Posted by: ramrajya | August 15, 2011

Let us remember Patriot Sathyamoorthy and Sathyamoorthy Sagar, Bhavan in Chennai.

Let us remember Patriot Sathyamoorthy and Sathyamoorthy Sagar, Bhavan in Chennai.

S. Satyamurti (August 19, 1887-March 28, 1943) was an Indian politician and patriot. A protege of S. Srinivasa Iyengar, Satyamurti was the political mentor of Kumaraswami Kamaraj. Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari nominated Satyamurti to succeed him as President of the Indian National Congress in Tamil Nadu in 1930.He was a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress until his demise on March 28, 1943.

In 1919, when the Congress decide to send its representative to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (of the UK) to protest the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms and the Rowlatt Act, thirty-two year old Sathyamurthy was chosen as a delegate.When Sathyamurthy was in U.K. He functioned as the London Correspondent of “The Hindu”.

Though he neither became the Premier (that was the name kept for the post of Chief Minister then) nor a Minister in the State Cabinet, his work for the party is still remembered by many. When Sri. Satyamurti became the Mayor of Madras in 1939, World War II had begun. The city of Madras was in the grip of an acute water scarcity and it was left to him to impress upon the British Government and colonial Governor the importance of agreeing to the proposal of Madras Corporation for building a reservoir in Poondi, about 50 km west of the city, to augment the water supply position, especially in light of catastrophic global Events namely the Second World War. In those days, the tenure of Mayorship was only for a year but due to his relentless efforts, diplomacy in dealing with the British Governor and his administrative abilities the foundation stone for the reservoir was laid in a matter of eight months. Though Satyamurti was not alive to see the commissioning of the reservoir in 1944, the completion of the work in four years is considered, even by today’s standards, something that is difficult to match. Till date, the Poondi reservoir [Sathyamoorthy Sagar] is the only reservoir built purely for the purpose of Madras water requirements.

He was also actively involved in the Swadeshi movement and was arrested in 1942 for performin ‘Individual satyagraha’ at the height of the Quit India Movement. He was deported to Amravathi Jail in Nagpur and was hurt in the spinal cord during the journey. He succumbed to his injuries at General Hospital, Chennai on March 28, 1943.

The Hindu dedicated a whole column to Sathyamurthy under the caption ‘Tribune of the people’. It said “He was a born freedom-fighter, a leadmine fighter as the Scots say to whom the fight was the thing.”

His name is barely remembered today and is largely forgotten amidst a host of prominent personages.But the few who cherish his memory continue to credit him with popularizing the Congress and Gandhian ideals in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu state headquarters of the Indian National Congress has been named as Sathyamoorthy Bhavan. Let us all remember his selfless services to Tamil Nadu and for the Indian freedom.


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