Biography of Sathyamurthy
Sathyamurthy (August 19, 1887 – March 28, 1943) was a politician from the Indian National Congress and an Indian freedom fighter. He was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress until his demise on March 28, 1943.
Chellachamy was born on August 19, 1880 in the district of Madurai. He graduated from the prestigious Madras Christian College and later went on to do law and started practicing as an advocate prior to his initiation in the national movement.
Sathyamurthy plunged into politics at an early age winning college elections and eventually emerging as one of the foremost leaders of the Indian National Congress and a doyen of the freedom movement.
In 1919, when the Congress decide to send its representative to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (of the UK) to protest the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms and the Rowlatt Act, thirty-two year old Sathyamurthy was chosen as a delegate.
Later in his life, he was elected mayor of Madras and served in his capacity as an able administrator from 1939 to 1940. He also served as a member of the Legislature. He was arrested in 1930 while trying to hoist the Indian national flag atop Parthasarathy Temple in Madras.
He was also actively involved in the Swadeshi movement and was arrested in 1942 for performin ‘Individual satyagraha’ at the height of the Quit India Movement. He was deported to Amravathi Jail in Nagpur and was hurt in the spinal cord during the journey. He succumbed to his injuries at General Hospital, Chennai on March 28, 1943.
The Hindu dedicated a whole column to Sathyamurthy under the caption ‘Tribune of the people’. It said “He was a born freedom-fighter, a leadmine fighter as the Scots say to whom the fight was the thing.”
Sathyamurthy was one of the early leaders of the Indian National Congress in Tamil Nadu before the rise of Rajagopalachari and Kamaraj. His name is barely remembered today and is largely forgotten amidst a host of prominent personages.
But the few who cherish his memory continue to credit him with popularizing the Congress and Gandhian ideals in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu state headquarters of the Indian National Congress has been named.