Namakkal V.Ramalingam Pillai Biography
Venkatarama Ramalingam Pillai (Tamil: வேங்கடராம ராமலிங்கம் பிள்ளை) shortly V. Ramalingam Pillai(October 19, 1888 - August 24, 1972) was a Tamil poet from Tamil Nadu, India and independence fighter. He is well known for his poems about independence.
The poem "கத்தியின்றி ரத்தமின்றி யுத்தமொன்று வருகுது சத்தியத்தின் நித்தியத்தை நம்பும்யாரும் சேருவீர்..." was very famous among freedom fighters.
Namakkal Kavignar V. Ramalingam Pillai, popularly known as Namakkal Kavignar, was born on 19th October, 1888 at Mohanur, a small hamlet on the banks of Cavvery river in Salem District.
His father was a head constable of Mohanur and his mother was a pious lady from Salem. The family had seven daughter before Ramalingam was born. He was, therefore, regarded as a gift of God. Ramalngam had his primary education at Namakal in Tamil Nadu, and high school education at a mission school at Coimbatore. He did his FA in 1909, from Bishop Heber College at Tiruchirapalli.
His father desired Ramalingam to become a sub-inspector and later forced him into the jobs of a clerk, at the Namakkal Tahasildar's office, and of a school teacher both of which Ramalingam disliked. He subsequently took up his profession of portrait painter and photographer in which he excelled and his lifelike portraits of the wealthy chettiars of Chettinad.
In the 1911 Delhi Darbar, Ramalingam presented his portraits of King George V and the Queen and was honoured with a gold medal. Inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo, Ramalingam entered plitics as an extremist but later become an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. As a boy, he had a taste for poetry and wrote songs for operas.
During the freedom struggle, he not only became a veteran Congress Leadeer of Namakkal and Trichy during 1920's, but also wrote a hundred poems with patriotic favour named 'Nathu Kummi'. During the 1930 Salt Satyagraha, the Satyagrahis led by Shri Rajagopalachari marched from Tiruchi to Vedaranyam, singing a song composed by Ramalingam. The song won him fame as a patriotic, Gandhian poet. In 1932, he was jailed for one year for his participation in the Salt Satyagraha.
Ramalingam also wrote novels, the more prominent of which, titled 'Malaikallan' was filmed in five languages and won the Prsident's medal in 1954. His commentary on 'Thirukkural' is regarded as his magnum opus. He composed more than 500 poems of which a vast majority reflected the ideas of Gandhiji - Ahimsa, Satya, Satyagraha, rural idustries, removal of untouchability and the equality of the sexes.
For his literary contributions, Madras Government nomnaed him as Poet Laureate or 'Asthana Kavignar' in 1949. In 1953, he was nominated to the Sahitya Akademi. In 1956 and 1962, Namakkal Kavignar was nominated as MLC by the Madras Government. The Government of India awarded him the "Padmabhushan" in 1971. Towards the fag end of his life, he was almost croppled by an attack of rheumatism. He died of a heart attack on 24th August, 1972.