Ignorance Of History On Floor Of The House: ‘Jai Hind’ Insulted In Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 

Ignorance Of History On Floor Of The House: ‘Jai Hind’ Insulted In Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Subhas Chandra Bose 
Snapshot
  • An MLA belonging to the ruling DMK alliance was seen telling that Tamil Nadu had regained its pride because in the Governor’s address this year, the phrase ‘Jai Hind’ was removed.

A member of the legislative assembly (MLA) of Tamil Nadu, E R Eshwaran, denigrated the national slogan ‘Jai Hind’ on the floor of the assembly on Thursday.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, the MLA belonging to the ruling alliance, was seen telling that Tamil Nadu had regained its pride because in the Governor’s address, unlike last year, the phrase ‘Jai Hind’ was removed.

While E R Eshwaran does not belong to DMK proper, he belongs to a party with considerable community influence from Kongu region.

The slogan ‘Jai Hind’ was popularised by freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who inspired quite a lot of Tamil youth to join the freedom movement. It was the war cry of the ‘Azad Hind Fauj’.

But who actually coined this slogan ‘Jai Hind’?

There are many attributions. One of the earliest uses of the term is credited to Chempakaraman Pillai (1891-1934). Born to Chinnaswami Pillai and Nagammal in what is today Kanyakumari district and what was part of Travancore, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram for studies. Along with studies, his love for the nation also grew and the fire of freedom movement started burning in his heart.

He introduced 'Jai Hind' as a form of salutation and a slogan among the students who had the same mindset. Soon, the slogan attracted the attention of the police department.

Ignorance Of History On Floor Of The House: ‘Jai Hind’ Insulted In Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly 

Chempakaraman and his cousin Padmanabha were offered an opportunity to study in Europe by a biologist, Sir Walter Strickland. The biographer of Chempakaraman, Sri 'Rakami' identifies Strickland as a possible German spy.

While Padmanabha returned to Trivandrum, Chempakaraman went ahead and finished his studies in Austria and then immersed himself in the yajna of freedom struggle. With German assistance, he formed the International Pro-India Committee at Zurich in 1914. He was its president. Later, he went to Berlin and merged his organisation with the Indian International Committee in Berlin with the revolutionary Virendranath Chattopadhyaya as its president. His bravery and planning earned him accolades from the German Haiser.

He was part of the Emden that bombed Madras British naval centre and sank quite a few British vessels. But with the ascent of Nazis came a lot of trouble for Dr. Pillai. His criticism of Hitler, when the latter wrote that Indians were incapable of self-governance, earned him the wrath of Nazis. It is believed that they killed him through poisoning. When he died, he was only 42.

His wife Lakshmibai from Manipur preserved his ashes for 32 years and brought them to Independent India in 1966 as per his wishes in free India's naval warship. In Tamil Nadu, he is remembered with fondness and pride as ‘Jai Hind’ Chempakaraman.

It was the memory of this great freedom fighter which was insulted by the meaningless rant of the MLA when he stated that the Tamil pride was set right when the phrase 'Jai Hind' was not found in the address of the Governor.

Aravindan is a contributing editor at Swarajya.

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