9 October 1924
|Died||11 September 1957
Mudukulathur, South Tamil Nadu
|Other names||Vellu, Sekaran, Devendranar|
|Organization||Tamil Nadu Youth Congress, Devendra Kula Velalar, Tamil Nadu Scheduled Castes Federation|
|Title||Youth Leader of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, antisocial revolutionary|
|Spouse(s)||E. Amirtham Grace (அமிர்தம் கிரேஸ்)|
|Awards||Indian government released postal stamp|
Emmanuvel Sekaranar was a revolutionary of Tamil Nadu against the caste untouchability and unviweability. He was a Havildar-Major in the British-Indian Army and resigned from the service for the sake of caste equality development. He belongs to Pallar caste. He actively participated in caste reform activities and equality between tamilans. Because of his revolutions on caste discrimination, he was murdered on 11 September 1957 by opposite community people. A commemorative postal stamp of him was released on 9 October 2010. His death anniversary day is attended by millions of people in Tamil Nadu every year.
Emmanuvel Sekaranar was born on 9 October 1924 to Mr. Vedhanayagam Kudumbanar (School teacher and founder of Devendra kula velalar sangam, Mudukulathur) and Mrs. Gnanasoundhari Ammal in a village of Sellur, which is located in Mudukulathur Taluk in Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu. He has four children, namely E. Mary vasantha rani D.T.Ed,. E. Papin vijaya rani D.T.Ed,E Sundari prabha rani B.Sc, and E.Jansi rani B.A.,.....
He was the eldest son of Vedanayagam Kudumbanar, alias Sethu Vedanayagam, and Gnanasoundari. He was born on 9 October 1924 in Sellur, a village of Mudukulathur block of Ramanathapuram district. His early education was in the same village. Later, as the family moved to Paramakudi, he transferred to the local school, and completed high school education from Schwartz’s High School, Ramanathapuram.
The Pallar/ Mallar were are once upon a time landlords/ rulers/ warriors. They were forced to become agricultural labourers after the invasion of Tamil land by vijayanagar kings. The MALLARS are mostly found in South parts of Tamil Nadu. The Vijayanakar kings made The local dominants the Agamudaiyar, Maravars as land-owners. They are the main source of social and economic oppression of the Backward & Scheduled Castes in the area, and are also politically quite ascendant in the area. form another significant caste in the region. This group, which was quite badly discriminated against by the dominated castes, underwent rapid economic and social development owing to the efforts of missionaries who encouraged their education and also due to their own struggles against oppression.
Immanuvel Sekaran’s father, like a number of the people of his community, was a staunch nationalist and was very active in the freedom struggle. but we don't know how many days they were prisoners for freedom struggle. Despite being physically challenged, he was to be found in the forefront of any event, public meeting or conference for against any antisocial events. He always took his son along and encouraged him to understand, participate and speak in public. The young Emmanuvel sekaranar was known for his fiery speeches against the colonial powers of the time. But it was also a time when the colonial powers were battling against the forces of fascism. The Second World war forced them to change the pattern of governance and give the people’s representatives a voice and space in governance. As a result, Dr.B.R. Ambedkar also became one of the National leader active in governance. He spoke out in support of the war effort of the British in a radio talk broadcast in November 1942. Emmanuvel Sekaran responded to his call by joining the British-Indian Army as Soldier to fight on the side of the British.
On 17 June 1946, he entered into matrimony with Amritham Grace, a teacher by training and profession. She was the eldest daughter of Samuel and Mariyal. The young couple was married in a ceremony where three other couples also took their vows, in Ithampaadal village near Sikkil. A few days after the wedding, he attended a conference at Madurai, in the company of iyya Balasundararaju.
The following year, the couple’s first child, a daughter Mary Vasantharani, was born, and in 1949, the second, another girl, Poppin Vijayarani, was born. His public life continued – around this time, he organized a public reception at Sellur, in honour of a unique couple, Krishnammal and Mugavai Chengappa Jagannathan. The bride was the daughter of Vathalagundu Ramasamy Kudumban and the sister of a lawyer, G R Muniyandi. She was the first girl from the Devendar community to get a college education. Her husband was a leader of the Bhoodan movement. He busied himself with maintaining contact with the people by conducting meetings at street-corners and community platforms (thinnais – a platform built around the trunks of trees in the centre of a settlement, usually a public meeting place for the locals of the community). He worked and spoke incessantly to groups, raising political awareness, even holding wayside meetings under trees and in fields and village pathways. In 1951, Mr. Balasundararaju, who had organized the conference in Madurai, died. Immanuvel Sekaran went to Meenakshipuram to attend the funeral.
In 1952, he travelled to Malaysia at the invitation of Aliya Thangappan for political events. He returned to Tamil Nadu in six months as he was want to service his own people.
A by-election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. The election was won by D.V. Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. The situation in the area was tense on the day that the results were released, and there was a sizeable presence of police forces in place. Clashes between Maravars, who largely supported the Forward Bloc, and pro-Congress Devendrars began in a few villages soon after the election result was acknowledged. Gradually the violence spread to more and more villages, and by August the riots had spread throughout the entire district. Several persons were killed and thousands of houses were torched.
Emmanuel sekaran Devendrar, the leader of the Congress Dalits at the Peace Conference was killed the following day because of caste politics played by congress against forward bloc. On September 28, a few days after the clashes had ceased, Thevar was arrested by the police under the Preventive Detention Act. Thevar's was apprehended directly after holding a speech at the conference of the Indian National Democratic Congress (the new name taken by the Congress Reform Committee). Thevar was taken to the Jail. Pudukkottai court was hearing that case. He was later accused of having masterminded the murder of Emmanuel sekaran Devendrar.
The Forward Bloc and its allies condemned Thevar's arrest as a political vendetta, engineered by the Congress. A 'Thevar Committee' was step up by the INDC. Thevar was acquitted of all charges and released in January 1959.
Immanuvel sekaranar joined the British-Indian army as soldier soon after a call was made my the Indian leaders to help British in fighting world wars. After completing his tenure in Indian British army he retired in the rank of Havildar major. He returned to his native Paramakudi where he witnessed his Devendrakula Vellar people being suppressed even after Indian Independence. He undertook massive Revolution in support of the rights of the people and later become a youth congress leader.
He worked hard for the upliftment of the Devendrakula vellalars who were listed as scheduled caste people in Tamil Nadu. During his work as a social reformer, he was murdered soon after the 1957 riots fueled as part of political motive and vengeance.