Bharat Ratna “Perunthalaivar” Shri. Kamaraj
Shri. Kumarasami Kamaraj was a leader of sterling qualities. His entire life spanning a little over seven decades was dedicated to the country and its people. From a simple volunteer and worker, he rose to the highest position by not only circumstances but sincere service and sacrifice. Like Lal Bahadur Shastri, his humility, affability, sincerity integrity coupled with selflessness and devotion were unparallel.
Kamaraj became Chief Minister of Madras state on April 13, 1957. He perhaps had the smallest council of ministers in India – just eight. Whenever correspondents asked him whether there would be any changes in the cabinet, he remarked cryptically “after five years”.
With a rural background, sound common sense and a burning desire to serve the people, he introduced free education upto the secondary stage, mid-day meals for indigent school children, expanded rural communication. His tenure of a decade in office was marked by all round progress and development in Tamil Nadu in industry, power, education and community development. People describe it as the “golden age” of the state.