For the already divided ADMK, it was a piece of tragic news as the party has lost a political veteran who chose what the current leaders have been tussling for today. ADMK's first MP Maya Thevar has passed away at the age of 88 on Tuesday - August 9 due to age-related ailments. He is a prominent political figure in Tamil Nadu who was instrumental in building the ADMK under its founder MG Ramachandran (MGR).
Maya Thevar has contested in the very first election faced by the ADMK after its establishment and he went on to become the party's first MP in Parliament in 1973. Notably, Maya Thevar was the one who picked the 'Two Leaves' symbol for the party and it later became a brand in Tamil Nadu politics, where the election symbols play a vital role in winning the polls.
He was identified by MGR and he contested in the Lok Sabha by-elections in 1973 from the Dindigul parliamentary constituency on ADMK's ticket. For MGR, who started ADMK after parting ways with DMK, it was a crucial contest and Maya Thevar's landslide victory had significantly cemented the growth of ADMK, which now remains to be one of the largest political movements in Tamil Nadu.
In the 1973 by-election from Dindigul, ADMK's Maya Thevar took on V C Sitthan of the Indian National Congress (Organization) and Pon Muthu Ramalingam of DMK. ADMK had a remarkable opening in electoral politics as Maya Thevar won the by-election to become ADMK's first MP. He secured 2,60,824 votes and defeated Sitthan by a margin of over 1,40,000 votes.
Born as Karuppu Maya Thevar on October 15, 1934, Maya Thevar graduated from Pachaiyappa's College in Chennai and he started practising as a Lawyer in the Madras High Court in 1962. He also practised in the Supreme Court and during the 1970s, Maya Thevar was keenly involved in social service and worked for the betterment of downtrodden people.
His works became prominent to the public and he went to the attention of MGR. In 1973, after starting the party, MGR announced Maya Thevar as the candidate for the 1973 by-elections from Dindigul. As both MGR and Maya Thevar were victorious in their political debut, the triumph has turned heads as Maya Thevar rose to fame and played a pivotal role in the growth of the party.
In 1977, Maya Thevar again contested the MP elections in Dindigul from the ADMK's ticket. Eventually, he had won again for the second consecutive time and this time, he defeated Balasubramaniam of the Communist Party. However, years later, he joined the DMK and in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections, he contested from Dindigul on DMK's ticket.
Notably, Maya Thevar had won for the third consecutive time though he contested from another party. He defeated ADMK's Rajan Chellappa. Maya Thevar had contested in the DMK ticket in the 1984 and 1991 Lok Sabha polls and he conceded the defeat in both the polls to the ADMK candidates. He was not active in politics for the last few years and he has been getting treated for his ailments. As years passed by, his political journey was hit by debacles.
As Maya Thevar was not doing well, several ADMK leaders extended their wishes for the veteran to have a speedy recovery. It is pertinent to note that expelled General Secretary of ADMK, VK Sasikala has dialled Maya Thevar last year. During his childhood days, Maya Thevar was very studious and service-minded and a voracious reader. Besides following Muthuramalinga Thevar, the veteran has also admired the qualities of Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Notably, if there is one thing paramount on his political path is choosing ADMK's Two leaves symbol for the first time in 1973. He selected the Two leaves symbol from the then Dindigul District Collector Syria IAS. He was getting treated for health issues and on Tuesday, he breathed his last in Chinnalapatti, Dindigul, at the age of 88. After learning about his demise, several political leaders have been paying tribute to the political veteran.