“Makkal Thalaivar” Late Shri. Moopanar
G.K. Moopanar, will be remembered for his commitment to secularism and cultural pluralism.Born on August 19, 1931 at Kabisthalam village in the composite Thanjavur district, the rice granary of Tamil Nadu, he belonged to a family of landed aristocracy that owned vast tracts of fertile land. His father R. Govindasamy Moopanar was a Congressman. The family patronised music, arts and literature. Moopanar himself was president of the Tiruvaiyaru Sri Thyaga Brahma Mahotsava Sabha from 1980 until his death.
Moopanar first met Kamaraj and Jayaprakash Narayan when they called on his father Govindasamy Moopanar at his home at Sundaraperumal Kovil, near Kumbakonam, in 1951. Kamaraj was then TNCC president. Moopanar became the president of the Thanjavur district Congress committee in 1965. When the Congress split in 1969 Moopanar continued with Kamaraj. Moopanar cut his political teeth under Kamaraj, who handpicked him to build up the Congress in Thanjavur district in 1965 when the Left movement and the DMK were rising. Moopanar was hardly 25 then.
Moopanar came very close to becoming the Prime Minister of India in 1997 when Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Jyoti Basu asked him to lead a Congress supported government. He however declined the offer.