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Duraikannu

(1906 – 1985) – (Tamilnadu)

Duraikannu (Aged 79) was born on December 17, 1906 in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India, to Mr. Munusamy Pillai and Mrs. Agilandambal. He completed his SSLC in Chennai and developed an interest in paranormal medicine while in school. He learned paranormal medicine from Shanmuga Sami on Pitari Temple Street in Chennai and later graduated with an R.M.P in Ayurveda and Unani medicine.

He was introduced by the people as an Assembly candidate in 1937 and won as a member of the Congress Legislative Assembly, going on to serve in the Chennai Provincial Assembly. He served as a member of the legislature for the first 25 years and resigned in 1962. During this time, he also served as a Trustee of Tirupati Devasthanam for 15 years and as Trustee of Thiruthani Devasthanam for 15 years.

In 1948, under the leadership of Assembly Speaker Sivasanmuga Pillai, Duraikannu and the people on the list carried out a revolutionary act called ‘Temple Entry’ at the Arulmigu Vadaranyeswarar Samethavandar Kughali Amman Temple in Thiruvalankadu next to Arakkonam. The people on the list were not allowed to enter the temple, but they entered the temple and rejoiced to see the Lord after destroying the restriction.

Duraikannu led many struggles with his friends, making the quest for freedom apparent to all. He was arrested and taken to jail at one point, leaving his wife and baby in the cradle with a stick and boots on his feet. He was released after a few days.

In 1940, he started an individual Satyagraha initiated by Gandhi and was arrested in Thiruthani and sent to the Vellore-Trichy Jail, where he was sentenced to 6 years rigorous imprisonment. While he was in jail, he served food to leaders like Rajaji, Andhra Kesari, Prakasam, Kala Venkatrao, Chittoor Varathachari, Giri, Sanjeevi Reddy, and Perunthalaivar Kamaraj, and he considered it his privilege to work diligently and earn their love and reputation. Duraikannu passed away on October 22, 1985.