26th December in Dalit History – B'day of Annai Menambal Shivaraj


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Annai Meenambal Shivaraj was born 26 December at Rangoon in Burma. She completed her F.A in 1917 from Ranggon College, Ranggon. She returned to Madras and got married to N.Shivaraj in 1918, who was a renowned Dalit leader. She was actively involved in politics with her husband. Her entry into politics started in 1928 with her speech in a public welcoming Simon commission. She was the first Scheduled Caste woman to become member of Madras Corporation representing Madras University senate. She was the leader of South Indian Scheduled Castes federation (SCF). She bestowed the title ‘Periyar’ (great one) to self respect movement leader E.V.Ramasamy.

Annai Menambal Shivaraj

Annai Menambal Shivaraj

She presided over the SCF women’s conference held on 23 September 1944 in Madras, which was attended by Dr.Ambedkar. She also presided over the All India SCF women’s conference held in Bombay on 6 May 1945. She was the honorary magistrate for Madras province, member of post war rehabilitation committee, director of Scheduled castes cooperative bank, leader of Nellikuppam Parry company labourers, senate member of Annamalai university. She was active in public service till 1980. She is fondly called as ‘Annai’ Meenambal (Mother) by Dalits. She died on 30 November 1992 at the age of 92. Her son was Dayashankar IPS (Retd.). Very little known fact is Mrs.D.Sabitha IAS, Principal Secretary to Tamilnadu government, School education department is annai Meenambal’s grand daughter.

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