C. N. Annadurai

C. N. Annadurai

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C. N. Annadurai

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Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai () (15 September 1909 – 3 February 1969), popularly called Anna (, “elder brother"), or Arignar Anna (Anna the scholar) was a former Chief Minister of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He was the first member of a Dravidian party to hold that post and was also the first non-Congress leader to form a majority government in independent India.

He was well known for his oratorical skills and was an acclaimed writer in the Tamil language. He scripted and acted in several plays. Some of his plays were later made into movies. He was the first politician from the Dravidian parties to use Tamil cinema extensively for political propaganda. Born in a middle class family, he first worked as a school teacher, then moved into the political scene of the Madras Presidency as a journalist. He edited several political journals and enrolled as a member of the Dravidar Kazhagam. As an ardent follower of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, he rose in stature as a prominent member of the party.

With differences looming with Periyar, on issues of separate independent state of Dravida Nadu and on inclusion in the Indian Union, he crossed swords with his political mentor. The antipathy between the two finally erupted when Periyar married Maniammai, who was much younger than he. Angered by this action of Periyar, Annadurai with his supporters parted from Dravidar Kazhagam and launched his own party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The DMK initially followed...
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