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V. Gopalsamy, also known as Vaiko, is a prominent politician in Tamil Nadu, in south India. He was born in Kallingappatti, Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu in 1944. His origin is from the Telugu speaking Kamma (Naidu) community of Andhra Pradesh. His ancestors migrated to Tamil Nadu during the Vijaynagar period. He is the founder of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a political party that espouses the cause of the Tamil people and Tamil nationalism. He is known to be a supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which is banned as a terrorist organisation in 32 countries including India, as a result he was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) in 2002 and once-again on 23 October 2008 for sedition.
General-Secretary, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (M.D.M.K.)
|Father’s Name:||Shri Vaiyapuri|
|Date of Birth:||22 May 1944|
|Place of Birth:||Kallingappatti, Distt. Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu)|
|Date of Marriage:||14 June 1971|
|Spouse’s Name:||Smt. Renuka Devi|
|No. of Sons:||1|
|No. of Daughters:||2|
|Educational Qualifications:||M.A. (Economics), B.L. Educated at St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai
Presidency College and Law College, Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
|Profession:||Agriculturist , Lawyer|
|Present Address:||Kalingappatti Vill. P.O. Via Thiruvengadam,
Tirunelveli, Distt. Tamil Nadu
|1978-96||Member, Rajya Sabha (three terms)|
|1982-84||Member, Railway Convention Committee (two terms)|
|1983-84||Member, Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes|
|1986-87||Member, Committee on Petitions|
|Member, Committee on Papers Laid on the Table|
|1994||General-Secretary, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (M.D.M.K.)|
|1998-99||Member, Committee on External Affairs and its Sub-Committee-I|
|Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Industry|
|1999||Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term)|
|Leader, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Parliamentary Party, Lok Sabha|
|1999-2000||Member, Committee of Privileges|
|Member, Committee on Defence|
|Member, Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests|
|2000-2001||Member, Committee on Ethics|
|(i) Clarion Call (in English), (ii) Sanganatham, (iii) Porkkalathil, (iv) Ilatchiyappayanam, (v) Yamunaikkavraiyil, (vi) Velvom, (vii) Veerathin Punnagai, (viii) Ithaya Chiragugal, (ix)Paravattum Thamizhisai; and (x) Vazharattum Valluvam (all in Tamil)|
|He ran a blood donors club which is run by the MDMK party with the name ‘Blood Donors’ Club’. Till date, more than 80,000 units of blood has been donated to the poor people.
He launched a 3 day ‘Tank Desilting Program’ in his Village, with the participation of villagers. Along with the villagers, he took clay soil in baskets and loaded it in tractors when the work began under the scorching sun. He has undergone a month long padayatra in Tamil Nadu, to establish communal harmony, to prevent caste clashes and to create awakening for the interlinking of inter state rivers in India. He has conducted free medical camps for physically challenged for years and has been instrumental in bringing a welcome change to their lives.
|He is well-known for his unequivocal support for the banned LTTE and other organizations fighting for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. In 2002, he was arrested by the Government of Tamil Nadu for making a speech supporting the LTTE, under the controversial POTA and spent 18 months in prison.|
|In the following election in 2004, the MDMK split from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance that it was part of since 1999, and joined a coalition led by the Indian National Congress. After an emphatic win in the polls, and the subsequent repeal of POTA, Vaiko was released from prison. He contested the 2006 assembly elections with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led by J. Jayalalitha. But AIADMK alliance lost in the 2006 Assembly elections and Vaiko’s party could get only 6 seats. However it is worth noting, that before this election, MDMK had not won a single seat in the assembly elections, since it didn’t ally with any major party in Tamil Nadu.
In 2008, officials of the ‘Q’ Branch of the CID of the Tamil Nadu police arrested the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary on charges of sedition. The MDMK presidium chairman and former Union Minister, Kannappan, was also arrested along with Vaiko on the same charges. Both the party leaders were charged under Section 124 (A) IPC (“Whoever brings or attempts to bring in hatred or contempt or excites disaffection towards the government”) and Section 13 (1) (b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (“Whoever advocates, abets in, advises or incites the commission of any unlawful activity”). The charges stemmed from speeches Vaiko made at a party meeting on the Sri Lankan issue and the government’s raids into LTTE-held areas on October 21. He warned that Indian help to protect Sri Lanka’s integrity would jeopardise India’s own unity and integrity. He also added that he would be ready to take up arms and fight for the Tamils in Lanka. Kannappan, on the other hand, warned the Centre not to force Tamils in Tamil Nadu to struggle for a separate country. A general alert had been sounded across Tamil Nadu following the arrest. TN CM Karunanidhi said the law would take its course in this case, saying that whatever happened had occurred as per the letter and spirit of the law. Conversely, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa described both arrests as simple political vendetta. After 14 days in judicial custody Vaiko and Kannappan, arrested on charges of sedition on October 23, were released by a chennai city court following the Tamil Nadu Government’s submission that investigations into the charges against them were complete and there was no need for a further remand.
