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  • Ace Parliamentarian Era Sezhiyan dead

    June 9th, 2017adminLeaders


    A man of integrity and outstanding intellect, he shunned publicity and positions

    Veteran Parliamentarian Era Sezhiyan, highly regarded as a Constitutionalist who recommended the abolition of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), died in Vellore on Tuesday. He was 95.

    He was living for some years in the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) run by G. Viswanathan, his close associate since his DMK days.

    Sezhiyan also republished the report of the Shah Commission constituted to go into various kinds of excesses committed during the Emergency under the title ‘Shah Commission Report Lost and Regained’.

    He was the younger brother of late Navalar V.R. Nedunchezhian and both of them were the founding members of the DMK. He jointly edited the magazine Manram with his brother. Though Nedunchezhian later joined the AIADMK launched by MGR, Sezhian chose to involve himself in the Janata Party as he was attracted by Jayaprakash Narayan’s political ideals. He also functioned as the president of the Janata party’s Tamil Nadu unit.

    “He did not share his brother’s views and stayed away from the Makkal DMK founded by the latter at one point. He also did not take the AIADMK seriously. When I requested him to become the presidium chairman of the MDMK launched by Mr. Vaiko. he politely turned down the offer,” said K. Thirunavukkarasu, historian of the Dravidian movement.

    Close to ‘Anna’

    Born R. Srinivasan, he changed his name to Sezhiyan on the lines of Dravidian leaders who opted for Tamil names instead of Sanskritised names. He studied in Annamalai University and was very close to DMK founder C.N. Annadurai and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi. In his autobiography Nenjukku Neethi, Mr. Karunanidhi has recalled that both Nedunchezhian and Sezhian walked all the way from their village Vadakandam to attend his marriage.

    “He wrote in Anna’s Dravida Nadu magazine in 1937 itself. Anna used to say when everyone seeks his advice on family and political matters, he would look up to Sezhiyan’s counsel,” said Mr. Thirunavukkarasu.

    He represented the DMK in the Lok Sabha between 1962 and 1977 and the Janata Party in the Rajya Sabha between 1978 and 1984. As Chairman of Public Accounts Committee (1971-73), he presented a record number of 96 Reports to Parliament.

    He lost to Congress candidate and actress Vaijayanthimala in South Madras constituency in the 1984 Lok Sabha polls.

    “It was Sezhiyan and Murasoli Maran who prepared a report on the recommendations of Justice Rajamannar on Centre-State relationships,” recalled Mr. Thirunavukkarasu.

    Parliament Gallery published by The Hindu in 1964 described him as a brilliant student of mathematics with statistics as special subject who topped the list in the University examinations. He also held a diploma in French.

    “As is expected of him by his party, he is at his best whenever the official language question comes up before the House. His 20-minute speech on this subject was punctuated by as many as 25 interruptions, apart from steady hecklings by protagonists of Hindi. With patience and perseverance, he hunts for government circulars and instructions to support his questions aimed at proving that there is a subtle imposition of Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states,” The Hindu had reported.

    His speeches in Parliament were published as a book, Parliament for the People.

    “Delhi is known to be the graveyard of many empires. Let not… one more graveyard be dug here by this measure,” he said during a debate on the anti-secession Bill.

    When a Congress member said, “Many empires in the South also have gone to the grave,” Mr. Sezhiyan retorted, “Any empire not representing the people is bound to go that way.”

    He shunned publicity and positions. “He refused the offer made by the then Union Finance Minister H.M. Patil to become the chairman of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) in 1978. He also turned down the offers of Governor’s post offered during the National Front government led by V.P. Singh,” said Mr. Thirunavukkarasu.

    His last association with a political party was Lok Shakthi founded by Ramakrishna Hegde. In 2001, Sezhiyan retired from active party politics.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by B. Kolappan / Chennai – June 06th, 2017

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