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T.M. Varghese

(1886 – 1961) – (Kerala)

T.M. Varghese (Aged 75) born on 1886, was a freedom fighter, lawyer, statesman, former minister, and politician from Kerala, India. He was born in a Mar Thoma Syrian Christian family as the eldest son of Mathai Thandaaneth in Pallickal (near Kayamkulam). He received his education at Mavelikkara and Thiruvananthapuram, and after graduating from Law College, he began practicing in Kollam, where he actively started his political career.

He was a prominent leader of the Responsible Government Struggle against C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, the Dewan of Travancore State, and the Abstention Movement or Nivarthana Prakshobham. He was also a founding member of the Travancore State Congress party and played a significant role in the democratization of Travancore.

Under his guidance, the Nivarthana Prakshobhanam (Abstention Movement) was started, which led to a new constitution being promulgated in August 1936. T.M. Varghese won the election as a candidate of the All Kerala Joint Political Party and was elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Sree Moolam Popular Assembly in April-May 1937.

In February 1938, he tabled a motion to discuss the point of “Responsible Government” (Utharavaditha Bharanam – Government responsible to the people), which was allowed to be discussed by Sir C.P. He also helped Kunchacko set up Udaya Pictures, the first prominent Kerala-based film production company.

T.M. Varghese passed away in 1961. A park in Kollam has been constructed in his memory and is maintained by Kollam Municipal Corporation. There is also a library in his name near Ammachiveedu, maintained by the municipality.