V. O. Chidambaram Pillai
9th September, 2021 Modern history
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- Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to V. O. Chidambaram Pillai, the legendary freedom fighter on his 150th birth anniversary.
- He was popularly known as Kappalottiya Tamilan (The Tamil Helmsman).
- By 1906, VOC won the support of merchants and industrialists in Tuticorin and Tirunelveli for the idea of establishing a Swadeshi merchant shipping outfit by the name of the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company (SSNCo).
- He established many institutions like Swadeshi Prachar Sabha, Dharmasanga Nesavu Salai, National Godown, Madras Agro-Industrial Society Ltd and Desabimana Sangam.
- VOC and Siva formed an organisation called the Swadeshi Sangam, or ‘National Volunteers’.
- The nationalist movement acquired a secondary character with the beginning of the Tuticorin Coral Mills strike (1908).
- Prior to Gandhiji’s Champaran Satyagraha (1917), VOC took up the cause of the working class in Tamil Nadu, and thus he is a forerunner to Gandhiji in this respect.