V. O. Chidambaram Pillai
Part of: GS-1: Personalities in Indian national movement
In News: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has remembered freedom fighter V. O. Chidambaram Pillai on his 150th birth anniversary.
About V. O. Chidambaram Pillai
- Born on September 5, 1872, Pillai is popularly known as ‘Kappalottiya Tamizhan’ or “The Tamil Helmsman”
- He is best remembered for the venture he ran against tremendous odds, the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company, to challenge the monopoly of the British in sea trade. He launched the first indigenous Indian shipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo with the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company (SSNC), competing against British ships. Pillai’s ambitions were high—though services were restricted to Tuticorin and Colombo, Swadeshi aimed to “popularize the art of Navigation” among “Nations of the East”, to employ “Asiatics”, to open dockyards, and do whatever it could to revitalize India’s maritime traditions.
- Tuticorin Port Trust, one of India’s thirteen major ports, is named after him.
- Play on V. O. Chidambaram Pillai: Desabhaktar Chidambaranar
- Film on his life: Kappalottiya Tamizhan
News Source: PIB