from local grievances". The Hindu. 24 February 2003.  ^ 1980 Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Election Results, Election Commission of India ^ "Memorials coming up for Adithanar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Aiyangar". The Hindu. 28 September 2005.  ^ "Officials inspect Adithanar's house at Srivaikundam". The Hindu. 29 September 2005.  ^ "A tough ride for MTC buses on Adithanar Salai". The Hindu. 28 Fe