|Literature, agriculture, research, sports, addressing public meetings etc. and organising Youth Forums|
|Favourite Pastime and Recreation:|
|Reading and listening to music|
|Sports and Clubs:|
|Volleyball and basketball; President, Jothi Sports Club (Hockey), Palayamkottai, 1971-76|
|Widely travelled (15 countries); also visited several countries of the World in 1984 to address meetings on the ethnic Tamil problem of Sri Lanka|
|President, District Central Cooperative Bank; won, (i) Gold Medal in Economics and Best Speaker award in St. Xavier’s College, 1964; (ii) First Prize in Inter-Collegiate-Tamil Oratorical Competitions, 1964-65 and 1965-66, representing Presidency College, Madras; (iii) First-Prize-Silver Cup in Inter-Collegiate Elocution Competition conducted by Madras City Police to celebrate Road Safety Week in 1965; and (iv) Best Orator Award in Law College, Madras,1969; detained, (i) under MISA from 1 February, 1976 to 2 February, 1977; and (ii) again for 40 days for organising Black Flag Demonstration against Late Smt. Indira Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu, October, 1977; jailed, (i) four times, during 1978-81 for peaceful demonstrations and picketing against Tamil Nadu State Government; (ii) four times during 1982-83 for organising Volunteer Camps of DMK; (iii) three times during 1984-86 for participation in agitation against the State Government; and (iv) during 1986-87 for anti-Hindi agitation; President, (i) Presidency College Victoria Hostel Tamil Association, 1965-66; (ii) Land Development Bank, Kuruvikulam, 1971-75; and (iii) M.D.K. Co-operative Supervisors’ Training Institute, 1971-76; Chairman, (i) Panchayat Union, Kuruvikulam, Tirunelveli District, 1970-76; and (ii) Tirunelveli District Co-operative CentralBank, 1972-73; Propaganda-Secretary, DMK Party for Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts, 1977-79; Secretary, Election Campaign, DMK headquarters, 1983; Convenor, Dr. Karunanidhi Voluntary Blood Donors’ Association, Tirunelveli; Organiser, Youth Forums; and State Joint Organiser, DMK Students wing, 1970|
MARUMALARCHI Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK)
MDMK Another regional outfit on the lines of other dravidian parties has been started in 1994 by Mr. V.Gopalswamy(Vaiko), a vociferous member of Rajyasabha and an emotioal party activitist of DMK. Mr. V.Gopalsamy(Vaiko) grew in the party from his student days. He actively participated in the party agitations and courted imprisonment several times. He was detained under MISA during emergency with other party leaders and workers. His style of speaking is his own, quoting world events and history, dragged many more to his side. Particularly the youths of DMK had a liking for him. His sympathy for Srilankan Tamils’ cause is world known.
On many occasions he took up the issue in Rajya Sabha and made hard hitting speaches. He was elected thrice to the Rajya Sabha by the DMK leadership. This fiery and emotion charged speaker had attracted the attention of many in parliment. He was always by the side of the DMK president when the DMK party was in crisis during MGR regime.
His popularity grew in size year after year, he was a fulltime party speaker going rounds in Tamilnadu to speak in DMK propaganda meetings. Interesting news about him was his visit to the Jungles in vavuniya to meet LTTE supremo velupillai Prabhakaran. He was reprimanded by the DMK leadership for this act.
Slowly there develeoped a rift between Vaiko and DMK lealership. Due to some developments in the party, he was expelled by the DMK leadership and the general council endorsed this decision.
Some front liners of the DMK and many party workers came in support of him. Mr. V.Gopalsamy along with some district secretaries announced the decision to start rival DMK ultimately leading to naming of the part as MDMK
He was elected General Secretary with Mr. L.Ganesan, Pon.Muthuramalingam (Dist. Secy Madurai) Gingee Ramachandran (Dist Secy South Arcot) as Chairman and Deputy & Secretary respectively and Mr.M.Kannappan being made Treasurer. He made journey by walk (Padayatra) from Kanyakumari to Chennai to highlight his party ideas. His brave act received kudos from the party rank and file.
He was a bitter critic of AIADMK Govt of Jayalalitha. This MDMK leader was the first political leader, to declare that if voted to power, his govt. would seize the properties and assets of the AIADMK Chief Minister and other Ministers. His party forged an alliance with CPI(M) and fought many issues.
His party inspite of being new to the people managed to come second pushing CPI candidate (DMK’s poll partner) to the third place in the Perundurai constituency. This was something an achievement for a party which was started just few months ago and that too with a new symbol (TOP)
In the General election 1996, his party forged an alliance with CPI (M) and Janata Dal and fought (in its Umbrella symbol) the poloitical power namely DMK alliance and AIADMK. He contested for both Vilathikulam assembly segment and Sivakasi parliamentary constituency but unsuccessfully. The political on lookers and observers expected his victory in both seats. He was humbled by DMK candidate in Vilathikulam and by CPI candidate in Sivakasi by a narrow margin. All his party candidates were humbled. He has been considered by the people around him as honest politician. He managed to collect funds for the party and bought own building for head quarter office (Thayagam). This hard working MDMK leader started a party weekly called Sangoli, which carried news and write ups for party workers.