September 9, 2017

Willingdon replaced by Kamaraj

Do you know Freeman Freeman-Thomas? No? Then, have you heard about 1st Marquess of Willingdon? Well, it does ring a bell, right? You must be familiar with Lord Willingdon. Major Freeman Freeman-Thomas was the first one to get the title "Marquess of Willingdon". He later became famous in the name of Lord Willingdon. He served as the Governor General of India between 1931 CE and 1936 CE. Before that, between 1919 CE and 1924 CE, he served as the Governor of Madras.

The pedestal in front of the entrance of the Gymkhana Club near Pallavan Salai in Chennai had the statue of Lord Willingdon for many years. In connection with the centenary celebration of the Independence struggle, the Madras Government moved this statue to Fort Museum. It was removed on 12th August 1957 CE.

In the same location, now we have the statue of K.Kamaraj, who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state.

What is so special about this statue? It was unveiled in 1961 CE. Yes, it was unveiled when Kamaraj was alive and was ruling the state. He allowed his own statue to be erected in his own capital city.

On 9th October 1961 CE, Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, unveiled the statue of Kamaraj as per the request from the Chennai Corporation. Nehru mentioned that he had made an exception to his policy of not unveiling statues of living person because Kamaraj was an unusual type of leader.

Happy travelling.

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