Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

T. S. Avinashilingam Chettiar

Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu

March 09, 2023 to March 09, 2024

Avinashilingam Chettiar was born on 5 May 1903 to K. Subrahmanya Chettiar at Tiruppur. He was an Indian lawyer, politician, freedom fighter, and Gandhian. Avinashilingam participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement. He joined the Indian National Congress and adopted Gandhi's philosophy. He also served as the President of the Coimbatore District Congress Committee. When Gandhi visited South India in 1934 to collect money for the Harijan Welfare Fund, Avinashilingam assisted him by collecting and donating rupees two and a half lakhs to the fund. He also bore the expenses for the entire tour. Avinashilingam was arrested four times, in 1930, 1932, 1941, and 1942. When his final prison term came to an end in 1944, he entered provincial politics and was elected to the Madras Legislative Council in 1946. He was also a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1935 to 1945. Avinashilingam published the Nationalist poetry of freedom-fighter, Subramania Bharati, and created a Professorship for Tamil and other Indian languages at the University of Madras. Thirukkural was introduced as a part of the curriculum from the 6th grade onwards. He died on 21 November 1991 at the age of 88.