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Purushothama Raja

(1906 – 1979) – (Puducherry)

Purushothama Reddiar known as Purushothama Raja (Aged 73) was born on July 1, 1906, in Irulansandai village of Bahour Commune as the son of Ramasamy Reddiar. He received his primary education at Bahour Government School and was educated in French. He earned his Diploma in Radio Engineering from Paris University, France.

He was an active nationalist leader from 1933 to 1950 and played a key role in the Liberation struggle in Puducherry and the Indian Union. He was a founding member of the Harijan Sevak Sangh in 1934 and also played a significant role in the formation of the Puducherry Mahajana Sabha in 1936.

He worked in the Wireless Service Department, which was a quasi-Government service of the Chamber of Commerce, from 1933 to 1936 but was dismissed from service due to his political activities. In 1938, he was jailed for one and a half years for his anti-Government Nationalist activities. Later he rejoined the Government Wireless Service from 1940 to 1946.

During the Quit India Movement in 1942, he took an active part in the movement in British India and was arrested and later released from Vellore Jail. He left his job in 1946 and organized and presided over the French India People’s Convention in 1947, which fought for the conditional withdrawal of the French Regime. From 1946 to 1954, he was a founding member and President of the French Indian National Congress.

He was briefly remanded to custody in 1954 in the Central Jail, Puducherry, for his role in integrating the French colonial counters with the Indian Union. He was given a State Award for his role in the freedom movement. He passed away on December 14, 1979.