G. A. Vadivelu
(1925 – 2016) – (Puducherry)
G. A. Vadivelu (Aged 91) a freedom fighter and close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, was born on 12 June 1925 in Gollahalli, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. He studied at Dharmapuri High School but discontinued his studies to participate in the national freedom struggle.
At the age of 15, he joined the Congress party and took part in the 1940 Individual Satyagraha and 1942 Quit India Movement, for which he was imprisoned in Palayamkottai Jail. Despite India gaining independence in 1947, the Pondicherry territory remained under French control. Vadivelu went to Pondicherry and participated in the freedom struggle. During his time there, he ran a journal called Samudayam.
When Jayaprakash Narayan formed a separate group in Congress to serve the downtrodden more vigorously, Vadivelu joined him and became an active member of his socialist group. After India obtained independence, Jayaprakash left Congress in 1948 to serve the have-nots and formed the Socialist Party. Vadivelu served as the state general secretary of the Praja Socialist Party, then as President of Tamil Nadu Janata Dal for eight years, and as senior vice president of National Janata Dal for two years.
In 2002, after 54 years, he rejoined Congress. Vadivelu was also a journalist and writer, having served as the editor of Janata, Samudhayam, and Pudhu vazhvu journals for many years. He passed away on 13 January 2016.