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MGR's Birth Centenary


MGR’s Birth Centenary


MGR”S Birth Centenary (2017)


When you remember Political Eminence and Elegance, you are reminded of the most charismatic leader of this century, Dr. MGR and the only one of the rarest of the rare phenomenon who has been blessed to Taminadu.  He was really a Prince of Populism.  He was an Actor, Politician, Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.  The only Chief Minister to rule this state continually for ten years (1977-1987) this year has been celebrated as his centenary year of his birth.  He was a mass leader and knows the nuances of them in detail and vehemently trying to reach them at every avenue he had up his sleeve.


Born in the year 1917 at Kandy, Srilanka and migrated to Kerala for livelihood and very shortly after that, reached Kumbakonam to start his life.  Though he was not properly schooled due to the circumstances of his family he started to dwell into the socio-economic situations of the people around while he was growing.  That initiative made him to the masses where he acclaimed all his strength and in reciprocation, they have returned the coin with suitable reckoning to the late MGR when he was in Power. He did everything to them with the knowledge acquired by mingling with them at every stage from the days of dramatic tenure in Boys Company to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. It was a full baggage of information and enough credentials for him to make a heavy package for them in days of need.  His authority, ability, administration and admiration for the common were unequivocal.  His thought and deeds to help the poor and downtrodden were impeccable.


From the mid-fifties to the day he acclaimed the chair of CM in Tamilnadu lot of involuntary groups took advantage of his filmy presence and when he reached a stage of popularity in the Silver screen, they started scripting various stories suiting to his environment and requirement and made him enact the best roles through his media.  This reel life had helped him a lot to command a style status when it was morphed with real life as the doer of things (Chief Minister of Tamilnadu).  He did what he has preached through his films.  The people started to believe him as their support and extended and exhibited their confidence in voting him to power again and again.


C.N. Annadurai the founder of DMK has used the image of this matinee idol very suitable and made him join DMK party and enabled him to persuade the work of uplifting downtrodden and make him face the people many times.  This really augmented his popularity because of his dual presence in films and on the stage for the sake of party.  He was their prime figure and vote bank for the party.  After the demise of Anna, he became more popular in the party.  In fact, he was instrumental in bringing Mr.M.Karunanidhi as the Chief Minister and supported him ably.  He was also made treasurer of the party and running into the affairs of the DMK party very deeply.  As people in the party could not digest the popularity he was earning with the masses through the party and films, suddenly there came in a rift when MGR requested for detailed accounts of a Conference wherein he sensed some misappropriations. Based on this he was expelled from the party and that came in a way for MGR to start in a Party called ADMK for which he was the leader and propagating his ideal principles to the people of Tamilnadu. In 1972 MGR publically announced the corrupt ways and means of DMK and they have totally forgotten the ideals of ANNA and brought in many corrupt practices.  He then rechristened his party as AIADMK to make people know that he is the real follower of Anna and following his ideas.  He preached what he had professed.


With such a profound support from all sections of people, MGR came to Power in 1977 and started ruling as Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. His term was very idealistic. His fetish for clean governance saw the government move at a snail’s pace and the whole administration had a gear up of things by his notable changes brought in to bring in his ideas.  Likewise, he brought in the draconian law of prohibition the entire state was under prohibition. In the year 1980, he faced a slight defeat in the Parliamentary elections.  This had made him revive the economy he was compelled to bring in the withdrawal of Prohibition laws as the state was suffering from economic difficulties and there was no centre support at that time. This is the period he brought in the mid-day meal scheme to school children for them to prosecute school education.  On the other hand helped the aged and old parents who do not have any earning supported them through governmental schemes.  This has gone into more than 70 lakhs beneficiaries.


In 1982 he inducted Jayalalithaa in the party after looking into her activities and thought it well, that she was in need now and she can carry the mantle properly like him to the masses and rightly so she became his successor after his death and ably followed the administrative skills of MGR and schemes and proving her mettle with a good governance of the State. MGR’s laid the foundation for a transformed state of Tamilnadu when compared to earlier rulings and made him a man of the masses by his freebies and subsidised schemes he had endowed to the common man.


In 1984 during October he took ill and hospitalised.  In spite, the teammates running the Government ably under his instructions.  However, in spite of the best treatment in the USA and subsequently in India, he had a setback in governance because of health conditions.  He grew weak and breathed his lost in the year December 1987.  After the death, the rest is history which all of us know.


In films, he had acted in more than 100 films and all of the films have enumerated the need of the common man and his urgency to grow and all of us have a duty to support and bring him up in life.  He had fetched many awards and notably the Bharat Ratna Award for his services in Political life and his culture which has changed the many that were in need of his help. He was human par excellence. His humanity towards people knows no bounds. He enables the party teammates and his colleagues in the ministry and to give them their best attention for all the governance of the people and their requirements.  It has been also mentioned that he has a habit of discussing with his colleagues the pending proposals and the decisions made.  If some were to be kept pending he would go in reasons for the same and want those things to be redressed immediately. He had the unique practice of doing enough homework before coming into the assembly and he would have answers for any questions that is shooted. When there is a requirement in the assembly by the opposition party for developing his segment, he would immediately go into the details of the same and approve, should there be the same is imminent. He had very good relations with states too, one such incident when Tamilnadu was requiring water, he never hesitated to visit Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and get his sanction for release of water from Krishna River.  This shows his personal interest in solving the problems which would benefit the people.


MGR was a myth.  He was dynamic, a die-hard fan of his people who has to be uplifted and never waited for an opportunity but instantly advocated help to them which anyone would wait and think twice. In the film fraternity too people who had enjoyed a close relationship with him vent in their feelings during his association. In one such interview Madam Jayalalithaa the late Chief Minister with Simi Grewal had uttered this.  After my mother Sandhya’s death it was MGR who took control of me and my activities as I was left in a lurch after her demise.  She went further and said even to open an account in a Bank, I was taught by MGR and he is the one who can be relied upon and he was behind me in all my decisions which I cannot just forget.  Think of his stature and how considerate he has been to people close to him. His dynamic depositions in the cabinet meeting made ministers feel that they have to go prepared before they attend a meeting. This is to make sure that MGR had done his homework and everyone should be ready to answer all his questions.

To sum it up a birth has come true and famous. He started, lived, struggled and paved the way for a life which he wanted, what he had conceived what he wanted to deliver to the needy, were created and crafted to the requirement and achieved.  If at all even today we are remembering his means, he was instrumental in the State and the whole state is feeling for him and when we think, he is no more? Yes he is not with his, but his ideals are with us, his followers have fulfilled and followed suit what he had preached. Such should be the quality of Leader when during his absence there is an eminent person carrying his mantle means, it is not an easy joke, he dreamt it and the followed by Selvi Jayalalithaa who had also delivered ably to us.  Leaders are born great and some leaders live great forever.  MGR was a stunning example of excellence in life and Politics which all the politicians should take a leaf out of it.

Long live his ideals and Principles….


T Mohenchander


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