Janaky Athi Nahappan
Puan Sri Janaki Athi Nahappan, also known as Janaky Devar (25 February 1925 – 9 May 2014), was a founding member of the Malaysian Indian Congress and one of the earliest women involved in the fight for Malaysian (then Malaya) independence.
Nahappan grew up in a well-to-do Tamil family in Malaya and was only 16 when she heard Subhas Chandra Bose's appeal to Indians to give whatever they could for their fight for Indian independence. Immediately she took off her gold earrings and donated them. She was determined to join the women's wing, the Rani of Jhansi Regiment of the Indian National Army. There was strong family objection especially from her father. But after much persuasion, her father finally agreed.
She was among the first women to join the Indian National Army organised during the Japanese occupation of Malaya to fight for Indian independence with the Japanese. Having been brought up in luxury, she initially could not adapt to the rigours of army life. However, she gradually got used to military life and her career in the Regiment took off. She became second in Command of the Rani of Jhansi Regiment.
After World War II she emerged as a welfare activist.
Nahappan found the Indian National Congress's fight for Indian independence inspiring and joined the Indian Congress Medical Mission in then Malaya. In 1946 Nahappan helped John Thivy to establish the Malayan Indian Congress, which was modelled after the Indian National Congress. The party saw Thivy as its first president. Later in life, she became a senator in the Dewan Negara of the Malaysian Parliament.
She died at her house on 9 May 2014 due to pneumonia.
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- They dared to take up public office, The Star, 20 August 2007.
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- Biography of Janaky Athi Nahappan
- Puan Sri Janaky Athi Nahappan Passes Away At Age 89