Gandhians and family of freedom fighter Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai, the hero of the Vedaranyam salt satyagraha and close associate of C. Rajagopalachari, are elated over the AIADMK election promise of installing his life-sized statue at Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattanam.
Talking to IANS, Pillai’s eldest grandson, A. Vedaratinam, said: “This is a great moment. We had petitioned all the political parties to erect such a statute in memory of the great Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai who had fought for the nation’s freedom along with the legendary C. Rajagoplachari. We welcome the announcement made by the AIADMK that it will erect a life-sized statue of Sardar.”
The salt march, led by Rajagopalachari, saw 150 volunteers walk 240 km to break the British Empire’s salt law as part of the Civil Disobedience movement. The march, co-ordinated by Pillai, commenced from Trichinapoly (now Tiruchirapally) on April 13, 1930 and ended at Agasthyampalli near Vedaranyam on April 30, 1930.
Freedom fighter and Gandhi Smarak Nidhi’s former President K. Gopinathan Nair, talking to IANS from Neyyatinkara over telephone, said: “The decision of AIADMK to erect a life sized statue of Sardar Vedaratnam Pillai is to be welcomed and it is a fitting tribute to one of the proud sons of our country.”
A committee of Gandhians and surviving freedom fighters conduct salt marches each year on the anniversary of the Vedanaryam salt march of April 1930.
Gandhian G. Manonmani told IANS that the people of the area are “proud of our forefathers who had forfeited everything for the sake of our freedom. Giving them due recognition is a fitting tribute to the memories of our freedom fighters”.